May 31, 2011

Green Endeavor ~ Reducing Plastic Use

To start off my green endeavor series I'm going to try to reduce the amount of single-use plastics I bring into our home.  You know, those plastics that we use once and toss into the trash; shopping bags, take out containers, packaging, Ziploc bags, etc. Lets face it, plastic is made from petroleum and/or natural gas and other harmful chemicals that are harmful to both us and the environment.  Not to mention their long life in our landfills (can take some 1,000 years to decompose) and pollution to our waterways that cause harm to wildlife.  However, this is certainly a challenge since we have become consumers of convenience and plastic makes it possible. 

Single use plastics are all around us and are items we have a choice not to use.  From plastic grocery bags to take-out containers we have the power of choice not to accept these items. The easiest, and less cumbersome start is to avoid plastic shopping bags.  Did you know that approximately 1,000,000,000 (yes, that is 1 trillion) plastic bags are used a year around the world.  Translating to 1,000,000 bags per minute or 150 bags per person per year.  Talk about a staggering amount of plastic bags polluting and littering our environment.  Not to mention that their toxic nature only continues as they start to break down and leach into the soil. 

Sorry, couldn't help but add this video.

I know it has been a growing trend to take reusable bags to the grocery store to carry home your food goods, but it is a trend I'm embarrassed to say I haven't jump on, yet.  And not forgetting that the grocery store isn't the only place to take your reusable bag; its time to show off your eco-chic self to your favorite clothing store, fabric store or any storefront that provides a bag.  This is my declaration and promise to both myself and you that I will stop bringing home these toxic convenience items.  I'm ready for the challenge and do my part in decreasing the amount of plastic that fills our landfills and waterways.  Don't forget that paper bags are not a replacement to the plastic bag as they require natural resources to produce and often more energy to produce. 

As a way to make it more convenient for us, a crafty community, to come together and reduce the amount of plastic single use bags in our environment, I have compiled a list of DIY bags.  Making your own bags allow them to be personal to you and reduce some concerns with the store-brand reusable bags.  Also, this reduces the embarrassment of taking a Publix brand bag into Whole Foods!  Don't forget, these aren't just for groceries, take them anywhere you shop to prevent bringing home plastic bags. 

There are so many patterns and ideas out there for you to make your own bags, but this list is some of my personal favorites I've come across. 

Produce bag from Delia Creates
Ruffled reusable grocery bag by Sawdust and Paper Scraps
Fold Away and Zip away totes by Crafty Ady
Insulated Tote by Sew4Home
Oilcloth tote by The Purl Bee
Mesh produce bag by My Happy Crazy Life
Recycled grocery tote by Made
Fold Up tote by Zaaberry
Reusable snack bag by The Pomegranate Chronicles
Snack bag by Puking Pastilles (now Georgia Leigh)

(Sorry for the lack of pictures, Blogger is just not enjoying this post!)

If you have a favorite DIY shopping bag idea please leave a comment sharing it or email me. I hope you join me in my endeavor to reduce the amount of plastic consumed for the sake of convenience. 

If you are already using your own shopping bags, THANK YOU! Now lets start the next task of taking your own containers to restaurants to reduce the use of single-use plastic containers or find alternatives to using plastic garbage bags.  For other ideas please visit Plastic Free Living for a long list of ideas to reduce your dependence on plastic. 

For those days when you don't remember your cloth bags please remember to recycle or reuse the plastic bags. 

Fused plastic bags ideas by Craft

A documentary trailer for Bag It on the impact of plastic bags.

I hope you join me in reducing your single-use plastic consumption.  Now off to make my reusable shopping bags!  I'll post pictures of mine shortly.

1 comment:

  1. The music video parody is so cool! Personally, it moved me through the combination of music and the fact that we should practice other ways of using plastic. Reusable bags are, indeed, effective alternatives to plastic..


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