How do you bag it? | Whole Green Love

24 Nov

Bags. Who couldn’t live without them? Think about how many times you use them in a day…tote bags, snack bags, pencil bags, grocery bags, make-up bags, lunch bags, etc etc. I could go on all day with the variety of bags we potentially use. The bags I am most concerned about though are plastic or the disposable kinds. These are the ones that are most advertised and the most used. Between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide each year! Dang! It’s scary to think about the impact these pose to our health and the environment.

When manufacturers make these bad boys not only are carbon emissions being released into our lovely fresh air, but 60-100 million barrels of oil are required to make them yearly! No wonder my jaw drops every time I go to the gas station! Something else to consider are our landfills.  It can take plastic bags over 400 years to biodegrade. Holy moly!  I’d try this experiment myself, but I wouldn’t be around long enough to see the result… that’s for sure. I don’t know if you have ever walked around a landfill, but I’ll share a secret with you.  All those bags don’t make it into the ground of the landfill. It can look like a “ghostfill” with white bags blowing around. Sadly, these bags get “lost” in the environment and cause death or harm to natures beautiful creatures. For instance, over 100,000 sea turtles and other marine life die every year due to plastic bags being mistaken for food. I don’t want to have to think about all the little lives I could potentially be affecting with my plastic habit.

Some of the chemicals and components of plastics and plastic bags include: Styrene, polystyrene, plasticisers from PVC, acetaldehyde from PET, and diethylhexyl phthalate.  Not only are the workers of these plastic companies repeatedly exposed to these chemicals while the products are being made, but consumers are also exposed to these chemicals by having contact with the plastics. I think of plastic baggies that are used in lunches and for snacks. They are nice and convenient, but the plastic has such close contact with the food that some of the chemicals can actually leach into the food. These chemicals can be carcinogenic causing cancer, endocrine disruption, birth defects, immune system suppression, and developmental problems in children. Now why are we making these products again?

So what can we do as consumers? It’s inevitable that we will use plastic bags. I can vouch for getting to the grocery store and remembering as I am walking in, “shoot, I left my reusable bags at home”. We can though make a conscious effort to bring and use eco-friendly bags whenever possible.  If we keep it on our radar, we will be more apt to remember and make habit of using our reusable bags. Not only do they have great options on the market now for cute reusable bags, but they come in all different shapes, colors, and sizes. Some of these reusable items were even made from recycled plastic water bottles or plastic bags themselves! Pretty sweet huh?!

Here are a few of my top reusable bags:

-Snacktaxi: These reusable snack bags are perfect for your midday snacks. Not only can you feel good about having a reusable bag, but they are adorable as well. I purchased mine from Nubius Organics

-Wrap-N-Mat: This mat is a great alternative to a sandwich bag, because it wraps around the sandwich snuggly you don’t have to worry about your sandwich sloshing around in a bag. You can also wrap little snacks up in this as well. This was another delightful purchase from Nubius Organics

-Produce Bag: these little net bags are PERFECT for getting your produce from the grocery store. Instead of using all the plastic bags to put your apples and such in, you can reuse these nifty net bags. I found these at Crate & Barrel. They come in a pack of 5 bags.

-Built Lunch Bag: This lunch bag is awesome! Not only is it durable, but it is so easy to wash. It’s the perfect size for lunch and a few snacks during the day. It is available in soo many fun colors and pattern combos…your choices are endless!

All of these bags are washable. I like to do mine by hand, so it is nice and gentle on the fabrics. They have held up so well and make you feel good about your bag decisions. Lets face it, we can’t always use something that is reusable, but if we make a conscious effort to try, Mother Nature and our bodies will be thankful each and every time we chose this friendlier option. Challenge yourself to using something reusable everyday and see how it makes you feel.

Any reusable bag favorites you’d love to share?

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