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.