The purpose of my blog is to lightly remind and encourage people to consider the choices they make every day and how they impact the environment, our health, and the future health of the planet. That said, I’m regularly annoyed at myself and others for forgetting to bring shopping bags to the store!
Bringing your own bags may be only a small part of what we can each do to take care of the land we are living on, but here are some statistics from reusablebags.com that might surprise you:
- According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. An estimated 12 million barrels of oil is required to make that many plastic bags.
- Plastic bags cause over 100,000 sea turtle and other marine animal deaths every year when animals mistake them for food.
- The average family accumulates 60 plastic bags in only four trips to the grocery store.
- Each high quality reusable bag you use has the potential to eliminate an average of 1,000 plastic bags over its lifetime.
I spoke with Luc from Pika’s Farm Table about bag usage for his business. His quiches, soups and appetizers are sold in 24 markets around the Hudson Valley, and this past year he has seen a nearly 75% reduction in bag usage simply by implementing two very simple strategies.
- First he asked all of his sales people to stop automatically handing out a bag with purchase. They now pause, and then if the customer looks lost, then ask if they need a bag.
- Secondly he stopped putting the bags on the table near the register. The bags are now kept in a box under the table.
75% is a huge percentage, so please say congratulations to Luc at John Jay High School’s Farmer’s Market next Saturday as you hand him your re-useable bag. Even better, suggest his techniques to local stores you shop at and refer them to this article.
Check out the KatonahGreen Calendar of Events on the left-hand side of the blog for upcoming local green events, seminars, contests and more.
By the way, a note to the gentleman who this past Thursday suggested that my blog has an angry edge, there you go…I came out with it. It was the bags. 🙂