My Blog Has Moved

Well folks, I've finally done it. I've switched to WordPress and my blog is now on my own domain. So say good-bye to Blogger and good-bye to the bling. But don't be sad. Life is full of change. Change is a good thing. It keeps us on our toes. It challanges us and makes us stronger. And as your next President... oops, I got a little speechy there, didn't I?

Anyway, check me out at:

http://www.meandtheblueskies.com/

I'll look for you there.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Plastic Bags are Very, Very Bad!


Plastic bags are very, very bad. I know this because my daughter told me so and believe you me, when she says something is bad, then it’s bad. She’s the one who’s gotten me to stop drinking soda, eating fast food, and eating anything with high-fructose corn syrup in it. So when she said we needed to use recyclable bags when we went food shopping, I had no other choice.

Now I was planning to blog about the evils of plastic bags for quite a while but I never did it. Then last week I was checking out LobsterSquad, and I was beaten to the punch with Tote Bags and Summery Dishes along with a very cool illustration titled, Plastic Bags Blow. I must admit that is one way to get your point across.

The point is that plastic bags really do blow. In fact, they are killing us. Check out these startling facts:
  • Plastic bags start as crude oil, natural gas, or other petrochemical derivatives, which are transformed into chains of hydrogen and carbon molecules known as polymers or polymer resins. After being heated, shaped, and cooled, the plastic is ready to be flattened, sealed, punched, or printed on.
  • North America and Western Europe account for 80 percent of plastic bag use--though the bags are becoming increasingly more common in developing countries.
  • Each year, Americans through away 100 billion polyethylene plastic bags while only 0.6 percent are recycled.
  • In a landfill, plastic bags take up to 1,000 years to degrade. As litter, they breakdown into tiny bits, contaminating our soil and water.

So what can you do? It’s easy. Use recyclable bags like we do. Not only will you help our planet stay healthy a little bit longer, it will make your grocery shopping much easier. Most of the recyclable bags we purchased cost us only 99 cents each. The most we paid for a bag was $2.99 for a thermal bag. These bags are much tougher than those flimsy free bags so they hold more food without the fear of the bag breaking. They come with short and long handles so they are easier to carry. And specialty bags, like our thermal bag, ensure that frozen foods make it home frozen.

Some supermarkets are getting into recyclable bags. The Superfresh down the street from me prominently sells the bags at the beginning of each check out counter. We’ve purchased many there. Shop Rite sells them, too, but they take it a step further. They give 2 cents back for each plastic bag you reuse and 8 cents for each recyclable bag you use. If you use six bags, you’re saving 48 cents. But you’re saving a lot more than money, too.

So don’t be lazy. Don’t be cheap. And don’t be apathetic. Get yourself some recyclable bags and use them the next time you go shopping. If you forget to bring them in with you, like Heather and I did the first few times we used them, don’t let it bother you. Just run out to the parking lot and get them. After a few shopping trips, bringing your bags with you will be a regular habit, just like bringing your coupons or savings card. If I can do it, so can you.

For more information regarding the plastic bag problem, check out www.reusablebags.com. To learn more about Shop Rite’s recycling habits, go to www.shoprite.com and click on the link titled Our Environment. And if your supermarket is not promoting recyclable bags, complain to the manager or write a letter to the corporate office. Or better yet, just switch to one that pushes recyclable bags like Shop Rite.

83 comments:

Linh said...

Amen! It feels good to be doing something (very small and easy) to reduce this problem!

Preston said...

Linh - I agree totally. It's an easy problem to fix if everyone just got on board. (And girl, how did you find this post??)

greedygrace said...

A great message!

Melissa Papaj Photography said...

Great idea! We all need to be more eco-friendly!

Donnetta said...

I've got my bags in every flavor - Publix, Kroger, Target, Braves

Happy SITS/BITS Day!

the BLAH BLAH BLAHger said...

You'll look WAY cooler with a reusable bag, too. The only thing plastic bags are good for are making parachutes for cats who get their necks stuck inside then run around the house like crazy.

ConversationsWithACupcake said...

Arrgh. I always forget my reusable bags at home. Which, at...say...Albertsons is not a problem. But forget those little green totes at Whole Foods and I feel like a plastic bag beeotch.

Thanks for the great reminder! I promise to remember to bring my bags from home.

(And happy BITS day!)

Jamie said...

