Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's Earth Day, What Are You Doing to Help?

I have been trying to think of something brainy or witty or just plain appropriate to write about for Earth Day. What I thought might be best was just to share with you my current little crusade.

Recently I've made the switch from "Paper or Plastic?" to "Fabric." Last year, I bought a few bags from ReusableBags.com, but my efforts really became a part of my daily life when I bought a pair of old curtains for a quarter last December. In January, I sewed my curtains into fourteen Reusable Shopping Bags (using the pattern from My Many Colored Crayon's Tutorial). I also bought a sheet for a dollar to accent some of the bags and made about six more. So, for $1.25, I got TWENTY shopping bags! Quite the bargain, especially considering the local grocery store has been paying me a nickle per bag every time I shop there.

In any case, ever since I started using my nifty home-made bags, I've been thinking about plastic. I've realized it's EVERYWHERE in our society. That's not necessarily the best thing. I've read and heard about how bad it is for landfills, wildlife, etc. Some things I recently became aware of include the fact that many plastics last OVER ONE HUNDRED YEARS! Aghck! Do we really want to be finding someones old, broken plastic in 100 years? The other thing is that firemen now need protective gear, as much to protect from the smoke as they do from all the melting plastic (and subsequent fumes) in homes and buildings.

I don't know. It's just something I've really become aware of, the fact that plastic is EVERYWHERE... tables, bags, wrappings on packages, beverage bottles, vehicles, etc, etc, etc. Maybe I'm more aware of it because here in Hicks-Ville, we don't have as many recycling options, where, in the Phoenix Valley, we took out recycling one day and garbage another... curbside collection made it easy to think all that EXTRA packaging was okay.

So, not really for Earth Day, but for our Earth Everyday, I'm making conscious choices to choose non-plastic alternatives when I'm shopping. A little bit at a time, in my own corner, I'm trying to make a difference.

What have you been doing lately that helps the Earth?

PS: Here are a few other websites that offer patterns (sewn, knitted, and crocheted) for making your own Reusable Shopping Bags.

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