Monday, June 30, 2014

A Year of Kindness - Challenge Week 26

Thanks to everyone who chimed in about conserving our energy and water resources! I have to agree with everyone who said that public transportation isn't a good choice for them. Seems like the only place where it is more affordable and well-scheduled are major metropolitan areas like Washington D.C.  Sarah is able to get just about anywhere on the metro and avoids the hassles of trying to find (and pay for) parking. Where I live public transportation isn't even available! No buses at all. And to get a train into Philadelphia is a twenty minute DRIVE to the station! So I feel you there. Here in rural suburbia there is very little that is in walking distance, so I have to be nice to the environment in other ways - I usually try scheduling my errands so that I run them all in one trip, making several stops, instead of going out in the car each day for just one thing.

For our final week of being Kind to Mother Earth, the challenge is to USE REUSABLE BAGS.  Turn down plastic bags whenever possible by keeping reusable cloth bags in your car for grocery shopping and department stores. If you find yourself in the position of having to accept a plastic bag, DON'T add it to your trash. Use them as trash can liners, recycle them, upcycle them. Check here and here for ideas from Pinterest on how to reuse/upcycle your plastic bags.

Plastic bags are a major problem in our global environment. Plastic bags:
  • take hundreds of years to decompose
  • while decomposing, release deadly toxins into our soil, lakes, rivers, and oceans
  • choke and strangle wildlife - Hundreds of thousands of whales, dolphins, sea turtles and other marine mammals die every year after eating discarded plastic bags they mistake for food.
  • require millions of gallons of petroleum to manufacture
  • cause significant CO2 emissions during manufacture
  • rarely get recycled - nearly 97% of them end up in land and ocean fills
  • account for 10% of the debris washed up on the U.S. Coastline.
Paper bags are NOT a viable alternative. They cost more to produce and unless made from recycled materials, cause more deforestation. The viable alternative is REUSABLE BAGS.  Click here for a quick slide show with more information and statistics on the dangers of plastic bags.

This is where I am supposed to be posting a photo of the reusable canvas bags I'm creating. Alas, June's major work issues and vacation have me a bit behind schedule. The fabric paints have been ordered, but haven't arrived yet. So watch this space in a future week for a great canvas bag give-away!


Anonymous said...

Another good challenge Cheri. I tend to use bags for life bags when I go shopping and am certainly going to have a look at your upcycling bag ideas.

Barbara Eads said...

We don't have very good public transportation here either. If I wanted to ride the bus somewhere, I'd have to drive 15 minutes to catch it. We don't even have trains. Like you, I schedule all of my errands on the same day---usually my bridge day when I'm going to be out anyway.

This week's challenge is easy for me as I use the cloth bags already. I hate plastic grocery sacks!!

Karen said...

I've been using reusable cloth bags for grocery shopping for quite a few years now. I have a lightweight bag that folds up to almost nothing for other shopping, but unless I have a lot, I skip the bags altogether.

Maria Ontiveros said...

Plastic bags are banned in all the counties near where I live, so they aren't even an option. Stores can sell you a paper bag for ten cents a pop if you need them. We use cloth reusable bags 95% of the time I would say. We each have a huge assortment in our car trunks. Once you get in the habit, it's very easy. And in Europe it's really the only thing that people use.

debs14 said...

Over here we have 'bags for Life' which are heavy duty plastic bags that are sturdy enough to use over and over again. They're big too, I can get a whole weeks worth of groceries into 3 of them! If I'm popping into town, I try to remember to put either a cloth bag or a string bag in my handbag, but if I forget and have to use a plastic one, I always recycle it at home.

Sian said...

It's canvas bags here as there is a 5p charge for plastic bags. I used to use all my plastic bags for rubbish and now I have to buy bin liners instead so it's costing me more any way now since they brought the tax in.

scrappyjacky said...

Like Deb....I use the 'bags for life' for food shopping [they cost 10p]and if they ever start to break the shop replaces them free of charge.....and I have a lovely Cath Kidston bag that DD2 gave me that I take on any shopping trips into town.
My friend used plastic bags to crochet herself a large bag....and 3 years later it is still going if only I could crochet!

Melissa said...

I've got this one covered! I have canvas bags in the car & use those the majority of the time when I'm out shopping. If I just buy one or two items and didn't remember to carry a bag in the store with me, I'll just say that I don't need a bag & put them in one of my reusable bags when I get back to the car.

And I always use any plastic bags we do bring home as trash can liners.

I have bags that I've received free from retailers or that were given out at events I've attended, plus we've purchased a few. (Just picked up a totally cute bag covered with Minions to add to the ones in Robbie's car!)