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Posted Nov 30, 2009 in GREEN Berets | 0 Comments

Fabric Over Plastic

Funky Reusable Bag with an Important Message

Have you ever wondered how you can reduce your carbon footprint? If everyone took a stand and opted for fabric bags instead of those vile plastic bags, we would be doing this earth a major boon. Plastic bags take so much energy to make and only serve a purpose once, maybe twice. After they are taken home, they either take up space under our kitchen sinks or they are banished to the garbage dump, where they are buried in the ground leaking toxic chemicals into our soil. The ones that don’t make it to the landfill are blown into the ocean where they, along with millions more of plastic refuse, have formed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The Pacific Garbage Patch

This gyre is over the size of Texas (yes, you read right), located between California and Japan, and is man-made. This is all our doing. As you may have already guessed, plastic isn’t so healthy for the oceans either. Because plastic doesn’t biodegrade, it is eroded by the water into a sort of plastic soup or pellets. These bits of plastic are mistaken for food by sea animals and birds; they clog their intestines and eventually kill them off in large numbers.

A Seabird Found with Plastic in his Stomach

So here’s what you can do to help:

  • Ditch the plastic bags in favor of reusable cloth bags. They’re much more durable and they can carry a lot more. If you get a Chicobag, or one just like them  (usually sold at Whole Foods or health stores), they’re compact so you can fit them in your pocket, purse, or briefcase. They’re also made of recycled materials. For your smaller purchases, why not carry them in your purse or pocket, or suck it up and just carry it?
  • For the times you forget your bag, make sure to recycle it back at your grocery retailer. And also ask your cashier whether the bags they offer are biodegradable. They might report your question to their manager and if enough people ask, they’ll make the switch.
  • For your garbage bag needs, opt for biodegradable or compostable bags. They’re just as handy, only they are able to fully break down; usually in 3-6 months.
  • Quit drinking bottled water. This is Canada and our water is some of the best in the world. Those bottle caps are what sea birds mistakenly eat the most.

Chicobags one in Every Colour

Here’s some links that offer more information and eco-friendly products:

Great Garbage Patch

Reusable Bags

CBC

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