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Healthy Shopping Bag Tips

Healthy Home 2008, Spring 2008

We've all been at the checkout counter, debating how to answer the question, "Paper or plastic?" Unfortunately, "neither" is the only good reply. Each year, the United States burns through 12 million barrels of oil to create roughly 100 billion plastic grocery bags, which gum up rivers and oceans and choke wildlife. But paper bags are no better. According to the advocacy group Worldwatch Institute, making paper bags uses far more energy and produces more air pollution than manufacturing plastic ones. And then there are the trees: Each year, about 14 million are cut down to make 10 billion paper bags for Americans alone.

There's really no better solution than making sure you have a reusable sack on hand when you're shopping. Buy several canvas or expandable string bags (Eco-Bags and ReusableBags have huge selections, and many grocery stores are selling them, too). To ensure that you'll always have one available, keep a few near your back door, in your car, and at your office, or tuck one into the bottom of your purse.

Comments (2)

  • erin13 9 Mar, 2009

    I've been through a few different styles of "re-usable" bag in the last 6 years or so, all of which, I never ended up using, i would forget to grab all the bulky canvas/cotton ones and they were just too big to carry in my purse-- the net ones made me crazy- the solution! "Chico bag" they fold into them selves to fit in the palm of your hand and the small ones can hold 20lbs! there made from thin nylon and come in a verity of colors, check em out!

  • happytobegreen 13 May, 2008

    My shopping principle.REFUSE-if i could carry it or put it in my tote,i dont need a plastic bag(just make sure you have the receipt with you)REUSE-bring ALWAYS your reusable bag,whats the use of buying an ecobag if you dont bring it with you( foldable bags)RENEW-see the world in a new perspective.Its time to be responsible.