AMEN!

Rachael said...

I started using canvas bags last year - not only does it feel good, but they hold so much more and are sturdier than plastic too!

KatieSaysSo said...

I will admit I need to be alot better about this. I always tell myself I am going to and then well....lol dont. After reading this post though I for sure am going to be better! Prrrroomiiseee!

cat said...

In South Africa, a very controversial bill few years ago states that you have to buy plastic shopping bags and are not allowed to be given free by stores. Now people are really re-using plastic bags and using re-usable bags too because they have to pay for a bag each time they want one. So how's that for a third world country?

Melissa said...

I have a few but definitely need to invest in a lot more...no excuses! They do hold more too which is great!

Fruitfulvine2 said...

A good way to be environmentally responsible.

Yaya said...

You're right! I need to be better about bringing my canvas bags along w/ me.

Bethany said...

In Ukraine, which happens to be where I grew up, a third world country, they have just recently started using plastic bags in a few stores. Most places still use cloth bags, though. They don't do it for environmental reasons, but for financial reasons. What store wants to pay to provide bags for their customers, when they can just expect their customers to bring their own bags. Anyway. . . I am glad that you posted this!

Belle (from Life of a...) said...

Happy SITS Day to you...what a wonderful compliment to be the featured blogger.

I recently started using reusable bags and am encouraging everybody I know to do the same.

Tracey said...

Happy SITS day! Great Post. I admit I have sorta turned a "blind eye" on the whole plastic bag issue. Your post has me really thinking about it!

Hugs!
Tracey

mommytoalot said...

Great post and reminder!

Christina Lee said...

Happy SITS day!!! I know, I know- but I have yet to come up with a solution for picking up dog poop. that is why we still collect plastic bags from the grocery store. Picking it up on walks is bad enough and picking it up with a paper bag would be...ewwwwww.

Columbia Lily said...

I like the cloth ones better, the hold more and have handles that don't break!

Natalie said...

happy sits day!

my city is working to ban them all together. i hope that they do! we went to six flags on monday and they even had really cute reusable totes on sale for $1.00!

great post to get the message out!

Jamiedidit said...

The chick at out Publix gave us these little stickers for the inside of your windshield that remid you to get your bags before you go inside. They look pretty snazzy, I thought.

Bunny said...

The store we go to gives you a couple cents back for bringing your bags in too. Thanks for the reminder!

Denise said...

We've started using reusable bags, but I keep forgetting to take them to the store. Maybe I should wear them as bracelets and then they'd be with me all the time.

Janna Bee said...

I always forget mine! So annoying- I reuse the plasic ones I get as trash/recycling bags though, so at least I don't throw away the ones I do accumulate!

Jaden Paige said...

This is a great, eye-opening post. I bought a bunch of those reusable bags that you mention, and I sometimes forget to bring them or use them... But I figure if I am making an effort, eventually it will get easier, as you said. I've also been bringing the plastic bags that I already have at home (they usually hang around in the kitchen for some time) back to the store to recycle them. It makes me feel good knowing I am at least doing my part to help reduce this needless waste :)

Joy said...

I do still accidentally bring in a plastic bag here and there but I do have a number of reusable shopping bags that I use regularly.

Sometimes I wonder, though, about the people that work in the plastic bag industry, and where our earnest efforts to be more 'green' will leave them?

Oz Girl said...

I reuse our plastic bags to pick up dog poop in the yard and to clean out the cat litter box.... but that doesn't really count, does it? Still bad for the environment. I need to rethink my poo cleaning strategy... thanks for reminding us all about the evils of plastic bags.

Ronnica said...

I'm definitely too cheap to buy bags to use at the grocery store, but I have gotten several for free, enough to use for a regular shopping trip. My problem is getting in the habit of bringing them with me.

Heather said...

Another good reason to get those reusable bags now is they'res till cheap. You know one day "they're" going to start charging $5 for a bag.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Happy BITS Day! Well, if I didn't know all the evils of plastic--I do now! Great informative post.

meghanwelch said...

I love our reusable bags! Such a great $5 investment! I try to remember taking them on other shopping trips as well, not just the grocery store.

Mimi said...

I am halfway there. I bought 4 nice reusable bags. I just usually forget them...along with my grocery list. *sigh*

Cindy said...

I just started using cloth bags, and I have to admit...I love them. They are much roomier, easier to carry, and hell, it's good for the environment!

