Friday, June 12, 2009

Greening your Groceries

Posted by Gregory Sanford (DRN Intern)

One of the easiest ways to reduce your impact on the environment is to make a small change in a daily or weekly activity. Take a moment to think about how many times you visit the grocery store in a year. Now consider how many bags you use each time you visit the grocery store. When you think about this number it should become clear that it is no small figure. The average American family uses over 900 grocery bags per year. Thankfully there is a solution, reusable grocery bags.

Many grocery stores in California and throughout the United States are beginning to take action and promote the use of reusable grocery bags. Chains such as Ralph’s and Vons sell the bags in their stores, and some locations have incentives programs in place for customers that use them. At Ralph’s, the cost of one reusable bag is 99 cents, a small price to pay for such a long-term environmental benefit. Whole Foods, a chain that operates 270 markets across the state, first started the reusable bag movement by becoming the first U.S. grocer to halt the use of plastic bags in all of their stores last earth day. Whole foods decision opened the eyes of many of its customers to the negative effects of disposable grocery bags.

Many citizens are unaware of the detrimental effects of plastic grocery bags on the environment. A Wall Street Journal Report indicates that only 1% of plastic grocery bags worldwide are recycled each year. Their paper counterparts do not fare much better, as only 20% of paper bags end up being recycled; the rest are dumped into landfills. The average person uses 22,000 plastic bags over their lifetime, causing the size of landfills to increase at an incredible rate. Instead of using a bag one time, why not invest in something durable?

Reusable bags come in all shapes sizes and styles. They are easily washable and take up a small amount of space for storing purposes. Making this small change in your daily life can greatly improve the environment for you and those around you. So next time your in line at the grocery store and your asked, “paper or plastic?” do the earth a favor and tell them you’ve brought your own bags.

For 25 reasons on why to go reusable, visit this site.  

1 comment:

Mohan Babu K said...

I agree. Using reusable bags is a great idea. Just that we need to learn to remember

Deconstruction And Buildingmaterials Reuse Network Inc