Written on April 22, 2011 – 11:18 am | by EBB Team
Introducing: MyEco: Catalyst for Real Change in Sustainable living.
In 1977, Kristen Brown’s father, Gordon Dancy, introduced the plastic grocery bag to America. The invention of a convenient, user-friendly plastic sack along with the simple question, “Paper or Plastic?” revolutionized the grocery bag industry and changed consumer behavior. Today, four decades after her father made his mark, there is another need for change in consumer behavior.
Both plastic and paper bags have negative effects on the environment. Paper bags devastate forests and create water/air pollution, while plastic bags use precious oil and visibly litter our environment. Presently, nearly one-third of municipal solid waste is composed of packaging materials. It is time to change!
“Today, we must change behavior again as we work towards a more sustainable future. As an environmental consultant for the United States Environmental Protection Agency, I know the only long-term sustainable option is REUSE.” – Kristen Brown, inventor of myeco shopping bag solution.
Introducing: FABKINS: 100% organic cloth napkins for kids.
A fun and easy way to go green — and save money — every day
- Use Fabkins at home to reduce paper waste, teach good table manners and make mealtime more fun.
- Take eco-friendly Fabkins on-the-go to use instead of paper napkins, paper towels, tissues and wipes.
- Add Fabkins to a waste-free school lunch, save $250 and eliminate 67 pounds of waste every year.
10 Fabkins Fast Facts about Waste
- It is estimated that 17 trees are cut down for every ton of non-recycled paper. (source: Global Stewards www.globalstewards.org/lunch.html)
- “(Americans) use 2,200 [napkins] a year, per person, on average six a day. So if we all give up one napkin a day, we could save billions of paper waste from going to landfills” (As quoted by Elizabeth Rogers, co-author of The Green Book on the Oprah Winfrey Show, April 20, 2007)
- The average school aged child generates an estimated 67 pounds of lunchbox waste per year. With on average 25 million children carrying lunch to school daily, that means 3.5 billion pounds of lunchbox garbage is created in America each school year. (source: www.lunchopolis.com)
- Americans use 4 million plastic bottles every hour—yet only 1 bottle out of 4 is recycled. (source www.wastefreelunches.org)
- Americans throw away about 10% of the food they buy at the supermarket. This results in dumping the equivalent of more than 21 million shopping bags full of food into landfills each year. (source www.wastefreelunches.org)
- Approximately 12 % of the food served as part of the National School Lunch Program is wasted, resulting in an estimated direct economic loss of $600 million. (source: US Department of Agriculture, 2002)
- How long does it take these items to decompose in landfills? (source: www.wastefreelunches.org)
- Glass bottles/jars: 1 million years
- Aluminum cans: 80-100 years
- Plastic bags: 10-20 years
- Plastic coated paper: 5 years
- Orange and banana peels: 2-5 weeks
- Newspaper: 2-4 weeks
- Recycling one aluminum can saves the amount of energy to light one 100 watt bulb for 20 hours or run a TV for 3 hours. (source: Raven Recycling Society, Canada)
- In North America, we make enough garbage every day to fill 70,000 garbage trucks. Lined up bumper to bumper, over a year, they would stretch halfway to the moon. (source: Waste Free Lunch Challenge Sample Announcements)
- Waste from packaging accounts for more than 30 percent of all the waste generated each year. (source: thermapod.ca)
Back by popular demand: LUNCHBOTS: why avoid plastic?
Everyday, we do our best to keep our family safe, and that means protecting our health as well as our environment. We exercise, eat right, recycle, it’s all in a day’s work. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s not as simple as doing just those things. Recently, disturbing news has surfaced about the health and environmental impact of plastics. With plastic being everywhere in our daily lives, it’s important to start reconsidering how and why we use it.
For Your Health
From our dishes and toys to our food packaging, there’s a reason to think twice about plastic. Plastics come in numerous varieties, but many of them often contain toxic additives that can influence a plastic’s properties. Color, texture, hardness, these can all be changed to improve performance or reduce cost – even though the additives used might be potentially dangerous.
A commonly used additive is a plasticizer. Plasticizers, such as adipates and phthalates, soften plastics to be used in food packaging, teethers, toys, and many other household products. This becomes an issue when a plastic comes into contact with food. Traces of these chemicals can leach out of the plastic, exposing your family to their harmful effects.
You might have heard media discussion of Bisphenol A (BPA). It’s a toxic chemical additive found in many plastics and epoxy resins that leaches into our food and beverages. In fact, BPA is so common that plastic baby bottles, water bottles, sports equipment, even the coating inside most food and beverage cans have all been found to contain BPA.
BPA and chemicals like it have come under scrutiny from Canada, Europe, and our own Environmental Protection Agency. Canada has already banned the use of BPA in baby bottles, and both the U.S. and Europe are looking at phasing out consumer products with phthalates; BPA and other potentially harmful chemicals are the next to be evaluated.
Why should we be so concerned about these things? Studies have shown that certain additives can cause harmful developmental effects on children, potentially impacting allergies, hormones, metabolism, and more. More and more studies are beginning to show that the convenience of plastic simply isn’t worth the risk to our health.
For Your Planet
You want the best for your children, and that means leaving them a clean and safe planet – not just for them, but for their own children and the generation after that. Because of that, it’s also important to consider the environmental impact of plastics. Unlike paper, glass, or wood, plastics aren’t biodegradable or easily reusable. That means that a plastic water bottle from today could be in the exact same condition when your grandchildren are born.
Now, consider the number of plastic items consumed by the average family in a week: water bottles, food containers, product packaging, and so on. Just about all of that creates an immense amount of waste with nowhere to go. At best, it’s in a landfill, and at worst, it pollutes the ocean or wildlife areas. Either way, it affects our children’s lives for today and tomorrow. Right now, just a fraction of all plastic can be recycled – and of that fraction, only a small percentage is actually collected and processed. The choices we make have a giant impact on our planet’s future. The good news is that there are alternatives.
Join us in making this world a better place for our children to live one EcoBabyBuy at a time!
Tags: Earth Day, EcoBabyBuys, Sales Event