Walking and Shopping Smart

Posted: August 3, 2012 by tere1012 in Week 2: Reflections + Social Sustainability


Since I decided to take reusable bags and walk to the store since I only live 10 minutes away it has been way easier than I thought. My mom bought me three colorful bags and people always ask me where I got them. I looked up reasons as to why I should use reusable bags and this is what I got:

FACT: The largest opposition to the ban of plastic bags comes from the petroleum and plastics industries and of course, consumers that don’t want to change their habits.

FACT: Effective July 1, 2010. Los Angeles County Shoppers can either bring their own bags or pay 25 cents for a paper or biodegradable bag

FACT: Ireland imposed a tax on plastic grocery bags in 2002, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to ban conventional plastic grocery bags, in 2007, and Los Angeles followed suit in 2010

FACT: plastic is the largest source of ocean litter. The second most abundant ocean pollution is cigarettes.

I wondered what better, paper is or plastic, so I looked up to see what I would find. Paper bags, which many people consider a better alternative to plastic bags, carry their own set of environmental problems. For example, according to the American Forest and Paper Association, in 1999 the U.S. alone used 10 billion paper grocery bags, which adds up to a lot of trees. This was surprising to me because I would think plastic would cause more problems to the environment. You will see what most people said they use from a July 21st Question of the Week from “It’s Our Environment” Blog.

I think this is a simple easy way to help the environment. For me, before I started doing this my only problem was forgetting to get the bags before I left the house. Now when I go home and shop with my parents I will just make sure I have the bags in the car. I go grocery shopping once a week and sometimes twice a week so I have been doing this for two weeks now and it is easy to do and feels good that I am not wasting paper or plastic.

I read about the “Plastic Bag Challenge” and the town of Basalt, CO won. Collectively, participating towns eliminated the consumption of an estimated 5.3-million single-use disposable bags. “It’s been a great success,” says David Allen, the program’s creator. “The results are better then I projected, and the project has received some impressive attention. Media outlets have covered the CAST Challenge as far away as Italy!”
The CAST Reusable Bag Challenge was a competition between 31 mountain towns in the Western United States to encourage the use of reusable shopping bags and raise awareness of the economic, environmental, and social impacts of single-use shopping bags. The Challenge began on March 1st 2009 and the prize to the winning town is a solar panel installation on their public school. Alpine Bank and PCL Construction sponsored the voluntary program to the tune of $10,000 toward the solar panel installation.

Works Cited
“EECBG » TNCC.” EECBG » TNCC. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Aug. 2012. <http://www.newcommunitycoalition.org/plastic-bag-challenge/&gt;.
“Google Images.” Google Images. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Aug. 2012. <http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://blog.epa.gov/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/paper-plastic-graph2.jpg&gt;.
“Paper, Plastic, or Something Better?” About.com Environmental Issues. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Aug. 2012. <http://environment.about.com/od/recycling/a/reusablebags.htm&gt;.
“Why Use Reusable Shopping Bags.” Why Use Reusable Shopping Bags. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Aug. 2012. <http://www.reusethisbag.com/why.asp&gt;.


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