As a Queen Bee, there are plenty of things on your plate already, so why am I over here bothering you about the environment? Well, my queen, it has a lot to do with the fact that many of us are the mothers and grandmothers (or future mothers and grandmothers) of the generations that will come behind us.
The fact is that even a small effort on your part to help decrease your carbon footprint could lead to a much bigger effect one day–and one that could ultimately save the world.
But listen, I know you’re busy. I’m busy too! That’s why I do what I can, when I can–and just do the best I can. I have a few sneaky ways to be “green” and not cramp my style too much–the easiest of which is pretty simple. Are you ready?
Whether you choose to save and recycle the plastic or paper bags you get at the grocery store or you purchase a lovely set of eco-friendly, reusable shopping bags, you’ll be well on the way to helping to save our environment and in fact our world as we know it!
Check out these facts from The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published on www.epa.gov
- Plastic bags, first introduced in 1977, now account for four out of every five bags handed out at grocery stores.
- Plastic bags tend to “fly away” out of cars, trashcans, and landfills, littering our roadways, land and sea. In fact, did you know that plastic bags are the fifth most collected item during coastal clean-ups? Yuck.
- Most plastic bags are made from polyethylene, which is made from crude oil and natural gas, nonrenewable resources. The US alone uses about 12 million barrels of oil every year just to keep up with the demand for plastic bags (current annual demand tops out at about 100 billion bags).
And paper bags? The statistics are no better.
- The US will cut down 14 million trees each year to satisfy our demand for paper grocery bags.
- 2000 plastic bags weigh 30 pounds while 2000 paper bags weigh 280 pounds. So it requires a lot more fossil fuel to transport paper.
- In the landfill, paper bags generate 70 percent more air and 50 times more water pollutants than plastic bags.
- It takes more than four times as much energy to manufacture a paper bag as it does to manufacture a plastic bag.
- Energy required to produce bags (in British thermal units): Plastic bags: 594 BTU; Paper bags: 2511 BTU.
- Research from the year 2000 shows 20 percent of paper bags were recycled, while one percent of plastic bags were recycled. Quite frankly, both of these numbers stink.
- Current research demonstrates that paper in today’s landfills does not degrade or break down at a substantially faster rate than plastic does. In fact, a lack of water, light, oxygen, and other elements that are necessary for the degradation process inhibit complete degradability.
If that’s not enough to convince you, consider this, quoted from The Huffington Post’s Joseph Erdos:
- Plastic bags take anywhere from 15 to 1000 years to decompose.
- Only 1 percent of plastic bags are recycled in the United States. The rest end up in landfills, the ocean, or some other place in the environment. There’s actually a giant garbage heap made mostly of plastic floating in the ocean that’s twice the size of the United States.
- It’s estimated that 1 million birds and thousands of turtles and other sea animals die each year after ingesting discarded plastic bags.
- More than 10 percent of washed-up debris polluting the U.S. coastline is made up of plastic bags.
- It takes 12 million barrels of oil to produce the estimated 100 billion plastic bags Americans use each year.
- The petroleum used to produce 14 plastic bags can drive a car one mile.
Today, I challenge you to start using reusable shopping bags! Get your own or get some of our QueenBeeBoutique Reusable Shopping bags! They are only $7 each, and each purchase will help us to grow our resources for you.
What are your little tricks for staying as “green” as possible and still living your busy life? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below!