Thursday, June 21, 2007

Paper or Plastic?...How About Neither


Following the example of San Fransisco could be a life saver...for trees and oil that is. They have recently passed a law that prohibits grocery stores and other establishments from putting their products into plastic bags for their customers. As of yet they are the only metropolis in the country to have passed this type of legislation. In the United States of America 12 million barrels of oil and 14 million tress go into the production of paper and plastic bags each year. These are valuable resources that we need to create energy for our homes and cars, and to keep the levels of carbon dioxide from getting even higher. Given, the use of oil for fuel creates GHG emissions, but if it must be pulled out of the ground it should at least go toward powering the things we need, not the things we don't...things like plastic bags.
A simple solution: We sometimes don't mind paying a little extra for convenience in this country, which is why this concept can seem so absurd to some, but buying canvass bags that are large enough and durable and bringing them to the store with us when we shop is an easy way to greatly lessen the demand for paper and plastic grocery bags. Of course, doing this may save precious trees and conserve an additional 12 million barrels of oil. It's personal green accountability at its finest.


Picture source:www.midamericanenergy.com

15 comments:

Don said...

Great idea. Giant Eagle stores are offering sturdy, reusable bags for only 99 cents each. The only problem I have is to remember to bring them in from the car with me when I jump out to shop! I can do better - and I will! Thanks for spreading the word.

Anonymous said...

What if we all took this one small step? I have read that it takes only 21 days to make a new behavior a habit. If we consistently add one good habit per month we could really make an impact over time.

Anonymous said...

I agree with both comments; remembering is key for me. I have about 5 of those canvas bags and they make a lovely pile in my bedroom but serve no useful purpose there. If I could just utilize stick-to-it-ness for 3 weeks, I'd be contributing instead of depleting and less guilt is always a good thing. Thx. Desert Deb

The Green Blog said...

This is absolutly true. It's not a very large cut in emissions, but it's perhaps even more important for us to do because it means that we are developing, conciously, a healthy mindset of what it takes on the individual level to make a difference. Put those bags in your trunk and write them on your shopping list along with the other itmes, that way you are forced to remember them while shopping.

deborah ruth said...

Paper or Plastic? Alliteration is good. Perhaps it should read, "Canvas and Consciousness". Thanks for all you're doing.
Katz

deborah ruth said...

Just a little "aha" moment. While cleaning my car, I discovered another one of those canvas bags so I looped it over the head rest of the passenger's seat and hanging forward to remember BUT, it has a couple of perfectly usable plastic bags in side from previous trips to the grocery store which are REusable when purchasing meats, cheeses and the such. Anyway, that's how I'm going to remember to use canvas bags. Thx again.

Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

Travel Betty said...

yes, it's all about convenience at this point. people see it as a hassle to remember to bring the bags with them. but once we get used to it (I live in SF), it'll become second nature.

JT said...

yeah, if I dont buy a lot I just carry the items...sometimes I bring my backpack with me and just use that...I have yet to buy a canvas bag myself but will do so eventually. This is truly a simple way to help conserve...it would probably help a lot if celebrities somehow turned this issue into a fashion statement of "who's got the coolest canvas bag" or something.

Debbie @ Cozy Cottage Gifts and Decor said...

I bought one of those cotton mesh shopping bags back in the 70s and have it tucked away in my cabinet to hold my cookie cutters! When did I become so UNconscious of the little things we can do to improve our environment??? Thanks for bringing this to my attention....this was a great blog post!

Debbie
Cozy Cottage Gifts & Decor

The Green Blog said...

Thanks for the feedback, everybody. You're all correct...this can help in a small but important way.

Eric said...

This is very interesting. I know I've seen some grocery stores offer reusable canvas bags for taking groceries out of the store, but they are very, very small and couldn't hold more than maybe eggs and a gallon of milk.
Giving access to bigger, better made totes would make difference.

Aaron Cook said...

Canvas all the way baby! I always take my own bags with me - no paper or plastic for me! Let's hope more people begin to do so as well. Just a small change like that makes a HUGE difference in resource usage.

So let's go people...No more paper or plastic nonsense! :)

Shine on,
Aaron

Melissa said...

I used to justify my plastic bags because I had to clean up after my dog..but I just ordered some biodegradable poop bags, bought a few canvas shopping bags and had my first plastic bag free trip to the grocery yesterday. It felt great.

Although, I confess I have still gotten some plastic bags recently. I have a special place for them in my car, so I can easily drop them off for recycling.

RecycleCindy said...

I like the idea of BYOB (bring your own bag.) You can buy or make your own bags out of canvas or crochet with plastic bags (plarn) to create some wonderful reusable grocery bags. There are many alternatives out there if you just look.