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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Paper or Plastic?

Neither! Because...

1. Both use up valuable natural resources for a single-use, disposable product
2. Both have negative impacts on wildlife and pollute our environment
3. Both create significant toxic by-products during their lifecycles
4. Neither is effectively recycled

If you've ever tried to decide which one was better for the environment, look no further. Read this great info from Reusable Bags and switch to cloth today. Someday in the near future, you might just save a lot of money by doing so. Ireland, and many other countries are already implementing taxes on plastic bags...and the U.S. isn't far behind.

I know that a lot of people will argue that they use the plastic bags at home for various purposes (I do this as well right now). Even though it's better than throwing them straight in the trash, it's still better to just avoid them altogether. Honestly, what did people do before we had those annoying bags? I'm going to begin phasing mine out and not get any more.

I have blogged about my cloth bags in the past...and this is your friendly reminder to start using cloth today!


Blogger earthchick said...

In theory, I agree. But I'm also one of those people who uses plastic bags for other things, and so far I haven't been able to come up with a substitute. Specifically, I use them for my cats - one cat uses the box, and when I scoop the box I use leftover plastic bags to collect and toss the nastiness; much cheaper than using a whole kitchen trash bag for such a small job. The other cat will not poop in the box (sorry, tmi) but I discovered she would poop on those puppy training "pee-pee pads." Those got kind of expensive, plus they are also plastic. So I got the idea to try plastic bags and they work like a charm. Maybe I'll try newspaper and see if that works, so I can go back to cloth grocery bags. But what about scooping the litterbox? Am not sure what I would use instead....

What kind of bag do you use for your kitchen trash and household garbage? I think of grocery store plastic bags in the same way as I think of those, because I use them for the same basic purpose.

10/25/2006 6:36 AM  
Blogger skypainter said...

I found your blog through Mothering and I have to say- I love it, I love what you have done and what you have achieved- you are trully inspiring! I visit here often and it inspires me to de-clutter. So thank youxxxxx

10/25/2006 6:40 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

earthchick - I've often wondered how switching to cloth bags would effect my litter box cleaning... I wonder how those flushable litters work... anyone?

This is most definitely a point to ponder...

10/25/2006 6:44 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

We just switched to cloth bags this summer, and I still get weird looks at the grocery store when I say, "I brought my own bag." It usually takes three times of saying it before they STOP putting my stuff in plastic bags and realize what I'm saying. Once, I looked over and the sacker upper guy actually put my cloth bags IN A PLASTIC BAG and set them in my cart! I can't win.

10/25/2006 6:55 AM  
Anonymous Kim in IN said...

We use cloth grocery bags,cloth napkins,etc. I just can't bring myself to use cloth as toilet paper. I do use recycled toilet paper though.

10/25/2006 7:09 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

For garbage bags, I buy biodegradable bags like these:

I know it's still a plastic bag, but at least it's going to breakdown in the landfill (or so they say...who can you believe these days?).

We tried to go without garbage bags and just throw the trash straight into the dumpster. After a few days, it looks like a science experiment gone bad. Oh my...the maggots. Sick. Don't try that.

So, my only other option is to work hard to reduce the AMOUNT of garbage that goes out of my house. It's amazing how much garbage we can produce. Since we've moved, we've been creating 1 small bag of trash a week, which is a huge reduction from when we were in the house. So...we're improving.

10/25/2006 7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the Netherlands, you're charged for a plastic bag at the store if you fail to bring your own bags. If I recall it's not a small amount either.

We love the switch to cloth: the bags don't break, you can fit more in them and they're darn cute!

I saw a listing on Ebay where a person had crocheted a bunch of plastic sacks together to make a reuseable grocery bag and thought that was kinda cool.

10/25/2006 7:37 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Jenny...I think it's great that they charge a fee per bag. There is a link in this post that talks about what a bunch of other countries are doing. Even in San Francisco they are contemplating a 17 cent fee per bag.

I've seen a bunch of "crafty" things done with plastic bags...baskets, etc. I've never seen another bag though. Sounds fun :)

10/25/2006 7:47 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

If one begins composting, the need for plastic trash bags goes WAY down. In fact, I'm amazed that now I only put the trash out once every two weeks (family of four).

10/25/2006 8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

speaking of composting as a way to reduce your waste, here is a great product i read about: the Green Cone. super easy for novices like me - i'm going to get one for the backyard.

you can see it here:

10/25/2006 10:21 AM  

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