Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Are You Bagging It ?!

Okay, this isn't exactly a "gardening"  post - unless you count the world as our home garden - which I do.  This is a plea, a serious plea, to your most conscious self.

Wouldn't you love to do one simple thing to make the world a better place?
Yes?
Then, I want you to make a new resolution or reinforce an old resolution or adapt a not-so-great habit.... all to the good of the world. Our world. Your local, personal, living garden.

Come on - we've all been shopping constantly for the last month (or at least it seems like it). Gifts, food, more food.....

Did you get it in plastic bags?

Now, right off, if you ALWAYS used your own shopping bags (and not just for the grocery store or farmers' market), give yourself 10 stars and forward this blog post to someone else who needs encouragement.

If you are like me, you used your own shopping bags for almost all of your grocery shopping, but got a little lame on those quick trips to Target and other stores.         Uh-huh.

And what about the daily newspaper? Does yours now come wrapped in a nice plastic bag... or two?

So... not so perfect... BUT!
Did you take those plastic bags back for recycling?
Seriously?
I can't tell you how many times, I (strongly) suggest this to friends, who then tell me they don't know where to take the bags. WHAT???
So here it is.  
Information!

#1.  Read your newspaper bags.  What do they say?
Yeah. They say:
THIS BAG IS RECYCLABLE. 
BRING IT BACK.
www.plasticfilmrecycling.org for more info.

And here's what that brought up for my zip code:
http://www.plasticfilmrecycling.org/s01/s01_search.html

One hundred and sixty six places in Virginia Beach (a dozen of which are stores where I normally shop in a month) where I could deposit my saved newspaper bags. And I can recycle any other CLEAN plastic bags from shopping and packaging.

SO TAKE BACK ALL YOUR PLASTIC BAGS FOR RECYCLING.  PLEASE.

You've seen the recycle bins - probably walked right past them. Maybe you even put bags into them. (Go, you fabulous person, you!)

LOOK! Here's two - right outside my Sandbridge Food Lion!
And I can't tell you how delighted it makes me when those bins are practically overflowing.  (Plus, if you use any store's recycling, please do make a comment on any survey or comment card that you appreciate this service! Let them know!)

I'm also a BIG fan of Target's recycling efforts and I tell them so.  The recycling center at the Red Mill Target used to be over at the customer service center where no one could see them.  Now they are right at the exit, next to the in-store Starbucks (a business in whose stores, I regret to say, recycling seems to be a thing of the past).


How cool is this? Even cellphones and ink.

Now if everyone would just Learn To Read and stop putting trash into every single container.... (does this make anyone else get steamed?)

My beloved girlfriends have given me several fabulous shopping bags made of parachute silk type material - they roll up to nothing and fit in the bottom of my purse. Those have made all the difference.  Sure I still take my own giant bags to the grocery store, but now I have a bag for those quick trips into stores that used to mess up my "no-impact" efforts.  It makes life easy.
B.B.Begonia Bags @ Amazon

The real bottom line?  

We need to stop our reliance on these stupid plastic bags.  I can follow the trash trucks down Blackwater Road and see light-weight shopping bags flying out of the top and all over the fields.
If Kitty Hawk NC can stop using plastic bags, so can Virginia Beach. And Norfolk. And Chesapeake. And everywhere else.  Overall, Americans at least try to keep plastic bags in the trash stream - as opposed to countries with no reliable trash pickup at all - but they escape. And, no they do NOT decompose.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/shopkeepers-unaware-of-ban-on-thin-plastic/article1545414.ece

The answer is to stop using those bags. 
Now. 
20l5.
So, make a new resolution. Reinforce your intentions!
And... Thank You.

www.zerowasteeurope.org


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The sharing of ideas, experience and helpful information between one gardener and another has always been the very best of gardening traditions.