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Say No to Paper or Plastic With Reusable Bags

Why should reusable bags become part of your life? Have you ever been out walking and looked up into a tree graced with a plastic bag decoration? Have you ever been driving and have a plastic bag fly up and hit your windshield? Maybe you've seen the lovely plastics floating around in your favorite body of water. Plastic bags and plastic packaging in general are now heavily dotting the earth's landscape.

Like most people I'll bet you have a drawer or cupboard full of plastic bags that you get from the stores you frequent. It's really great that they're free, but they can really become a nuisance in so many ways. Before we started turning down the plastic, the house was overrun with them.

Sure they come in handy for things like trash can liners, scooping litter and general reuse, but let's face it, you only need so many plastic bags.

Here are a few facts about plastic bags:

- The EPA says that over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are consumed in the U.S. each year.

- Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales, dolphins and other marine mammals die every year from eating plastic bags that they thought were food.

- Plastic bags do not biodegrade. They break down into smaller toxic pieces that contaminate soil and water and enter the food web to be accidentally ingested by animals.

- Plastic bags are one of the 12 items of debris most found in coastal cleanups.

- Single use plastic bags could accumulate and persist on this planet for up to 1,000 years.

- Four our of Five grocery bags are plastic.

- The average family accumulates up to 60 plastic bags in just 4 trips to the store.

- Each cloth bag you use has the potential to eliminate up to 1,000 plastic bags in its lifetime.Some stores are now even offering a credit if you bring your own bags.

- Plastic bags are very costly to recycle.

- It's estimated that plastic bags account for the loss of over 14 million trees and the use of over 12 million barrels of oil.

Don't you think it's time you switched?

Here are some things you can do to help reduce the number of plastic bags (and paper bags) that areconsumed.

1. Switch to reusable bags.

2. Turn down a bag at the store if you don't need one.

3. Ask the bagger to put more in each bag if possible.

4. Reuse your bags for trash can liners and other purposeful tasks.

5. Don't put your produce in a plastic bag if it's not necessary.

6. Try to get stores to offer credit if you bring your own bags.

7. Spread the word. Urge others to turn down plastic.

8. Keep track of how many bags you actually accumulate.

Where Can you Get Reusable Bags?

There are so many different outlets for reusable bags. You could always make your own if you're crafty. We use these handy little Chico Bags because you can carry them over your shoulder, they hold up to 40 pounds and fold up into their own little pouch that can easily be clipped to your belt or carried in a purse or pocket. We also have a few very large high quality cloth bags.

Check out Reusablebags.com for some other great bags and some fantastic tips and information.

Just think, if you decide to use reusable bags you can be part of the solution!

Return from Reusable Bags to Green Living

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