Amy said...

When I got to Wal-mart some of the cashiers will put one item in a bag and then I end up with 15 bags for two items. I am on my way to collecting the cloth bags.

Wifey said...

Don't be lazy? Damn. Alright ...

Great post.

Winks & Smiles,
Wifey

Willo said...

Preach it BITS brother! Thank you so much for making this one of your featured posts! It is such an important, easy change and like you said...personal responsibility!

Vickie said...

We use the reusable bags as well. But Walmart checkout peeps are always giving me a dirty look.

Walmart takes the plastic bags back for recycling. Our city recycling center also takes the plastic bags back.

Libby said...

I live WAY out in the sticks, and STILL see plastic bags in trees. It makes me want to tear out my hair! Grrr......

Sera said...

Hey! Happy SITS to you! I was excited to find out we have a BITS! So, I knew the plastic bag thing wasn't cool, but now I really get it. Great post. I'll be putting my reusable bags in the car now.

Rachel said...

Good post. You're convincing me. :) I have a couple of reusable shopping bags. I'll make it a point to use them more.

I also like getting brown paper bags at the grocery store. They are great for using with my son for different things (projects, placemats, etc.). I also use them for my microwave caramel popcorn recipe. I forget to ask for paper bags sometimes, though.

I do have one question about not using plastic grocery bags. For those of you who use your own bags for shopping, what kind of bags do you use at home in your small trash cans? I save all of my plastic shopping bags to use in my bathroom trash cans. Is there an alternative for this?

What A Card said...

Very nicely said! And so important!

Ryan Ashley Scott said...

Good call. Why are they even still free? If people had to pay for them, everyone would get the reusable ones. I like the stores that DO charge - it makes a difference.

Then of course, there's the problem of remembering to TAKE several of the 300 green bags from my garage so I don't have to keep purchasing new ones AT the store...

The Daily Blonde said...

I was in Stop and Shop, the bigger market here, last week and the manager told me that they are an average store and pay over $5000 for plastic bags a month. That's passed on to all of us in the price of the groceries!!!
It's insanity.

So Not Mom-a-licious said...

My Vons did a buy one (99cents) get one free! How awesome is that?! I wish they would do sales on the bags more often. I think it would attract more people. I only saw that sale one time. And it was a long time ago.

Anyway, I am guilty of forgetting my bags. And it makes me so mad. Costco has some smokin' bags that are huge(of course) and very reasonably priced.

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

The green bags are so much nicer for carrying groceries in, I just can never remember to bring mine! I actually recently read in the Wall Street Journal that people buying the green bags and not using them is worse than just using plastic in the first place, so I really need to do a better job remembering to take them to the store.

carma said...

Just walked to the local supermarket yesterday with my green bag. Just doin' my part to save the planet :-)
carma

Lida said...

Thank you for posting about these, hope more people realizes what using plastic does to the planet and to us. My gf and I been going green any possible way and we feel awesome doing it, not only we no longer use those yucky plastic bags, our grocery bags are rockin to our personalities I love it!

Alicia @ Oh2122 said...

We just made the switch in the last 9 months or so, but I'm addicted. I'm constantly on the lookout for better (and cuter) bags. They've become my new accessory obsession.

I do forget them once in a while, and I still feel silly when I have to explain that, no I didn't get that in your store. I brought it with me, but thanks for trying to scan it for a whole 2 minutes while I explained that... but I'm working on it.

Marrdy said...

Good post! The place I work recycles NOTHING and it makes me crazy. And I am not allowed to do any recycling because "it's too much of a pain". But someday when I take over the world, then they will all bow to my wishes!!

Amy said...

Very informative post! Thanks for that :)

cath said...

well said! i have no problem running back the car when i forget the bags ... but they keep coming out with new designs (those saavy marking buggers) and i end up buying them too!!

wendy said...

I'm totally with your daughter on this one! We use store bags (the kind you buy at the store and reuse forever...or until you die...). We have also cut HFCS from our diet, which is no small task, I might add!

Kudos to you!

Anne said...

I LOVE my reusable bags!!!

Brandy said...

I haven't done this yet cause I'm a lazy bitch. And I admit it. Does it help that I take my plastic bags back to the store to be recycled??? Please say yes!

~I'm kidding. Sorta. I will try in the future to remember.~

Moi said...

