Note: Giveaway is at the end of this post.
Have you heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? I first recall it hitting my ears a few years ago following a media blitz by Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation (thanks, Oprah!). He was the first to discover the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the late 1990′s.
This patch is only one of many across our world’s oceans that collects pollution thanks to swirling ocean currents. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Debris Program, the main debris type found in these patches is plastics, “likely because of the abundance of plastics and the fact that some common types of plastic float.”
The NOAA admits that cleaning up these garbage patches would be a tremendous, cost-prohibitive challenge. This is due to, among other things, the immense size of our oceans. Also where debris accumulates, so does marine life (which nixes the image in my brain of simply trolling the ocean with a net to pick it all up).
Sad, right? Having grown up in the Ocean State surrounded by salt water, this problem seems to hit me especially hard. These vast bodies of water – providing natural healing for wounds (thank you salt and other marine nutrients), creating soothing waves and supporting teeming marine life – are some of the only things in life that truly speak to my soul.
Reusable Bags Make a Difference
So what can we do? For starters, Dan Jacobson, legislative director for the advocacy group Environment California, is quoted in a recent Washington Post blog post as stating we can stop using styrofoam cups and plates and start using plastic bags more than once before throwing them away.
I totally agree with the styrofoam thing, but I think we can take plastic bags one step further by utilizing re-usable bags whenever possible. I fully admit that I do not always remember my bags before walking into a store. Nine times out of ten, I’ll walk back to my car to get them, even while juggling K-Bear on my hip. But recently, struggling on crutches post-surgery, I did not. The result? My grocer sent me home with nine plastic bags for just $24.47 worth of groceries. Nine. It was so unnecessary.
I’m happy to report that I’ve found a little help in this area, thanks to an organization called Conserving Now. They are lead by a mom and daughter team that recognized ”people needed a little help to change the habit and convenience of plastic bags.”
They’ve handed out over 200,000 static cling reminder stickers for your car window. Brilliant! Here’s mine:
Sign up for yours here, and choose between two different versions. Then, if you haven’t done so already, start accumulating reusable bags. I’ve gotten mine for free everywhere from my local Natural Grocers on Earth Day to goodie bags at 5k runs. If you must, shell out a few bucks to buy them; they sell for as little as .99 cents.
I find that storing them behind my driver’s seat, with all of them stashed into one, is the most convenient approach. When you pull up to a store, just look at your sticker, grab and go.
Win a Free, Designer EnviroSax
Better yet, stash a designer bag in your purse or pocket thanks to Conserving Now who carries a line of trendy, reusable, nylon bags called EnviroSax.
Capable of carrying heavy loads, they come in a huge array of prints (105 to be exact), inspired by everything from cities, marinas and savannahs to animals, flowers and Sesame Street characters. Conserving Now sent me one to try a few months ago and I love, love, love it because it rolls up tight in seconds. stashes easily in my purse, and carries A LOT.
I can honestly say I’ve not had reason to use a plastic bag since! I love when a cashier asks if I need a bag and I say, “no, thanks; I’ve got one,” as I whip it out of my purse. It’s a total Batman move for cool, eco-friendly women.
Plus it looks super cute. I choose Bag 5 of the After Dark Series, but really I would have taken any of them.
Better yet, Conserving Now has generously offered to provide one reader with an EnviroSax bag of their very own! To enter, (1) leave a comment below telling me which EnviroSax bag you might choose if you win and (2) show Conserving Now some love by “liking” them on Facebook or following them on Twitter.
Details: The contest will run through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, June 4, 2012. The winner will receive a single EnviroSax bag of their choice (excluding 5-in-1 pouches and Slingsax), shipped directly to them from ConservingNow.org. I’ll choose one lucky person via random.org and notify him or her via email. You have 48 hours to respond and claim your designer EnviroSax bag!
So there you have it. Just one simple change (and one simple entry!) and you can help make our oceans a cleaner place for ourselves, our children, and their children.
So which one will you choose?
I shared this post on Sunday School, Monday Mania, Fat Tuesday, Hearth and Soul, Tuesdays at the Table, The Gathering Spot, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Health 2day, This Chick Cooks, Simple Lives Thursday, Your Green Resource, It’s a Keeper, Tastetastic Thursday, Fight Back Friday, and Fresh Bites Friday.