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Stop Plastic Pollution - Replacing Shopping Bags - Use Cloth Instead

Updated on April 16, 2016
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She's a woman on a mission. Audrey Hunt donates her time to recycling projects in her community. If you litter- best keep out of her way!

Help Save Marine Life - Use Canvas Bags

Sea Turtle eating plastic, thinks it's a jellyfish
Sea Turtle eating plastic, thinks it's a jellyfish
No more plastic bags
No more plastic bags | Source

...And Man Created The Plastic Bag

"And Man created the plastic bag and the tin and aluminum can and the cellophane wrapper and the paper plate, and this was good because Man could then take his automobile and buy all his food in one place and He could save that which was good to eat in the refrigerator and throw away that which had no further use.

And soon the earth was covered with plastic bags and aluminum cans and paper plates and disposable bottles and there was nowhere to sit down or walk, and Man shook his head and cried: Look at this Godawful mess" ~ Arch Butchwald 1970

Plastic Bags Kill - Use Canvas Bags

Every day grocery stores and other businesses use over a billion plastic bags. These bags do not bio degrade, they photo degrade (breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits) contaminating the soil and waterways. This kills animals when they are ingested.

Using Canvas Tote Bags to Stop Plastic Pollution is the responsibility of each one of us. We must be an example to our children and we must teach them about pollution beginning at a young age.

Plastic bags kill hundreds of thousands of whales, sea turtles and other marine mammals each year. Bags that are discarded end up being eaten as they are mistaken for food by marine mammals as well as land animals.

By using canvas bags instead of plastic, we can make a positive impact on the environment. We can help save our planet by shopping with Canvas bags instead of plastic.

Sad Video

Three Ways to Collect Earth-Safe Tote Bags

Reusable bags come in every size, shape, material, and color imaginable. Some compress down into an easy size to carry in your purse. Many may be used for gift bags as well as to shop with.

  1. Tote bags are inexpensive and can be found at most thrift stores for under a dollar. There are also several online retailers that specialize in environmentally friendly shopping bags. Most super markets carry them and some chain stores even give you a small discount at the check out counter if you use their brand of bags.
  1. Shop your local garage sales for tote bags, canvas bags, gift bags, nylon bags, carrier bags and even promotional bags. Almost any eco friendly bag can be turned into a reusable bag for shopping.
  1. Check your closet for any type of “handle bag” that could be used for shopping. You can also make your own tote bag from grain sacks.

Be sure you tell the cashier that you've brought your own reusable bag before they begin to ring up your items. Be sure to wash your recycled bags every now and then, using cold water to save on your monthly utility bill.

You may also want to join an environmental program and do your part to help correct environment pollution. Teach your children about wildlife, animals that are endangered, and what we can do to protect them.

A great family event is Whale Watching. It is both fun and educational and most of the time, it is free. We can all be a good role model for children and others and help save marine life as we use canvas bags.

Keep Mother Earth Green
Keep Mother Earth Green

To Stop Junk Mail

Stop up to 75% of all junk mail by writing to:

Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association

P. O. Box 3861

New York, NY

10163-3861


Eight Ways To Help Save Our Planet

Each one of us can help save our planet by making a decision to be responsible for our actions. Let's look at different ways we can commit to making a difference:

  • Recycle, recycle and recycle.
  • Stop junk mail. The amount of junk mail we get in just one day can produce enough energy to heat a quarter-of-a-million homes.
  • Purchase reusable, rechargeable and refillable products.
  • Reuse packaging materials for your own mailing needs. This will add up to a nice little savings in a years time.
  • Purchase recycled products. Many products are also packaged in recycled paper, plastic and such.
  • Buy tooth brushes labeled 'recyclable.' Most come with a prepaid mailer. When your tooth brush shows signs of wear, simply slide it into the mailer and place it in your mailbox or take to the post office.
  • Purchase clothing, shoes, handbags, furniture, appliances from thrift shops or preworn boutiques.
  • Avoid using disposable products. Just imagine - disposal baby diapers number 18 billion every year. This is enough to reach to the moon and back seven times!

What else can we do to help planet earth? Share your ideas in the comment section below.

Surprising Facts About Plastic

  • Plastic never decomposes. Just about every piece of plastic ever made is still around today. I takes nearly 1000 years to begin composting.
  • Americans generate more than 10.5 million tons of plastic waste a year but recycle only 1 or 2 % of it.
  • Plastic buried deep in landfills can leach harmful chemicals that spread into groundwater.
  • The world’s annual consumption of plastic has increased from around 5 million tons in the 50′s to nearly 100 million tons today.
  • Next year, more than 300 million tons will be produced worldwide.
  • Chemicals added to plastics are absorbed by human bodies. Some of these compounds have been found to alter hormones or have other potential human health effects.
  • Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1 million sea animals each year.
  • 24 million gallons of oil are needed to produce a billion plastic bottles.
  • The federal standards for tap water are higher than those for bottled water.

