Monday, June 15, 2009

Canvas Bags Is the Only Answer to Paper or Plastic

Clouds and fog beginning to lift. I think I see sun.

Canvas Bags by Tim Minchin is one of those You Tubes that will bring a smile to your face. Sometimes I think we're finally catching on about bringing canvas bags when we go shopping. And then other times, at the check out counter, when all 22 lanes are loaded with loaded plastic bags, I get a sick feeling in my stomach. We clearly still have a long ways to go. Collective ugh.

So despite knowing that the Pacific garbage patch continues to grow beyond the size if India, that only 1% of plastic bags are recycled (I don't even want to gander what happens to the other 99%) and 500 billion (that's with a "b") are used per year, there is hope based on the enthusiasm and passion behind this video.

So enjoy, giggle and ...pass it on.


John Cecil said...

I did (finally) pick up 8 reusable grocery bags yesterday. Six are made from recycled plastic and only cost $1 from one of our local health food stores. The other two are nylon and fold up into a pouch about the size of an egg so I can keep them handy in my bag. I was excited but no one really cared on Facebook? The canvas bags cost $4. Sorry, but the cost issue needs to be addressed. Too many people want to make a higher than normal profit on green or healthy products. Shouldn't all the stores offer reusable bags for 1$?

Anyway, perhaps you could post a new article on affordable alternatives to plastic trash bags?

Real Green Girl Activist said...

Well, that's a good point. There are a couple of things going in here. My guess is those $1. reusable nylon bags are made in China. I have never seen a nylon reusable bag Made in the USA that cost that low.(the company might be US but actually made overseas) So we know why the cost is so much lower and that gets back to labor issues. Nylon comes from oil and we know that industry is heavily subsidized, given tax breaks, etc. All this effecting he final cost. So I would venture to say that the canvas bag people are not making the profit as much as the nylon, questionable labor bags. I think we need to pay the "real price" for products and I am not sure $1. bags made with probably sweatshop labor is a sustainable option.
Just my humble opinion, thanks for commenting and reading Real Green Girl. AND, for getting reusable bags. (now comes the hard part - remembering them!)

John Cecil said...

Hi Real Green Girl. I'm glad I found your blog and am enjoying reading it. The six $1 ones are recycled plastic. I think EarthFare may have marked them down because these are so ugly and I'm sure they are made in China. The other two that stash in a egg size pouch were nylon and cost $5. That is a good point that we should pay for the real cost. Get this, they are "designed in USA and made responsibly in China." I may return all 8 for 4 canvas ones tomorrow. I think I'll do that. I'll keep them in my car because I usually get groceries when I'm already out, and I'm sure I won't forget them.

It's frustrating because so many things aren't green, but I'm really enjoying making progress where I can. I'm also going to try not to buy things in plastic packaging, buy more organic, and foods in bulk.

I think a big turn off for me is one of our local heath food stores, Earthfare, has so many freezers in the store. It used to be a lot more friendly until they expanded and added all these freezers filling up half the store. I used to buy more bulk stuff from there but it's not as green or healthy as it used to be and they are always out of stock of the things I buy, so then I'm wasting fuel to go there because someone else doesn't really care that much about what they are doing.

Anyway, it's still progress and feels good. There are some new people there who really care so I'll try and get more involved or find another place. I may even start to order on line?

Real Green Girl Activist said...

Can we make a poster of you? :)
Keep up the great work and thanks for your kind words.

John Cecil said...

Ok, I got the canvas and love them! They are a bit heavier but a much better color. I've also kept two nylon ones. I'm not convinced nylon's environmental impact outweighs the benefits it offers. For example, life jackets are made from nylon and foam, but that's a hard case to make to not have them. Bathing suits as well as dry suits, rain coats, and back packs all last a long time and may not have that bad an impact? Even synthetic clothes may last a lot longer and have a lower carbon footprint? Perhaps the real problem is the cars we drive, how we heat our homes, and disposable plastics that aren't recycled? But I think it's great you are taking a stand against BPA, plastic trash that all ends up in the ocean being eaten by marine creatures, etc, as well as "green washing". I like my canvas bags, but still think recycled nylon bags offered for a $1 would be a huge improvement over the plastic grocery bags. I noticed today that the health food store is now displaying the $1 reusable bags at each check out station, and that's a lot less plastic bags flying out of car windows and into the ocean!