Thursday, May 8, 2008

Paper or plastic??

In the passed couple of months, I have seen the same news video 3 or 4 times. It sums up the paper vs. plastic debate pretty well. Paper while seeming to be the better choice uses more resources to make and ship, and takes up more room in the landfill. While plastic takes up to 1000 years to decompose, it takes less resources to make and ship and it is 100% recyclable, if one bothers to recycle them.  I would share the story with you, if i could find it. The story ends with a golly gee sort of "it looks like neither one is better, you have to decide for yourself" And that ending really ticked me off.

Since December, I have begun to amass alternatives, a few canvas bags and plenty of reusables. What ever was at the check out for $1. It started with a trip to the grocery store with out my car (you may remember the sad tail of the broken car for almost a month) I hitched a ride to the store from the kid's school, and I figured the walk back with a gallon of milk would be no big deal. After sitting in the cafe and sipping coffee and solving sudoku for a couple hours, I commenced my shopping. Besides the gallon of milk I decided I might as well pick up a few other items, a couple cans of soup, 5 lbs of carrots, and various assorted other things piled into my cart, until I thought i was really nearing what I could carry. At this point I went back to produce and picked up a $4 canvas bag that I had eyed on numerous previous visits, but had not spent the money on. I think that bag was about 25 lbs sans milk when I left the store, to walk the 1/2 mile back to school.

 That was all it took, however, to get me into using reusable bags. One canvas bag that I bought in kind of desperation.  I had been using that bag for a couple months, plus I had added quite a few of the dollar bags to my collection when I first saw that news story, and I sat on the couch waiting for them to say buy reusable bags, but they never did, I was shocked, and quite annoyed. I still am.

At any rate, while looking for that news story I stumbled upon this interactive bit HERE

And I figure I should share the link to my favorite non-canvas bags bringyourbag.

And my best tip for reusing your reusable bags? Empty them right away and put them back in the car. And if you can afford it get a few extras so you can forget one or two at home and still have some in the car.

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  1. We remembered our bags tonight! It felt funny taking in bags from Whole Foods to Trader Joes, but the cashier was so thankful that I bagged the groceries I doubt she noticed. I think she gave us the ice cream for free. ;)We got the Whole Foods bag for free at an Earth Day event. They are really great because they have bottoms.

  2. I like the bottoms, so far most my reusables have a bottom. one target bag doesn't, its the one that zippers into the size of a wallet and fits in my purse.. it definately gets used the most, and everywhere walgreens, walmart, Jo-anns.I saw pics of Trader Joe's bags online they looked quite cute. I miss having my sister living in the chicago area, she was my supplier for Trader Joe's candied ginger root.. (and caribou coffee). I keep holding out hope they will start selling it online..

  3. We use reusable bags all the time too. Our local grocery store sells them for around ¢99 too. I have to admit though... we still occasionally get plastic bags to use as garbage bags.

  4. I bought another one today... it's blue and it says "I'm a green bag" on the side.. I could not resist.. Every once in awhile I get a coffee from someplace besides home.. and I wonder about the cup.. .. not to mention we use a few paper plates, and now thinking about the amount of energy to make paper goods its like hmmm... But them again water has to be heated and in our case the more water we use the more electricity we use running the well pump, plus I'm washing all the soap out into the septic field... It is quite dizzying all things considered to think about all the little things.. today I ran into target to get a gift for a friend and I walked in the regular down powered open by my own arm and just as I began to wonder how much power if any it really saved not to use the auto door, that door was triggered open anyway by me.I was just thinking about our garbage bags yesterday, so are BioBags kitchen garbage size? I just feeling all guilty about the trash bags.... We dont compost per se but I throw food waste out into the corner of the pasture so it doesn't stink up the kitchen. so I guess its returned to the land from whence it came. I should start an actual heap, since we have chickens. I hear chicken poop is fantastic to add to the compost.I could add horse poop too...