HOW TO SWITCH FROM PLASTIC BAGS TO REUSABLES

Earth Day 2012 is a great time to step back and finally stop using those plastic bags you know are so harmful to our environment. Convenience is no longer a reason to justify using a product that essentially lives forever, never biodegrading.

Plastic manufacturers estimate that the average person in this country uses 500 plastic grocery bags per year! This is a stunning number to say the least considering the amount of time each bag is used to carry something.

Now that you’ve made the decision to stop using plastic bags you will need to determine how many reusable bags are right for your family. A minimum of 4 or 5 reusable bags per household vehicle is a good starting point.

Most grocery, drug, and big box stores sell them for 99 cents apiece, a small investment that brings exceptional benefits for the environment.

Consider a small foldable reusable bag to take with you in your purse. It will come in handy for quick trips to the store.

The hardest part of switching from plastic to reusable bags is remembering to bring your bags when you shop! It may take several weeks for you in integrate this new habit into your shopping routine and life style.

Purchasing a Bagnesia steering wheel wrap to trigger your memory to bring those bags with you before you shop will make the switch infinitely easier. Don’t get discouraged and don’t give up. We all forget.

Here’s a great tip. Make sure you put your reusable bags back in your car as soon as your groceries are put away. Trust me, the likelihood you will remember to take your bags with you (the ones you left in the kitchen on a table or on a chair), is remote.

Once you start using reusable bags you will find yourself wanting to do more. You will need to establish new routine for handling all that plastic you bring home with you from the grocery store. All those plastic bottles, egg cartons, plastic wrap from food stuffs, packaging surrounding batteries and other hard goods need to be collected and recycled.

I keep a separate bin for collecting the plastic trash that comes into my home every time I shop. I have a plan in place for recycling the plastic trash and keeping it separate from the trash collected by the city.

The last part of your new program concerns recycling all that plastic trash you and your family will collect every week. If your city or town has a separate collection program for plastic in all its forms, great. If not, consideration will have to be given to bringing back the plastic for collection at a recycling point.

Publix has plastic collection bins in front of their stores, but only for certain kinds of plastic.  Harry’s (Whole Foods) has the best plastic collection program allowing for all types of plastics including plastic bottles.

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When Our Oceans Are Barren; Japanese Atrocities of Whales, Dolphins & Sharks

If you have been watching the Whale Wars on Planet Green, you already know what a treacherous existence it is for whales.

 

It isn’t bad enough that our oceans are treated like cesspools where areas have ten times as much plastic trash as plankton.  The trash is ingested by hundreds of thousands of birds and seas creatures … a time bomb  going off in their guts that silently kills.  The number of whales, in particular, that are found stranded with stomachs full of trash is increasing with greater frequency.

No, we have a few nations, Japan in particular, that behave with utter disregard to savage, mind numbing killing of  sharks just for their fins.  Harvesting sharks as a food source is one thing … killing hundreds of thousands of sharks just for their fins and tossing the rest of the carcasses away is criminal waste.

The Japanese apparently feel that all of  the oceans fish, sharks, dolphins, and whales are there to feed their voracious appetites for sea food and the rest of the world be dammed. It’s part of their culture, don’t ya know!

If you have seen The Cove you have viewed  the tragedy of the Japanese insistence of mindlessly killing dolphins every year. The worse part of this story is that the rationale for the dolphin round-up is so that business corporations like Sea World can add to their supply of performing dolphins.

What is particularly hideous about the slaughter of the dolphins and whales is that these aquatic mammals are intelligent creatures that possess self awareness.  They know who they are! They are cultural animals that can learn and teach one another. They mourn and feel pain.

According to the Sunday Times:

Dolphins have been declared the world’s second most intelligent creatures after humans, with scientists suggesting they are so bright that they should be treated as “non-human persons”.

Studies into dolphin behavior have highlighted how similar their communications are to those of humans and that they are brighter than chimpanzees. These have been backed up by anatomical research showing that dolphin brains have many key features associated with high intelligence.

The researchers argue that their work shows it is morally unacceptable to keep such intelligent animals in amusement parks or to kill them for food or by accident when fishing. Some 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises die in this way each year.

Just how intelligent are whales?

It has been shown that whales, including baleen species, exhibit exceptional acumen. Studies show that they can solve problems and use tools; show grief and joy; and of course they live in complex societies as a key adaptive strategy to their vast watery environment. Cognitively advanced, whales have powers of acoustic processing, communication and social intelligence.


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Obama Worst President for the Environment Ever

Lost in the din of the BP Deepwater Disaster oil spill was the announcement that the United States and the Obama Administration have been major players in back room negotiations that will allow Japan, Norway, and Iceland to restart commercial whaling.

Every President since Reagan has supported the international ban on the killing of whales going back to 1986.

According to numerous sources that include the Los Angeles Times and Current TV:

After years of backroom negotiations and closed-door meetings, a secret deal has emerged that would re-start the cruel commercial slaughter of our ocean’s great whales.
That’s right, the same country that for decades has led the international fight to stop the cruel and unnecessary commercial slaughter of whales…whose president promised to be a leader on wildlife protections…is now behind the deal that would reintroduce commercial whaling. In fact, four out of the last five closed-door meetings that produced this plan have been held on American soil. This is a deal that was literally “made in the USA!”
But now – on President Obama’s watch – the United States is about to support a plan that will reintroduce legalized commercial whaling – this despite his campaign assurances that he would strengthen protections for whales.

Greenpeace has labeled President Obama as Public Enemy #1 because of his support of of this unconscionable deal that sanctions the slaughter of these magnificent creatures.

