Aug 17, 2014

Paper or Plastic? 3 GOOD Reasons to use Re-Usable Bags

 This morning I went grocery shopping and as usual I carried along my pile of reusable shopping bags.  {I have been using reusable shopping bags for my weekly grocery shopping for more than nine years.}   To read more about my tree-hugging ways and why I believe in climate change you can read this archived post.

Back to this morning.  As the checker painstakingly prepared each of my bags to receive food on her little bag turnstile, she rolled her eyes and asked me frankly "I've been noticing a lot of people seem to dislike plastic bags, I wonder what the big deal is?"  I smiled at her and said "Oh, I am sure there are a lot of really good reasons."  She looked genuinely confused, "A LOT?  Why do YOU use these re-usable bags?"  So I told her.  And I'm telling you.
 
1. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Did you know that there are several large patches of plastic waste floating in the oceans of the world? By large, I mean the size of the state of Texas.  The generally held belief is that if we were to stop using so many plastic bags and just throwing them in our dumps, the large island of trash (also known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch) might start to shrink, and may even eventually disappear.   Why should we care about this?  Because it is beginning to impact our environment in a serious way.  To read more about it, you can check out this post from the National Geographic website.

2. Less trash, less guilt, JUST LESS.
Without hundreds of plastic bags taking up space in my garage (before I went to re-usable bags I saved my plastic bags to be "re-used"), I have more space to store the stuff I want to keep.  Honestly, I have never needed a plastic bag and been unable to find one, there are enough plastic bags that come home from trips to other stores, or those times I don't remember my bags, I STILL have never run out.

I have also cut down on the amount of guilt I feel for not being a better steward of the Earth.  Every time I throw away a plastic bottle or a dirty plastic bag I felt awful, like I WAS A PART OF THE PROBLEM AND NOT PART OF THE SOLUTION.  I need to "be the change I want to see in the world."  Now, my kids embarrass me regularly by asking the parents of friends if they are "planning on recycling that" when they see adults throwing recyclables in the trash.  {Though my pride might be stronger than my embarrassment}.

3. Living "Green" is important.
It shouldn't just be important to organic eating, composting, farmers market visiting, natural cleaner using people.  Especially if you consider yourself a Christian.  The Earth needs our help.  We are meant to be stewards of our natural resources, of our environment, of our planet.  Living your life in a "green" way doesn't make you a "hippy", it makes you a responsible citizen.   If remembering to bring re-usable bags to the grocery store decreases my carbon footprint or helps in even a small way, I am HAPPY to help!!

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