Keep our water clean
Keep our water clean

Final Thoughts

We each have a responsibility to stop the use of plastic bags as well as other plastic products. Teach your family how to recycle and how to replace plastic with environmentally safe products. Help Mother Nature - Love Our Planet.

Mother Earth was the first physician and healer. Some day, everyone will realize that she alone owns the true pharmacy in medicine, for all drugs are made from Her garden, or a chemical substitute that replicates the effects and benefits Her plants.

Source: Indian Herbology of North America, Pages: (Kim Hovey)

We also raise the energy in the world by making environmentally sound and humanitarian purchases. Your purchases really do count toward helping Mother Earth and all of her inhabitants. And, those eco friendly purchases will help manifest your harmonious environment. Know that creating a harmonious space is easy when you rely on your intuition for guidance and follow the basic guidelines in this book. Remember that good design happens when it feels and looks good to you. Decorating your home or office space is like broadening the parameters of your body—it is an extension of your material body! Follow your truth and you follow your heart. Follow your heart and there are no wrong choices.

Norma Lehmeier Hartie

Appreciating my planet
Appreciating my planet | Source

How Often Do You Use Plastic Shopping Bags

See results

Resources

http://planetvarner.com

http://scientificamerican.com

Harmonious Environment Beautify, Detoxify, and Energize Your Life,Your Home and Your Planet page 234

http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/arvindgupta/101ways.pdf

© 2010 Audrey Hunt

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    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 6 years ago

      Thank you for a very important important and necessary post. Many stores around the world have stopped using plastic bags. It is so easy and convenient to have a shopping bag that you can reuse. Very simply it is lest waste for you also, if you need any further incentive!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Plastic shopping bags can last up to a thousand years in a landfill. I wish more people were educated on this subject. I wonder why the media is not more involved. I recently purchased 100 cloth bags (dollar store). Each time I go grocery shopping, I give a few to people who are about to have their items bagged in plastic bags. When they say " how can I thank you?", my answer is "just remember to use your bag". Thank you Billy for your comments.

    • yellowstar2000 profile image

      Candice Collins 6 years ago from WestCoast Florida

      oh that picture speaks volumes! it broke my heart! thanks for bringing more awareness to this!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      yellowstar2000 - awareness is the beginning to changing our old habits. It is so nice to see you again. Your articles continue to be listed in my favorites. Have a blessed day.

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

      The reusable bag thing may become a bigger trend. Their downfall is that you have to have them with you all the time in order to fully appreciate their usefulness. It's a trend I'd like to see continue, and one I'd like to see stores start to give out for free to promote them better. One free bag after every $500 worth of groceries purchased? Or whatever the number may be.

    • JY3502 profile image

      John Young 6 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Good subject Vocalcoach. I never thought about this. Well written story. But you know us lazy Americans...whatever is most convenient and easier. It might be too much of an imposition.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      springboard - My local Kroeger's market give a discount on the total purchase when a customer uses their canvas bag (s). I am seeing more and more customers with canvas as a result. Thanks for your comments and the promotion idea.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      jy3502 - Thank you for sharing your comments on my hub. I hope that in time switching to cloth bags will be the "norm". Last week I found cloth bags for .40 each, bought a bunch of them and gave them out at my local supermarket. I added a "free singing lesson" as an incentive. Only problem is - now I have to rent a hall big enough to hold the 120 people who responded. :-)

    • lotuslove19 profile image

      Sarika Mehra 6 years ago

      great and thanks for bringing awareness through this hub ,hope it is placed right on top in Google search ,and thanks for your wonderful mail to me .

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Dear lotuslove19 - you are so sweet to send me such a nice comment. You have made my day. Stay close, my friend.

    • theherbivorehippi profile image

      theherbivorehippi 6 years ago from Holly, MI

      Such a VERY important topic!!! Extremely important. It is heart wrenching the damage that these bags do to our marine life and birds. Very well written hub! Rated up for sure and thanks for writing such an important hub!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      theherbivorehippi - It breaks my heart to know what is happening to our wildlife and animals as well as our marine life and birds. It just has to stop somehow. I wish I could do more to help. It is so nice to find you here on HP and know that you are as upset about this form of cruely as I am. Thank you - you are a very good person!

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

      Very good message, I will be more careful not to forget my canvas bags when I go shopping, they are always in the trunk of my car and yet I have been quilty of walking in without them forgetting until I get into the check out lane. Maybe one day we won't have the option of those troublesome plastic bags... imagine that. Thanks for the thoughtful reminder. Peace :)

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Katiem2 - I know that most of us forget our canvas bags at one time or another, including yours truly. I now place them on the front seat next to my purse and that does help me to remember. And I keep hoping that oneday plastic bags will be a thing of the past, just as you mentioned. Thank.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      When my mother, niece and I were vacationing in Canada many years ago and stopped in a grocery store to pick up a few items, they asked us "Do you want a bag?" We responded affirmatively thinking that was a strange question. We found out why when we were charged money for the paper bag! If our grocery stores would start CHARGING money for bags...we would all remember to take in our reusable ones more frequently! We keep ours in the car at all times and occasionally forget them until in line at the store. Getting much better about remembering them. It finally becomes a habit.

