Monday, October 15, 2007

Really love your peaches, wanna shake your tree. Oh, Mama wait--ain't you got no tree without the plastic bag action?

I always thought of myself as a conscientious consumer. I recycle. I reuse.

And I was feeling pretty good about my plastic bag practices: I've found that they're good for cat box duties, and I've used them for years when I color my hair. (There's nothing in this world more attractive than a woman with a plastic bag wrapped 'round her head and clipped in place with a clothes pin.) I sometimes tote my lunch to work in a plastic bag, and after I've finished, hand them over to one of my writers, who then uses them when she walks her dogs.

Yup, I was pretty much feeling like a part of the global village. Until I read some of the stats. Thanks a lot, Al.

Plastic bags are cheaper to manufacture and way easier to tote than the old brown paper bag. So much so, in fact, that they're everywhere. People who make it their business to tally such things have estimated that the world uses roughly 1 million plastic bags per minute. A great many people use these bags once and then toss them into the landfills, where they photodegrade--break down into smaller toxic bits--and are then absorbed into our food chain. And then there are the millions that end up in the litter stream outside the landfills (National Geographic News), where they are tantalizingly appetizing to certain animals and virtually all the world's trees. So, even if you're reusing your bags, they still stand a very real chance of ending up someplace they don't belong.

The solution? Reuse, recycle, and rethink. I'm going to have to cut back on my bag habit. So, I'll be buying one of those adorable reusable bags to bring things home and tote things back.

I'm not sure yet what I'm going to wrap my head in, but I'll come up with something.

Use those plastic bags to knit a reusable bag
Save a tree or two. Get yourself a bag snagger.
Shop for reuseable bags and read statistics to make you want one.

photo, reusablebags.com

1 comment:

sarah said...

If you want some snazzy reusable bags, check out www.delight.com and score the Envirosax. I have and love them.

-Sarah (aka the girl who used to help you with Irene)