Day 4: Reusable Bags: Not Just for the Grocery Store

By now, pretty much every body I know has caught on to using re-usable grocery bags as part of a daily routine.  They all have a small cache of them to bring to the grocery store or to a weekend farmers market.  What's not common practice however, is to use them when they're out shopping at clothing stores, junk shops, the beer store, etc.

Re-usable bags can and should be used in place of plastic bags whenever possible.  Today's easy way to save the planet is to try to make it your practice to carry a small reusable bag with you wherever you go for those impulse buys you weren't expecting like a quick stop at the drugstore or when you just can't resist a sale at Forever21.  

You can buy small EcoBags for just this purpose.

To help understand why it's so important for all of us to lessen our dependance on plastic Inspiration Green laid out these statistics for us:
Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide.
That's over one million plastic bags used per minute.

planetgreen.discovery.com/home-garden/plastic-bag-facts.html

Every year, Americans reportedly throw away 100 billion plastic grocery bags.
www.worldwatch.org/node/5565

The average American family takes home almost 1,500 plastic shopping bags a year...
NRDC www.nrdc.org/media/2008/080109.asp

Americans use and dispose of 100 billion plastic shopping bags each year
and at least 12 million barrels of oil are used per year in the
manufacture of those plastic grocery bags.

The Wall Street Journal

Less than 5 percent of plastic grocery bags are recycled in the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency.
Plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to break down,
so even when an animal dies and decays after ingesting a bag, the plastic re-enters the environment, posing a continuing threat to wildlife.

There is now six times more plastic debris in parts of the North Pacific Ocean
than zooplankton.

And for those times when you simply cannot use a re-usable bag, please please please recycle it or repurpose it. 

To find a recycling center near you go here.

(Did you know you can recycle the plastic that toilet paper comes wrapped in?!  Me either!!)
Or!
Weave them into a rug like Homestead Weaver or make a rainjacket like PenFelt on Etsy.

JUST SAY NO!  to plastic bags.