Monday, March 9, 2009

Buyer Beware!

In July, when I began this blog, I wrote a post on plastic bags (you can read that post HERE). Reusable bags are one of the mainstays of living a green life ... right along such basics as replacing light bulbs with energy efficient versions and lowering the thermostat by 5 degrees.

In the beginning, not many people carried reusable bags into the store ... but now it is very common to see people with their giant totes carrying groceries to their cars. It has become so common, in fact, that companies want in on the "green" action and reusable bags with a store's logo or an advertiser's slogan are popping up all over.

The same thing is happening with reusable water bottles. They have become trendy and the perfect medium for advertising.

Unfortunately, these products are being made out of fresh plastic ... not recycled soda bottles ... not sustainable materials ... not earth friendly. Manufacturers will boast that their product is made out of polypropylene and tell you that polypropylene is easy to recycle and totally earth friendly. But it is plastic ... a by-product of oil refining processes. Yes, it can be recycled but the recycling process degrades the plastic's properties and recycling is difficult and expensive. That means that much of it will end up in our landfills and oceans.

So today's tip is easy ... be sure to find out what those reusable totes and water bottles are made of. If it's fresh, virgin plastic ... just say no. Choose, instead, bags made out of recycled or sustainable materials and stainless steel water bottles.

I'd like to leave you with the following video. It is the reality of plastics in our world.

As always ... I would love to hear from you!