The great plastic bag debate
"An island of trash twice the size of Texas...."
"90% of this trash is plastic bags that never biodegrade..."
"More than 267 species die every year due to plastic in our oceans...."
Stats from Environment Oregon about The Great Pacific Clean-up: an effort to ban plastic bags at retailers in Oregon in order to stop contributing to this 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch'.
I tend to avoid the news a bit. I'm a little ashamed to admit that, because I believe in the importance of staying aware of current events. But I'm also a mom who loses far too much sleep worrying about the awful stuff I hear on TV. And luckily, I have a husband who is a news/current events/pop culture junkie and keeps me abreast of the important stuff. And every now and then something really strikes a cord and I feel the need to learn more. This is one of those issues.
I hadn't heard about this garbage patch until some young ladies from Environment Oregon came knocking at my door, asking for contributions to their cause, and trying to educate the public about this plastic bag problem. I checked their website as soon as they left and was saddened by what I read, but inspired that someone is trying to create change. My husband has been emailing me links to the latest news articles dealing with this campaign (this way I don't have to read all the articles about crazy people doing awful things to children and animals), and I was very excited to learn that Portland-area Fred Meyer stores are doing a trial ban on the plastic bags!! It will begin August 1st, and paper bags will still be available, but they are encouraging bringing your own reusable bags.
This is so easy, people! The bags are around $1 each. Buy one each time you buy groceries and you'll have plenty in no time! Most people I know are already doing this; I've been doing it for years. It's such a simple, inexpensive step we can ALL take to keep this garbage pile from growing. Start small!
Also, and a bit off the subject, but I recently read that Americans throw out 16,000,000,000 (yes, thats billion) disposable diapers each year. Which take 500 years to decompose. Consider cloth! It's easier than you think! And will literally save you thousands! Just sayin'. :)