Each year, Americans throw away some 100 billion polyethylene plastic bags. Only 0.6 percent of bags are recycled. From Worldwatch
While standing in line to check out with my groceries an outspoken woman caught my attention. She was complaining, “All the chemicals in our environment are going to kill us!” I was pleased with her passion until she loaded her groceries into 10 bags of plastic. What is wrong with this picture? Plastic bags are one of the most harmful things to our environment. They litter our landscapes, clog waterways, and kill birds and mammals. Thousands of marine mammals die each year after swallowing or choking on discarded plastic bags. Plastic takes many years to break down, and only a small percentage of them are recycled. As they spend thousands of years in the landfill they continue to leach out harmful chemicals into the environment. Because of all these negative consequences, how could anyone forget their reusable bags when they go shopping?
How can we cut down on plastic bags?
*Always bring your washable reusable bag shopping, and refuse plastic bags.
*Bring refillable containers and cloth mesh bags for your purchases.
*My coops have brown paper type lunch sack bags which I always choose, and then compost. Regular grocery stores let me bring paper sacks for bulk and produce. I know this might seem extreme, but not using plastic bags makes me feel great!
Reuse plastic bags if possible and always recycle them . Many grocery stores have recycling collection containers for plastic bags. Plastic bags should be dry and clean to recycle, and cut off the zip-lock edge. I turn them inside out and dry in my laundry tub before recycling.
Below is a very sad video on how fatal plastic is to birds:
This is my Non-Toxic, All-Purpose Cleaning Recipe. I use this to clean sinks, wash floors, and for most of my cleaning needs.
Place the following in a heavy duty spray bottle:
3 1/2 Cups warm water,
¼ Cup vinegar,
2 tsp Borax,
2 drops lemon essential oil. This is optional-Adds scent. Purchase at Whole Foods or some grocery coops.
Gently mix together
Finally, add ¼ Cup of 7thGeneration dish soap or other dish soap
Synthetic chemicals in everyday products are likely to be at least the partial cause of a global surge in birth deformities, hormonal cancers and psychiatric diseases, a United Nations-sponsored research team reported on Tuesday.
These endocrine-disrupting chemicals or EDCs may also be linked to a decline in the human sperm count and female fertility, to an increase in once-rare childhood cancers and to the disappearance of some animal species, they said.
For those of us who love our lakes and care about clean water: You should be paying attention to the recent debate about Triclosan.
What is Triclosan? It is an antibacterial used in hand wash and soaps and some other products. For some time it has been recommended not to purchase products using this Triclosan because it can lead to antibiotic resistance. A recent study by the University of Minnesota and the Science Museum of Minnesota has shown that Triclosan is converting to harmful toxins in our Minnesota lakes as well as Lake Superior.
How do you find if a product has Triclosan? Always read the ingredients in the products you purchase, Triclosan will be listed as an active ingredient on the product label.
How do we dispose of Triclosan? According to the Minnesota Pollution Control (PCA), “Do not put Triclosan down the drain or toilet!” At the present time their advice is to throw Triclosan products in the trash. In the future they hope to have a better plan to dispose of them. The best is NOT to purchase any product with Triclosan. “Consumer avoidance can be more powerful than any legislation!” says the Minnesota PCA.
MDH recommends against using products containing triclosan at home. Using products with triclosan offers little or no benefit, and may contribute to the development of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.
Use products without triclosan to reduce your exposure and environmental impact. Most products advertised as “antibacterial” contain triclosan. Check product labels to see if triclosan is listed as an ingredient.