« April 2008 | Main | June 2008 »

11 posts from May 2008

May 23, 2008

Being green is in the bag when it’s shoved down our throats

The Seattle Times, Opinion, 05.14.08

So Seattle says: "I am greener than Longview and Tacoma and smarter than San Francisco. I will tax both kinds of disposable bag, pocket the money and make my citizens use a cloth bag."

I don't want to use a cloth bag. I don't want to carry the bag to the store, and I don't want to limit my shopping to the capacity of my bag.

What if I want to buy more? I can pay the 20 cents, but it is a punishment tax, a city-wagging-its-finger-at-me tax: bad, bad, bad.

Link: Being green is in the bag when it’s shoved down our throats

Bag your plastic habit with reusable bags

Orange County Register, 04.22.08
A new bill to be introduced to the House Appropriations Committee next month might require large grocery stores to charge customers up to a quarter to take away paper or plastic bags. Last year, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors banned petroleum-based plastic bags in large markets and pharmacies.

You can easily ban paper and plastic from your own life.

Link: Bag your plastic habit with reusable bags 

Bag the plastic and get used to the reusable

Daily Herald, 04.23.08 Daily_herald_bag_the_plastic

Plastic bags have become a target of the environmental movement, and with good reason: Plastic bags aren't biodegradable. Instead, they break down into smaller and smaller toxic particles that contaminate both soil and water, and can enter the food chain when animals accidentally ingest them. And according to the EPA, we use more than 100 billion plastic shopping bags every year.

Link: Bag the plastic and get used to the reusable 

She loses it over reusable bags

Boston.com, 04.17.08 Bostonglobe_envirosax

If you're a certain type of person, it's not enough that your reusable grocery bag holds groceries. It must also establish your style. With designers getting in on the action, a Self magazine headline sums up the challenge: "Look chic at the farmers market."
Statistics on reusable-bag production are hard to come by, but when I asked Vincent Cobb, founder and president of reusablebags.com, if the solution is becoming part of the problem, he didn't hesitate a moment.
"Absolutely," he said, explaining that some are made so cheaply they fall apart after a few uses. "They are becoming more of the junk."

Link: She loses it over reusable bags 

New law forces stores to recycle plastic bags

Medill Reports Chicago, 05.20.08

Medill_logo_3 Grocery and drug stores in Chicago will soon be required to recycle plastic bags under an ordinance that passed the City Council Wednesday.
Shoppers can expect to see plastic bag recycling bins at retailers within the next six to nine months. Stores are responsible for making sure the plastic doesn't end up in landfills. Noncompliance can result in a daily fine of $500.

Link: New law forces stores to recycle plastic bags 

Eco-Challenge: Is Going Bagless Possible?

MarthaStewart.com, 04.08
All-or-nothing mentalities are seductive, but often self-defeating. Not to mention silly. When I come home and realize I've left the lights on -- which of course I do every now and then -- I don't resign myself to being an electricity profligate. I let it go and move on. Perhaps a recalibration -- less superego, more compassion and ease -- would help my bag plight.

Link: Eco-Challenge: Is Going Bagless Possible? 

Responsible packing: reusable totes are replacing paper and plastic

LoHud.com, New York's Lower Hudson Valley 05.10.08Lohudlogo_5

Here are some tips from reusablebags.com on how to become a more eco-friendly shopper:
• Pledge to use your own reusable bags and persuade your friends to do the same.
• If you buy reusable bags, use them: Put a note on top of your grocery list reminding you to take the bags with you to the market.
• Persuade stores to offer credit for using your own bag.
• Realize that paper is not necessarily a better alternative. Trees must be cut down, and paper mills can pollute.
• If you belong to an environmental or community organization, lobby to have the plastic bag issue added to the agenda.

Link: Responsible packing: reusable totes are replacing paper and plastic 

Bottled Water Paradox: Banned, and Required

New York Times 05.14.08 - thanks to watertrust.org for the heads up on this one!

After two years of extremely heated debate that included references to ecology, history, geography, and the politics of selling or buying mass-produced cupcakes, the Park Slope Food Co-op in Brooklyn voted at the end of last month to discontinue the sale of bottled water. Just as the co-op (membership: 13,966) has been selling its last few ounces of designer water, NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia hospital is very quietly going into its third year with signs posted over every sink in one of its newest buildings that say: “Do not drink the water. Use bottled water for drinking, brushing teeth, or taking medication.”

So at one end of town they have banished tap water; 18 miles away, they’ve banned bottled water.

Link: Bottled Water Paradox: Banned, and Required 

Too many holes poked in plastic bag law

Chicago Sun Times 05.08.08


Mike Nowak of the Chicago Recycling Coalition referred to the latest version as “New York lite” and a “swing and a miss.” He questioned why the Best Buys and Office Depots of the world were exempt.
“This is a first step. But let us not forget that the blue bag program was a first step that failed to produce a second step,” Nowak said.

Link: Too many holes poked in plastic bag law 

Shoppers saving the planet, one reusable bag at a time

Baltimoresun.com 05.18.08

"Demand has exploded" for shopping bags that are neither plastic nor paper, agrees Vincent Cobb, founder of reusablebags.com, which was endorsed by Al Gore in his best-selling documentary An Inconvenient Truth. "We sold more this Earth Day and the day after than we did in the whole of 2003." Cobb thinks they started being mainstream and "very trendy" after last year's Earth Day, when using your own shopping bags appeared on just about every media list of top 10 things consumers can do to help the environment. "A big shift is under way."

Link: Shoppers saving the planet, one reusable bag at a time

May 02, 2008

AUDIO CLIP: ReusableBags.com Interview in Celebration of Earth Day Week

Amy & Bryan Morning Show, WNNS  04.28.08987logo_2

Our founder, Vincent Cobb, talks to the Amy & Bryan Morning Show during Earth Day week about reusable bags – including the hidden costs of plastic bags and the myth of biodegradable plastic bags. Plus, a round-up of popular reusable bags and bottles, and how to make the right choice.

Listen to the interview