Thursday, April 15, 2010

Eco-Friendly Friday: The Hard Facts & Starting Simple

Hi friends! I can't tell you how excited I am to kick off Eco-Friendly Fridays!!! I have at least 6 different posts already started with wonderful tips and product ideas for going green in your home and as much as I would love to kick off this new segment with "Green Spring Cleaning", I have decided that there is something much more important to talk about first.

As you all know, Earth Day is right around the corner. The reason I know you all know this is because every company from Starbucks to Target is cashing in on the holiday. Last week alone I received almost 20 different e-mails from stores advertising their eco-friendly products. Did you know they make eco-friendly underwear?

Now, while I am happy to see all the enthusiasm this year, I wish that more companies made it a part of their mission to support the environment all year long. You know, like does :-) They make it their mission to not only sell reusable, eco-friendly products, but also to educate their customers on the benefits of their decision to go green. I think that is where a lot of companies miss the boat. They market their eco-friendly products, but they don't always explain the impact that your purchase will make. For example, did you know that Americans throw out 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour. Yes, EVERY HOUR!!! So when you make the decision to spend $19.95 on a Klean Kanteen, don't feel guilty about the price tag. Be proud of yourself for not contributing to that unbelievable statistic.

And plastic bottle are not the only problem for our planet right now. Plastic bags are just as bad, if not worse for our environment. It is estimated that we consume over 1 million plastic bags EVERY MINUTE!! And do you know the lifespan for each one of those bags? 1,000 years!!!! And here are a few other mind blowing pieces of information, compliments of

  • Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food.

  • Plastic bags don't biodegrade, they photodegrade - breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits, contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest them.

  • During Clean Up Australia Day, nearly 500,000 plastic bags were collected.

  • Windblown plastic bags are so prevalent in Africa that a cottage industry has sprung up to harvest them to weave hats and even bags. According to the BBC, one group harvests 30,000 per month.

  • According to David Barnes, a marine scientist with the British Antarctic Survey, plastic bags have gone from being rare in the late 80s and early 90s to being almost everywhere from Spitsbergen 78 degrees north (latitude) to Falklands 51 degrees south (latitude)."

  • Plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris most often found in coastal cleanups, according to the nonprofit center for Marine Conservation.

I know these facts can be overwhelming and I don't blame anyone for thinking, "what difference can one person make?" Its true, one person alone can't change the world. person can start a movement and if we all commit to making small changes in our own lives, we CAN make a difference for our children and future generations. And that is what I like to preach whenever I talk about going green. Start simple. Start by making one small change in your life. Buy a reusable water bottle or a set of reusable shopping bags like these ACME Workhorse bags...

I promise you...making one small change will lead to lots of small changes. Once I had my shopping bags, I decided I needed to start using reusable produce bags, and sandwich bags, and snack bags, etc. And knowing the hard facts and understanding the difference my decisions are making makes it all worth it.

So in honor of Earth Day, I am asking all of you to make one small change in your life. What will you vow to reuse this Earth Day...and every day after? Be sure to comment so we can all share our ideas :-)

Happy Friday Everyone!


  1. Great post, Jen! $20 on one bottle might seem like a lot upfront, but when you consider Americans spent $16 billion on bottled water in 2006 - it's not so bad after all. I've been using my same Klean Kanteen since 2008 and I have not purchased one bottle of water since. That has to have saved me hundreds of dollars - not to mention spared the landfill SO many plastic bottles!

  2. Thanks for posting the stats Jen! They are eye opening! I recently vowed never to use plastic bags again but I can't seem to get away from using them for one thing - to empty our cat's litter box...I just checked out and they actually have what they call Bio Bags, plastic bags that are biodegradable. I can buy them for the sole purpose of disposing of cat litter (for very little $) and become completely plastic bag free! Thanks again for the post and the website recommendation!

  3. I took my Envirosax to the Quilt Festival today and got lots of compliments on how classy they were. It was nice to go to every vendor and say "no thanks - I don't need a bag." I'll use my own!!! Felt great!!!


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