Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Remembering Your Reusable Shopping Bags

Reusable shopping bags were introduced in the early 1990s to cut down on the use of single-use plastic bags that are harmful to the environment. The harm plastic bags have on our environment is heavily documented and by now well-known. Plastics sit for thousands of years in landfills and oceans, are ingested by birds and marine life, use billions of barrels of crude oil, and ultimately, never fully break down. Although it takes more resources to produce one reusable bag than one plastic bag, the idea is that the reusable one will be used frequently enough to negate its initial negative environmental impact.
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Saturday, August 3, 2013

End the Plastic Bag!

Multiple “left-leaning” cities in America have taken steps toward saving the environment through the implementation of plastic bag bans. In 2007, San Francisco became the first US city to ban the use of plastic grocery bags in large supermarket and pharmacy chains. Since then, cities like Austin, Texas; Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington have followed suit. As of June 18, 2013, Los Angeles, California has become the largest American city to approve an anti-plastic-bag ordinance that applies well beyond the typical realm of food stores and mini-marts.

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Toss the Totes in the Wash


Reusable bags are the latest trend. And with good reason. They are inexpensive and eliminate the big pile of plastic bags that’s stuffed in the closet. Tote bags are used as grocery bags, to hold gym clothes and laundry, and maybe even to take a towel and a book to the beach. But studies have shown that most people rarely, if ever, wash these bags, no matter how often or what they are used for. Enter the bacteria. Yes, reusable bags have sparked a rather surprising amount of controversy, especially over the deadly bacteria issue. And yes, it has to some degree been blown out of proportion. But not completely.
The Danger
Our bags are not something that we tend to wash until they are noticeably dirty or start to develop an unpleasant odor. But when the bags that carry raw meat and veggies and other food products all sit together in the bag, which sits in the dirty car—before you know it all the germs from the environment have mixed with the bacteria from the food and suddenly your environmentally friendly bag has formed an environment of its very own. The pathogens that can form in the bag can be dangerous to your health, but are simply the result of cross-contamination and lack of proper sanitary precautions.
The Solution
This doesn’t mean you should stop using your reusable totes. Not at all. What it means is that you should be a bit more careful, and run the bag through the washing machine now and again—after every use would be ideal, but that would be a bit excessive. Just spray it down with a bleach-type mixture after a trip to the grocery store, and don’t use the same bag that you use for groceries as a gym or laundry bag. The tote bags at CYMA are both durable and inexpensive, so you can afford to have an eco-happy tote for every outing. Plus they are sold online and in many retail and grocery stores across the country, so there is no reason not to buy all the bags you need.
Reusable bags make a difference to the environment and a more comfortable shopping trip. Paper and plastic bags are inconvenient to carry, and there’s always that chance that the bag will suddenly break and leave you running around the parking lot chasing your purchases. CYMA canvas shopping bags are sturdy and built to last so that you never have to worry about that again. All it takes to keep your family and the environment healthy and happy is a little cleaning after use.

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Plastic Bags, Politically Provocative?


Plastic bag bans are fueling bi-partisan debate, as West Coast cities institute fees and declare outright prohibition of these environmentally devastating totes. Radical right-wingers are quick to assert that a plastic bag ban will take away jobs from thousands of American workers and that other materials will facilitate the spread of disease. Hopefully, common sense will prevail and time will heal the bruised egos of tea party journalists. The fact that plastic bags are clotting our soils and seas with the glut of consumerism is undeniable. We must acknowledge that our wasteful and negligent behaviors are the wellsprings of ecological degradation.

Enter, the era of canvas shopping bags. Though apparently harmless, these benign baggies are coming under fire from the ultra-right flank. Conservative conspirators site nonsensical facts that the production of cotton totes has more harmful effects on the environment than plastics. Let’s talk about that…A bag made of petrol and natural-gas-refining byproducts is less harmful than one that consists of cotton? A bag that’s used once and never again is less wasteful than reusable shopping bags? Only on Opposite Day. It goes to show that people can make a living on being contrarian for argument’s sake alone.