      Very useful article! Rating it so and up!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Peggy - An excellent idea! Wonder why our markets don't do the same. It would certainly make an impact and raise awareness. Perhaps I will have a little talk with the local supermarket manager. Need to start somewhere.

      Thank you so much!

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 6 years ago from South Africa

      South Africa stopped the use of free plastic bags at supermarkets and other outlets some years ago. We have to pay for any plastic bag that is used.

      This has brought about quite a large change. Before plastic bags festooned fences and lay about all over the place, but now they are much less in evidence.

      I think we still have a way to go but at least a start has been made.

      Thanks for this very important information and I hope it persuades many people to change from plastic to more natural bags.

      I remember that when I visited Germany back in 1979 they had a campaign going on then already with the slogan "Jute statt plastik". Good one!

      Love and poeace

      Tony

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Tony - Thanks for your comments. Sounds like the U.S. has some catching up to do. Why is it that we continue to manufacture plastic bags, etc? Thanks Tony.

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 6 years ago from Northern California

      So important. I don't think a lot of people understand the consequences of using plastic bags, and while we may complain how difficult it might be, people around the world use reusable bags and have for years!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      glassvisage - Why is it that here in our country we are so far behind other nations with ecology??? I have heard that the use of plastic bags have been done away with. I'm with you, glassvisage - most people use plastic either out of ignorance or they just don't care. Urgggggggg! So grateful for your comments. Cheers!

    • cwarden profile image

      cwarden 5 years ago from USA

      Great job! I always have my bag with me because I found one that fits in my purse. I must admit that my purse isn't very petite though. I really can't stand those plastic bags!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      cwarden - Very glad to hear that you are doing your part for our planet! Thank you, my friend. And now I am going to your neck of the woods - :)

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

      Excellent and practical HUB! Voted up and awesome! :)

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      justmesuzanne - Oh, thank you for your vote! I really appreciate it. I can see that you and I are on the same page with stopping the plastic bag affect. So glad you came by. :)

    • profile image

      Jute Bags 3 years ago

      Hi, this is my first visit to your blog posts and you have really gained the appreciation for such a brilliant write-up. I want to know more about your article & blog posts. Thanks & I will wait for your reply.

      http://www.zealtex.com/jute-bags-india.php]jute bags

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Jute Bags - Thanks for your comments. I will check out your link.

    • Indian Chef profile image

      Indian Chef 3 years ago from New Delhi India

      Delhi has stopped using polythene bags as we call it. it is illegal to use them in New Delhi. We have lots of stray cows and they would eat these bags looking for food in garbage and they would choke their stomachs and intestines. Now we take Jute bags with us when we go shopping like our father might have when he was child. Very good hub. Sharing.

    • vertualit profile image

      Abdus Salam 3 years ago from Bangladesh

      Useful and informative topic about Plastic Pollution. thanks for sharing..

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Indian Chef - Delhi is to be congratulated for making the use of polythene bags illegal. Makes me wonder what's wrong with my own country? How sad for the cows who have ingested this material. How wonderful for Delhi to lead the pack in this fight against plastic bags. I use canvas/cotton bags and like the idea of Jute bags. Thanks so much!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      vertualit - I'm so glad to see you here and appreciate your comments. Coming by to see you soon!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      great hub. everyone should read this. I don't use plastic bags that much when shopping. Most of the time i bring a bagpack and 2 recycle bags with me. Plastic really doesn't disappear even when you bury them in the soil. It just stays there. Btw, i even bring along my water in a thermos flask when i go out shopping. My hubby says I am going for a picnic! Voted useful

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      peachpurple - Thank you for being here. Great comments. I wonder how many people realize that plastic just stays in the soil when buried. Good for you for doing the right thing!

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      We have a good recycling program here that now accepts all plastic. So when we get plastic bags we recycle them. I have to admit that I often forget to take my canvas shopping bags to the store.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Hi Paula

      Here in California a bill was passed for all stores to stop using plastic bags, including Walmart. So we're beginning to make progress with this issue.

      Thanks. Audrey

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      Since they giveaway these cloth bags wherever you go, why not use them.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Finally Dallas is beginning to realize the monster we've created by using all this plastic. They are making legislation that restricts the use of the plastic bags in stores. I'm gradually replacing the bag habit with store brand reusable bags and by shopping at places that let you bag your own groceries. The trouble I find is that although I bring the bags with me in the car, I forget to take them into the store. It's a habit I need to develop, that of using my cloth bags.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      poetryman6969

      It's not so easy to find free ones these days. You have a good point and thanks. Appreciate your support.

      PegCole17

      Very glad to hear that Dallas is following California's restriction for using plastic bags in stores. This is a start! You've made a good point that needs to be addressed - forgetting to bring in cloth bags to the store. I've started stacking mine right in the front passenger seat where I can't forget them.

      Thanks a lot Peg.

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