Amen to this topic!

p.s. i bought one of the reusable bags at walmart once and while I am at the counter the lady puts the reusable bag I just bought and the three tiny items I bought into a plastic bag - I looked at her like "you have got to be kidding me" and let her know that I purchased the bag in order to use it to avoid using a plastic bag.
yikes....

Jamie said...

I think I buy a new reusable bag almost every time I shop...I have so many, some of them SHOULD be recycled, hehe. They have some cute ones out there! Nice post.

StampinMom :-)

Goldibug said...

I've been meaning to crochet myself some reusable bags for this very reason. This post gets me all the more determined to do so. Thanks!

Alex the Girl said...

Getting the bags is the easy part...remembering to bring them with you to the store is the hard part!

Happy BiTS n pieces day. Enjoy your comments.

nopatternrequired said...

It is ok that someone beat you to the punch, because this kind of thing bears repeating! Maybe we should all get together an everyone post about it on the same day. Drown skepticism through sheer numbers! Anything to get people onboard!

Days of Whine & Noses said...

I'm with you here! I use those bags myself and I actually just bought a set of 3 produce (net bags) last week!

Visiting from SITS!

Ali said...

I've already got one big reusable bag but with a family of four, I need to buy more!

Tara said...

Amen bro!!

Live.Love.Eat said...

I needed to read this. I have been using plastic bags still and also use them under my sink door for extra garbage as well as pick up poop in the yard from the dogs. Sorry. Anyway, I was thinking how i would really like to stop using them. With the amount of trips I make to the grocery store, I could really make a difference. Thanks! Now, I just have to figure out the poop prob.

polymerclaysnails said...

I hope we can come up w/ a ban for these bags ... I have like 6 reusable bags and I always forget to bring one ... :(

I should work on this ...

Leslie said...

I usually call them permanent reusable bags. Some people would argue that those cheap plastic bags or old brown paper bags are recyclable.

Kimm at Reinvented said...

AMEN, brother! (there I go again)
Happy SITS day, enjoy the spotlight!

Sam_I_am said...

good green tip!

Debbie said...

I always tote the bags!

Carey-Life in the Carpool Lane said...

This is my first SITS post ever...woohoo!

Anyway, I am so happy to say that you are preaching to the choir with me. I use the reusable grocery bags everywhere...not just grocery stores. And I've got lots of reusable sandwich bags too...so cute. Reusablebags.com is a great resource if you need any.

Michelle said...

Oh good. I'm not the only person halfway through the store abandonig the cart to get the bags and hoping it's still there when I get back. I feel better now ;)

Shannon said...

I have several reuseable bags... unfortunately I am guilty about not using them every single time I go to the store. But I'm trying!

Cheryl said...

Wow! I did not know about the plastic bags and what they were made of. Yuk! Great message!

angie said...

So, are we supposed to feel bad about recycling plastic bags now? I can't keep up!

Actually, I've got my reusable bags and I find it easier carrying them up my 3 flights of stairs.

Aubrey said...

I can't tell you how bad I am about forgetting my reusable bags IN THE CAR. And I'm too lazy to run out and get them. LOL

Today though. Today! I remembered!

Dianna said...

d'oh! I am terrible about forgetting mine .... have to do better!

Stacie Haight Connerty said...

Great post! I reuse plastic bags like crazy.

Happy SITS Day! I dropped you on EC.

Gamma Sharon said...

I have been meaning to try those, you have inspired me to go ahead and do it!

Angie Marion said...

Hi! Great post! stopping by from SiTS!

TattooedMinivanMom said...

But then what would I use to pick dog shit up with?

Not that I have a dog, I just like picking it up with plastic bags.

Ew, that was gross. I don't feel good. Forgive me.

Seriously though, you got me thinking, maybe I'll get some of those bags next time I'm at the store. My kids are in a "green" show at school tomorrow. Maybe that'll put me in the mood.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

I keep recycled bags in my car. When I haven't left them in the house, that is. And it isn't until I'm in the check out line and the guy asks, "paper or plastic", that I realize I've left them in the car - DOH!

I suck.

Laura said...

I new the bags are bad, but shame on me I still use them. I do recycle them though.

Michelle said...

I ALWAYS ALWAYS forget mine in the van...literally until the moment they start bagging my groceries. Then I'm like, next week I'm going to bring in my bags.