The re-usable tote bag has become quite a fad these days, but a fad that helps the environment is a win-win situation for everyone. Any "un-plastic" bag can be re-used to carry home groceries and limit the ever polluting plastic bags that we, as consumers, use for grocery shopping.
The two here are quite sleek and not at all frumpy like the older canvas Barnes and Noble ones we had in the 70's (did I just date myself??). There are quite a few out there that have hit the market and have become wildly trendy, such as the "Paper Nor Plastic" bag (below) that has sleek lines and is more sturdy looking than the Anya Hindmarch's bag (shown to the left).
The "I'm Not A Plastic Bag" says, “We are what we do” on the back and is made of polyester and vinyl, it's sturdy, and doesn't create the hassle of storing a bunch of bags in your kitchen pantry (or wherever you stuff them all). The bag was designed by Anya Hindmarch in collaboration with We Are What We Do, a group dedicated to change for the environment, communities and health. It's an interesting organization or "movement" as they call themselves. "I'm Not A Plastic Bag" can be found at the Anya Hindmarch site.
The "Paper Nor Plastic" bag can be found here at papernorplastic.com. They have a section on their website that sheds light on the impact we are having on the planet. I will quote directly:
"According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the United States in 1997 alone used 955,000 tons of paper bags. That means approximately 14.8 million trees had to be cut down.
+ According to the EPA, 11 barrels of oil are saved when one ton of plastic bags are reused or recycled. One ton is equivalent to approximately 132,000 plastic bags. And according to the ELC (Environmental Literacy Council), it is estimated that somewhere between 500 billion to one trillion plastic bags are consumed each year throughout the world. Can you imagine how many barrels of oil can be saved?
+ According to the San Francisco Department of the Environment, San Francisco shoppers consume about 50 million bags each year. An environmental study also shows that the city spends $8.5 million each year to dispose or remove bags from streets
and storm drains.
+ According to the EPA, ELC, The Ocean Conservancy and many other agencies, plastic bags pose a threat to marine life. Sea turtles and whales have mistaken plastic bags for natural prey like jellyfish and squid. Ingesting plastic bags can cause blockage to the digestive tract which leads to starvation. In 2002, a whale washed up the coast of Normandy had 800 grams of plastic elements, including plastic bags, in its stomach."
They are originally $15, but are on sale for $10, and buy three get one free. So if you want one, go get them while they are cheap!
Enough said. I remind myself all the time about everything in life: Baby steps. Baby steps.