Earth Day 2011 is a great time to step back and finally stop using those plastic bags you know are so harmful to our environment. Convenience is no longer a reason to justify using a product that essentially lives forever, never biodegrading.
Plastic manufacturers estimate that the average person in this country uses 500 plastic grocery bags per year! This is a stunning number to say the least considering the amount of time each bag is used to carry something.
Now that you’ve made the decision to stop using plastic bags you will need to determine how many reusable bags are right for your family. A minimum of 4 or 5 reusable bags per household vehicle is a good starting point.
Most grocery, drug, and big box stores sell them for 99 cents apiece, a small investment that brings exceptional benefits for the environment.
Consider a small foldable reusable bag to take with you in your purse. It will come in handy for quick trips to the store.
The hardest part of switching from plastic to reusable bags is remembering to bring your bags when you shop! It may take several weeks for you in integrate this new habit into your shopping routine and life style.
Purchasing a Bagnesia steering wheel wrap to trigger your memory to bring those bags with you before you shop will make the switch infinitely easier. Don’t get discouraged and don’t give up. We all forget.
Here’s a great tip. Make sure you put your reusable bags back in your car as soon as your groceries are put away. Trust me, the likelihood you will remember to take your bags with you (the ones you left in the kitchen on a table or on a chair), is remote.
Once you start using reusable bags you will find yourself wanting to do more. You will need to establish new routine for handling all that plastic you bring home with you from the grocery store. All those plastic bottles, egg cartons, plastic wrap from food stuffs, packaging surrounding batteries and other hard goods need to be collected and recycled.
I keep a separate bin for collecting the plastic trash that comes into my home every time I shop. I have a plan in place for recycling the plastic trash and keeping it separate from the trash collected by the city.
The last part of your new program concerns recycling all that plastic trash you and your family will collect every week. If your city or town has a separate collection program for plastic in all its forms, great. If not, consideration will have to be given to bringing back the plastic for collection at a recycling point.
Publix has plastic collection bins in front of their stores, but only for certain kinds of plastic. Harry’s (Whole Foods) has the best plastic collection program allowing for all types of plastics including plastic bottles.