The Danger of Plastic


This week’s Change The World Wednesday challenge at Reduced Footprints is Level 1 (The Green Grasshopper) – Eliminate plastic bags. Refuse them at the store and opt for reusable bags instead.

Our county helps us with this task.  Starting in January 2013 – if we opt for a bag at the grocery story, or anywhere else, we are charged a $0.05 tax on each and every bag (paper and plastic).  That $0.05 adds up after several months of grocery shopping.  County residents really made an effort to buy and use reusable bags.

So, while the Green Grasshopper challenge (the lowest of the challenges) would seem quite easy for me – it wasn’t.

I have, unfortunately, become very absent minded in my old age.  We have tons of reusable bags here, but for the life of me – I cannot remember to put them in the car.  So, I end up at the store – with no reusable bags.  It’s May – and I have been doing this for 5 months.  I refuse to buy more reusable bags.

So what did I do this week?  I carried all my groceries out of the store in my hands.

Yes siree Bob!  Luckily I had my willing helpers with me!  There is nothing like kid-power when you need to carry groceries – sans bag!

Lets look a bit deeper at single use plastic bags – and why it’s so important that I remember to put my reusable bags in the car.

  • In America, we use approximately 1,200 bags per resident per year – for a total 380 billion bags.
  • 12 million barrels of oil is needed to produce all those plastic bags.
  • Thousands of marine animals and 1 million birds die due to our usage of plastic bags.  Animals accidentally ingest them and both animals and birds get caught in them and drown.  Even when the bags break down, the plastic doesn’t – and the remaining components are often ingested an unsuspecting animal.

Citation:  The Dangers of Plastic

What to do

Refuse plastic at the store.  Refuse paper at the store.  Do you think the paper bags are any better than the plastic?  More than 14 million trees and thousands of gallons of water are necessary to make the paper bags.  So, no – paper isn’t a better choice.

We have tons of plastic bags sitting under our sink.  Lately, I have been re-purposing them.

  1. When our washing machine died, I used a plastic bag to hold my reusable menstrual pads.  🙂 Welp, what can I say?
  2. I use them to put the vomit clothes and sheets in when the kids are sick.
  3. I use them to deep condition Ava’s hair.  Plastic doesn’t breathe.  So, I put on the conditioner, put on the plastic and let the hair cook in her own body heat.

Deep conditioning bag

About Lisa

Hey! Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm Lisa - a homeschool mom of 3 (2 boys and 1 girl). I care about the strength of the family in America, and often blog about babies/kids, natural parenting, homeschool, and marriage. Before you leave, please sign up for my monthly newsletter (on the top right). If you do, you will be well rewarded with notification of all giveaways and sales - which will not be announced on the blog. Google+ Profile


  1. I use our plastic bags as trash liners in the bathroom. They work pretty well for that.

    I had noticed that Ava’s hair was gorgeous – I bet that deep conditioning helps!
    maryanne recently posted…Organic Gardening: Dealing with AnimalsMy Profile

    • Hey Mama!

      Ava’s hair is a TOTAL pain. It is so very thick. I want to straighten it, but I don’t think it’s a good idea since she is so young.

      That hair needs to be tamed. The deep conditioning does really help it to stay soft though.

      Plastic bags as liners is a very good idea!
      Lisa recently posted…Happy Homes – Peaceful HomesMy Profile

  2. We keep our reusable bags on the hooks with our coats; that way I get reminded on the way out.
    CelloMom recently posted…We Need a Change in Climate NewsMy Profile

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