While some ideas for green living seem to be getting a little unorthodox (this story in particular, about hunting an invasive species of semi-aquatic rodents in Louisiana to create fashionable furs while helping to protect native wildlife, is one such movement), there’s also some evidence that a lot of publicity on one aspect of “reuse, reduce, recycle” can backfire.
Robin Shreeves of Mother Nature Network points out that with reusable bags being given away at tons of different events and stores, we may be harming the environment more than helping, simply by overproduction.
One fact about material choice really stuck out to me: “A nonwoven polypropylene bag, for example, would have to be used just 11 times to make up for the negative effects of a plastic bag used one time, according to a British Environment Agency study that compared bags. A cotton bag, however, would have to be used 131 times.”
Yikes! Shreeves offers some smart ways to avoid reusable-bag overload and encourages manufacturers and business owners to pay attention to the materials in the bags they give away.
When I belonged to a knitting club in college, I started to knit a reusable bag from the millions of plastic bags I’d accumulated from the grocery store, which is one option if you happen to be crafty. DIY network offers a good tutorial.
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