30 December 2010

Just Say NO To Plastic Bags

Our world consumes 500 BILLION plastic bags per year, that is about 1 million per minute. This number is absurb. That's over 60 million barrels of oil just to make plastic shopping bags. There is an estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic in each square mile of ocean. Approximately 1% of plastic bags ever gets recycled or reused.

Plastic bags cause over 100,000 sea turtle and other marine animal deaths every year when animals mistake them for food. I'm not even going to say the number of human children who die from plastic bags a year, but I will say that it is even more than car crashes deaths.

Approximately 500 nautical miles off the California coast sits a growing "plastic island," a gargantuan patch of floating plastic trash held together by currents stretching across the northern Pacific almost as far as Japan. This "plastic island" is made up of about 7 billion pounds of plastic garbage, and measures about twice the size of Texas. This is what is in our ocean.

These numbers are ridiculous but there is a solution to this. One of my "green goals" for 2011 is to not use any plastic bags from the grocery store, which means I am buying some sturdy reusable bags to take with me every time I go to the store. By doing this I will be saving over a thousand plastic bags from ending up in the ocean. Here are my alternative ideas to using plastic bags.

1. Buy reusable bags. This is simple but makes a huge difference for the world. I plan on buying some extra sturdy ones that can hold a lot of weight because when I go to the store I tend to buy a lot of items at once.
Here's a picture of the bags I am buying to fulfill my "green goal"
You can buy nice totes like these from ReUseIt.com
These EarthTote Shopping Bags have a life-time guarantee, 
which is great because I plan on using them the rest of my life.

2. Use paper bags instead of plastic. Paper bags are actually recyclable. Plus you can always do fun crafts with your paper bags. This website has TONS of awesome crafts you can do for every holiday or party with your paper bags. If you MUST use plastic bags at the grocery PLEASE return them to the store itself. That is the ONLY way the bag will get reused. Throwing a plastic bag in the recycling container at home or work will only get your bag to the dump or worse, the ocean.

3. Another way to use less plastic is to use reusable containers for leftovers and for sack lunches.
These Fit & Fresh containers are insulated so they keep your food fresher, longer.
These Wrap N Mat ReUsable Sandwich wraps are easy to clean, and BPA, phthalate and lead free.
They are perfect for work or school lunches. Check out this video to learn more about them.

4. Stop using water bottles. Use reusable bottles like these ones. You save tons of money and save the landfills from having so many piles of empty plastic water bottles.

Here is short movie about the life of a plastic bag. Enjoy.

Pledge here to say NO to plastic bag usage. I hope you all have a plastic bag free 2011.
Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama


  1. check out the green bag lady!!!! http://greenbaglady.blogspot.com/
    she is leading the charge in promoting reuseable shopping bags. she has a very simple pattern on her site, and is always hosting giveaways and handing out free reusable bags. she has a whole team of bagettes and is always posting awesome info about the problem of plastic bags... just wanted to add that as a resource! great post kimra.

  2. awesome blog. thanx for posting mb.

  3. It's not always easy to be green, but this a great post on some great alternatives to plastic bags.

    I especially like the reusable sandwich wraps!(just make sure the kids don't throw them away)