Here’s the real stats…every year, 500,000,000,000 plastic bags are used worldwide, of which Americans use 100,000,000,000, only recycling 1 to 3 percent. That leaves 3,500,000 tons of plastic bags in landfills per annum—not to mention what ends up in the ocean. 

As for taking away American jobs, neglecting American production and being generally un-American in nature by restricting our God-given rights…What’s more American than cotton? Did we or did we not fund our independence with the sale of tobacco, sugar and ugh, oh yeah, cotton? And petroleum…is that not the main export of OPEC, namely Saudi Arabia? Russia comes in at a close second in petrol production. Listen, ye disparagers of development, ye harbingers of havoc, let go of mercilessly touting the party line into territory where there need be no party line. May we all, one day, be led by reason and reason alone.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Plastic Bag FACTS

from Reuse It:

Over 1 trillion plastic bags are used every year worldwide. (Consider China, a country of 1.3 billion, which consumes 3 billion plastic bags daily, according to China Trade News.)

About 1 million plastic bags are used every minute.

A single plastic bag can take up to 1,000 years to degrade.

More than 3.5 million tons of plastic bags, sacks and wraps were discarded in 2008.

Only 1 in 200 plastic bags in the UK are recycled

Plastic bags are the second-most common type of ocean refuse, after cigarette butts

Plastic bags remain toxic even after they break down.

Every square mile of ocean has about 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in it.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Reusable bags are everywhere!!!!


As far as the eye can see, everyone is using and carrying eco friendly reusable shopping bags.  Grocery stores sell them, companies offer them as giveaways and you can buy them with logos from your favorite sports team, university and just plain canvas ones.  Spirits stores have taken the bag a step further and offer specialty bags, sewn to carry 2, 4, or even 6 wine bottles.  And who can forget about the insulated bag, great for grocery trips and picnics.

 It’s not hard to help save the planet while looking fashionable at the same time.  At a negligible cost, these type of bags go a lot further a lot longer than the few dollars you spent buying them.  So where’s the downside?  That’s a great question!  When we find the answer certainly that will be the day…. 

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What did you do this Earth Day 2013?

Every year Earth Day comes and goes. People do something special on Earth Day then go back to their regular life style afterward. This year on Earth Day I looked at what I can do and keep doing every day. I wanted to make it as painless as possible. Below is my list.
  1. Use more CFL bulbs around the house. I noticed when you put the lamp shade over a CFL bulb; you can’t even tell it’s a CFL. There are certain areas I won’t use a CFL because it takes too long to get to full brightness. Areas where everyone forgets to turn the light off like the garage, attic and basement all have been converted to CFL. Now I need to test how good are those dimmable CFL? If anyone has experience with dimmable CFL, please let everyone know.
  2. My town has a Nifty 50 Goal where each resident tries to recycle 50% of their garbage. This will reduce our town’s waste disposal cost and it’s good for the environment. You will be surprised to learn how much of your garbage is recyclable when you put more thought into it.  
  3. Keep your tires inflated to the correct pressure. This is getting easier now. I used to manually check the tire pressure on all the cars in my household every month. Now I just inflate the tires to the highest recommended pressure level. All our cars have pressure monitor system built in so if one tire has low pressure, a warning light goes off.
  4. Change my workout routine. I used to drive to the gym 3 to 4 times a week and do my 45 minutes of workout then drive home. Now I ride my exercise bike at home or ride my bike on the road. I do more band work and light dumbbells with high repetitions. I figure the time and gas I save driving to the gym is good for the environment and me.
  5. Do more manual weeding. I used to walk around with a canister of weed killer every 3 to 4 weeks. Now I do the weeding with a narrow hand trowel and an empty bucket. The speed is slower but I think the result lasts longer. I make sure I dig down to the weed’s root and not just break off the top portion.
  6. Don’t keep the water running when you are brushing your teeth or shaving. At first I thought I was going to wear out the faucet washer. Then I checked my faucets warranty. Faucets now come without washer and they are lifetime warranty.

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