A Day Without Plastic Bags

Can you do it? I don't think it should be that hard. Hopefully by now you have a stockpile of reusable bags you leave by your door, in your car, balled up in your purse …

Today Surfrider is asking that we go one day without plastic bags. Come on girls, let's do it!

There is a statistic that says there are over 1 million plastic bags used a minute! Not a day, not half a day, not every 8 hours, or every hour even. Every single MINUTO of EVERY freakin day. One million plastic bags a minute. Really, it's obnoxious if you think about it. In order to make an attempt at wrapping your head around the astronomical numbers of the current state of our sad and ridiculous disposability problem, check out the artwork of Chris Jordan. Go to the TED website to find his illuminating lecture or simply watch the video below.

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Photo by: reya
I was recently in Boston with my boyfriend, Ken, for one of his/their (The Crystal Method) shows. Ken and I had gone out a day early to play tourist. We stayed at a Kimpton hotel called Nine Zero. Directly across the street lay the burial grounds for many of our old school patriots; Ben Franklin and Paul Revere to name a couple. We went to visit of course, although, we would have paid the famous cemetery a visit even if we weren't staying across the street. One of the first things I noticed however were the many plastic bags swirling around the grounds. I felt sad. I wondered why with all the students that must patronize the property no one would feel inspired to pick these bags up. As I was having this thought, I took notice of a squirrel that I had had some limited awareness of out of the corner of my eye who had been stuffing his mouth with leaves; he then ran into my direct view.  He had done that galloping, bouncing, arching thing squirrels do when they run. It had stopped at a plastic bag and started stuffing it into his mouth. Perhaps the squirrel thought it landed a big score — the biggest leaf he ever saw.


Or maybe, the squirrel was used to eating plastic bags. It all happened so fast –if it were not horrifying it would be amazing at the speed that squirrel stuffed the bag into his mouth. What could one do but bear witness? I would have nothing on that squirrel had I tried to snatch it from him, those kids run fast. I am also fairly sure reasoning with the squirrel would have gotten me not far from nowhere. Animals eating our trash … how can we possibly sleep at night knowing our convenient lifestyles kill so many things in this world –people, animals, children?

Yesterday I received my "Soup" from Surfrider, which is their weekly newsletter on what's a happening in the world in regards to water issues, pollution, their events and non-profit, and of course surfing. One of the articles was about an Australian crocodile that had died due to ingesting too many plastic bags.

How do we overcome our bad plastic habit?
 

1) Buy a reusable bag if you don't have one and if you do, buy one more (place it somewhere it may help you in case you forget or tend to forget your other one)

2) Instead of using the plastic bags for produce, you can also buy bio-mesh bags such as a "byo-bag" from coolhats.biz, a green living store such as Green and Greener, or a fish net-ish one from Whole Foods

3) Join Surfrider on today in their campaign against plastic. They, as well as the Heal the Bay group, will be handing out free reusable bags at the Country Mart in Malibu from 10am till 1pm. At 3:45 they march with the high school students of Santa Monica high to city hall to voice their stance on the absurdity of single use plastic bags.

4) Taking the Chico Bag Pledge of Love. Pledge of love. Because I share the vision of a society that cherishes Earth's precious natural resources, I pledge to eliminate the unnecessary use of sing use plastic and paper bags. From this day forward, I will consistently use and promote the use of reusable bags whenever possible and in doing so will influence others to do the same.

If you must take a plastic bag or you forget, out of bag habits (it happens) …please recycle them! If your city does not recycle plastic bags, most Whole Foods do. Sometimes we can even get a few uses out of plastic bags we end up with by washing them by hand and drying them out. You can hang them on say a faucet or buy a contraption meant for such a purpose at again, a green living store.

Another word … my favorite reusable bags right now are Chico Bags as they fold up into a ball the size of your hand and therefore can fit into your purse or on your keychain. Chico bags are made out of nylon, however, which does not break down. Hopefully you evolve out of tiring of material things quickly –if you do find yourself wanting to get rid of a nylon reusable bag, please send it to Chico Bag as they have a recycling program where they turn their old bags into rugs!

So as the holidays are here … happy shopping –just do it right :)

Learn more about Janine at Green Wave Enterprises
 

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