The Easiest Eco-Friendly Switch to Make

eco friendly

eco friendly

Reusable shopping and grocery bags are one of the easiest changes to make to impact the planet in a positive way. Plastic bags are ubiquitous when shopping for goods, and people tend to take them for granted. The truth is that plastic bags are taking a heavy toll on the environment. Plastic debris can be found everywhere – on the roadside blowing in the wind, floating in the waters of the oceans, or worse yet – clogging up the digestive tract of helpless animals who mistook a piece of plastic for a food morsel. Sea turtles are especially vulnerable to plastic bags as they mistake the floating bag for a jellyfish, which is part of their natural diet.

In the US alone, an estimated 100 billion plastic bags are used – worldwide this number explodes to nearly 1 trillion. Only 3% of plastic bags are recyclable, and everything else ends up in landfills, and as litter. Plastic is not readily degradable, and it is estimated that they will sit for roughly 1,000 years before decomposing completely, all the while releasing toxic chemicals. Did you know that it takes vast amounts of petroleum (via oil) to produce plastic? About 12 million barrels of oil are used every year in the US alone just to produce plastic bags. Plastic is a serious blight on the beauty and health of our planet, and something must be done.

In a progressive move, San Francisco banned the use of plastic bags in its city in March 2007. This has inspired many cities around the country, and indeed around the world, to enact similar bans. Alaska has had 30 of its villages and towns follow suit. Plastic bag companies are of course reacting, and in many cases, threatening to sue areas that would like to ban them. They already forced Fairfax, a Bay Area city in CA, to abandon its ban. They argue that plastic bags are cheap, and that stores should be offering the consumer a choice – paper, plastic, or reusable bag.

It is so simple and straightforward to make the switch from plastic “disposable” bags to reusable eco-friendly bags. The benefits are substantial – even if you use just one reusable bag a day – that’s eliminating the need for 365 plastic bags in a years’ time! Reusable bags are also, as many users find, more practical – they hold more groceries, and are more comfortable to use, with larger handles (or shoulder straps). They are also often made with recycled or eco-friendly fabrics.

By switching to reusable bags, you are helping to lessen the use and production of plastic bags as well as the associated oil consumption and ecological damage. You can make a world of difference!

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