Thursday, April 24, 2008

Day 3 of our Green Year: Going From Plastic to Cloth

We are beginning our third day of our Green Year by scrapping buying plastic bags, and instead using cloth bags. These bags (modeled by our dog Niko) were bought (we have four) for .99 cents each from a local store, except for the big one which we got for free from our local city.
We calculated today that we use about eight plastic bags per week in our weekly shopping (food and otherwise), and that amounts to 32 plastic bags per month, or 384 plastic bags per year. We are a family of two, so a family of four will use 768 plastic bags per year on average.

The cloth bags we have can not only hold more, they have longer usage lives and they cause no ill effects to the environment. Sadly, even though these bags can last a decade or so for use, plastic bags will exist in our landfills and elsewhere for about 500 to 1,000 years, despite being used for five minutes on average. Many of the plastic bags used actually end up in oceans, where they get in the stomachs of marine animals and slowly kill them horribly.

Thankfully, there will now be 384 less plastic bags in the landfills and oceans because of four cloth bags that cost us three dollars.

Reduction on our Carbon Footprint: 384 Plastic Bags in Landfills From Our House (.0029 tonnes or 6.4 pounds of waste)