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SHOCKING VIDEO… OUR LEGACY OF PLASTIC TRASH & THE DESTRUCTION OF THE OCEANS & OUR ENVIRONMENT

Watching this video it is hard not to become cynical about the selfish, lazy nature of mankind.

It remains incomprehensible to me how ANYONE who talks about saving the environment and the oceans can continue to use single use plastic bags, products, and bottles.

Less than a minute into the video, pause it for a moment and take a good look at the contents inside the stomach of that bird.

The massive destruction of our environment on a global scale is being conducted 24/7, 365 days a year, every year ad infinitum … for what?  Tell me again, for CONVENIENCE … so we can take home our groceries in bags that we use for minutes and that last thousands of years?


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BRYDE'S WHALE DIES AFTER INGESTING PLASTIC BAGS

Too many people refuse to take the impact of plastic bags, trash, and debris in the oceans seriously.

For some it is as simple as out of sight and out of mind.  If they can’t see it (the destruction caused by plastic trash), it cannot possibly be an issue to grapple with.  For others, the attitude they present is,”don’t bother me with facts, my mind’s made up!”

I happened across this video of a Bryde’s whale dying after having eaten plastic trash.  This was confirmed after the necropsy as this brief clip shows.


If you think this was a very rare occurrence, think again.  The following is from a recent post from The Nature Conservancy:

Plastics: 1, Marine Mammals: 0

Plastic bags, plastic cups, plastic sheeting, plastic bottles, plastic toys, plastic, plastic, plastic. There’s even a patch of Pacific Ocean — thought to be at least the size of Texas and dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — that is just plastic and other trash, bobbing along at the surface, circling in the current.

Still, plastics aren’t the only problem, just one of the most obvious. All over the world, animals (especially marine mammals and sea turtles) are dying from eating our trash.

  • Last December, seven sperm whales washed up on an Italian beach — all of them dead from plastic (and, let’s be fair, other debris like rope, tin cans and other containers) in their stomachs.
  • In 2008, it was a dead sperm whale near Point Reyes, California. Its stomach contents? An astonishing 450 pounds of fishing net, some kind of mesh, braided rope, plastic bags and one plastic    comb.
  • In 2006, scientists reviewed 371 sea turtle necropsies (an autopsy of an animal) since 1968 and discovered that one-third of the turtles had likely died from eating plastic.
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    Food Network "Stages" Iron Chef America White House Episode – Those Veggies didn't Come from "Le Jardin Extraordinaire"

    I gotta admit, I’m miffed. Emeril (BAM!) Lagasse, Bobby Flay, and Mario Batalli all lied to us.  Was that a bit strong? Well, maybe they fudged the truth is more like it.

    I watched that episode of Iron Chef, the one where Michelle Obama made a brief appearance to announce that the show’s “secret ingredient” was to be the vegetables from the White House garden.

    All through the hour the audience heard Emeril droning on and on about the superior quality of the White House vegetables they were cooking with.

    Now it turns out our four competing chefs weren’t cooking with these vegetables extraordinaire after all. Turns out that the veggies used in the episode were locally sourced (and by extension not from the White House garden) according to a spokesperson for Food Network.

    White House vegetable garden

    Photo courtesy of The Food Network


    The Baltimore Sun is reporting

    that the vegetables used in the Jan. 3 episode of the Iron Chef — which were supposed to have been harvested from the White House vegetable garden — were actually stunt doubles.

    First Lady Michelle Obama famously appeared with competitors Bobbie Flay, Emeril Lagasse and Mario Batalli, who were joined by White House chef Cristeta Comerford, and charged them with making healthy meals with whatever they could find in the garden.

    Apparently, the time lag between the White House harvest scene filmed in October and the cooking competition filmed a week later in New York was too great for the vegetables to have remained fresh.

    It is also reported  here that the ratings for the White House Iron Chef of America special “set new viewer records for Food Network. ….With about 4.6 million viewers, it was the highest rated and most-watched show in Food Network’s history.”

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    EMBARASSED RETAILERS WILL STOP THE PRACTICE OF DESTROYING GOODS THEY CANNOT SELL

    This one really got to me.

    Last week, if you missed the story, the New York Times did a story on clothing retailer, H&M.  It seems that they have been tossing out and destroying perfectly good clothes that they could not sell; cutting the fingers off of gloves, putting knives and scissors to shirts, jackets, etc.

    At the back entrance on 35th Street, awaiting trash haulers, were bags of garments that appear to have never been worn. And to make sure that they never would be worn or sold, someone had slashed most of them with box cutters or razors, a familiar sight outside H & M’s back door. The man and woman were there to salvage what had not been destroyed.

    In the process of researching this story, it turns out that the practice of tossing and destroying goes much further than one chain. It being reported that Wal-Mart is a participant in the same practice.  The question is how many other retailers are engaged in the same wasteful practice?

    A Wal-Mart spokeswoman, Melissa Hill, said that she had been unable to learn why new clothing with the store’s tags had been destroyed, but she added that the company typically donated or recycled such items.


    There is an update.  H&M has agreed to no longer continue this hateful, wasteful practice.

    “It will not happen again,” said Nicole Christie, a spokeswoman for H & M in New York. “We are committed 100 percent to make sure this practice is not happening anywhere else, as it is not our standard practice.”

    Ms. Christie said that H & M’s standard practice was to donate unworn clothing to aid organizations. She said that she did not know why the store on 34th Street was slashing the clothes, and that the company was checking to make sure that none of its other stores were doing it.

    Had it not been for the persistence of Cynthia Magnus, a graduate student at the City University of New York, we may never have known about this needless destruction of clothing and goods.



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