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Old 07-26-2010, 01:38 PM
 
5,567 posts, read 7,755,057 times
Reputation: 5567
I've been reusing my own cloth bags since 1991. It's really not the big deal that so many people seem to try to make it out to be.

I have a bag that packs up into a tiny keychain. So I always have that bag ready in case I make an unexpected purchase and didn't bring my own bags into the store or market with me. It's not a big deal.

I also like how much easier it is to sling my canvas bags over my shoulder to carry them.

Last edited by haggardhouseelf; 07-26-2010 at 01:48 PM..
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:44 PM
 
5,567 posts, read 7,755,057 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backdrifter View Post
Just because the they have bins at the stores to "recycle" your plastic bags doesn't mean they are actually getting recycled. It depends on the market. And these plastic bags can only be recycled into certain things... But at least then they're being disposed of properly instead of ending up as litter somewhere.

This is true. A lot of the materials we think we're recycling, actually do not end up getting recycled.

Also, a lot of the recyclables end up getting put on container ships and sent off to Asia... and anytime anything is put on a container ship it's common for things (sometimes whole containers) to fall off into the ocean, which is why we have the massive trash islands in our oceans now.

So, anytime you can reuse, it's a much wiser choice. Recycling isn't always the best choice.

Google "garbage islands ocean".

Great Pacific Garbage Patch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It's also one of the reasons to buy local, to prevent your goods from having to come over here by container ships. Buying products and things that are already here, and reusing things that are already here, actually does help a lot. And can save you money, too.
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Old 07-26-2010, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Hillsboro, OR
54 posts, read 74,866 times
Reputation: 39
In order of importance:

reduce consumption
buy local, sustainable choices when available
reuse
recycle
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Old 07-26-2010, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Cleveland Heights OH
13,323 posts, read 9,652,579 times
Reputation: 12599
Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdInHand View Post
In order of importance:

reduce consumption
buy local, sustainable choices when available
reuse
recycle
I feel I can do that now with plastic bags. Since I don't drive a fossil fuel burning car, can I have my plastic bags instead?

Oh and an added thought. I once left a plastic bag out on my doorstep all winter wrapped around a planter. In the spring the bag had disitinigrated. Maybe we should all leave out our plastic bags to self destruct.

Now I am going to run and duck for cover after I say that one person's pollutant is another's treasure. I would rather see fewer people breeding than fewer plastic bags. To me that is the worst pollutant. There are others as well. Like it or don't we all contribute to the pollution of the world in one way or another.
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:19 PM
 
5,567 posts, read 7,755,057 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
Oh and an added thought. I once left a plastic bag out on my doorstep all winter wrapped around a planter. In the spring the bag had disitinigrated. Maybe we should all leave out our plastic bags to self destruct.
I have seen a lot of plastic bags lately that were supposedly biodegradable... maybe you used one of those? That's pretty cool that it actually works. I've wondered about that! I've seen biodegrabale plastic utensils, too. I think the biodegradable plastic stuff is made from corn...

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Old 07-29-2010, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Portland OR
400 posts, read 741,511 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdInHand View Post
In order of importance:

reduce consumption
buy local, sustainable choices when available
reuse
recycle
Sometimes, using is reducing. For example, I line my cookie sheet with aluminum foil and throw it out after each use. Many things will drip juice, then become baked on.

More resources is spent in heating up the water to completely get that thing scrubbed clean compared to what it takes to make a small amount of aluminum foil that gets used.
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:59 PM
 
5,567 posts, read 7,755,057 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TechmanOR View Post
Sometimes, using is reducing. For example, I line my cookie sheet with aluminum foil and throw it out after each use. Many things will drip juice, then become baked on.

More resources is spent in heating up the water to completely get that thing scrubbed clean compared to what it takes to make a small amount of aluminum foil that gets used.
Parchment paper works better for lining cookie sheets. And you can compost it!

And if you rinse/wash the aluminum foil after you use it, you can recycle it, I believe... (YES you can I just looked it up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminium_recycling ) I don't use aluminum foil ever because of the link of aluminum cookware with brain issues. You heat the aluminum, and I just figure some of that has to get into your food... and... well I'm the same way about plastic. I try to avoid it as much as I can. Anytime you heat something it's easier for the molecules from one thing to pass on to the other...

I've never looked it up... but I also have no idea where it comes from. Is it dug out of the earth? Where does aluminum foilf come from? Is it renewable? Does it grow on trees? (just kidding) I'm curious now...

Anyway try parchment paper - works great.
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Old 07-29-2010, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
1,657 posts, read 2,544,024 times
Reputation: 838
Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
....I've never looked it up... but I also have no idea where it comes from. Is it dug out of the earth? Where does aluminum foilf come from? Is it renewable? Does it grow on trees? (just kidding) I'm curious now...
Aluminium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Aluminum bauxite (Aluminum-Oxide) in many places is stripped mined from the earth. Bauxite is not a "seam" or a layer of mineral deposit, but is more "salted" within the ground of an area rich in bauxite. From what I know, the 1st step is to concentrate the bauxite from the rest of the dirt.

Takes huge amounts of electrical current through Bauxite to separate the aluminum from its bond with oxygen. Unlike like smelting iron or nickle, bauxite must be heated by electrical current passing thru it.

The refining process, specifically the generation of the electrical energy required, is a strong greenhouse gas making process, since the most common form of electrical energy is from coal or other hydrocarbon fuel used to crate steam, which in turn drives the turbines connected to the Electrical Generators.

Recycling Aluminum saves that huge energy investment to separate aluminum from it's naturally occurring Oxygen bond in Bauxite. It also helps reduce the amount of land that must be strip mined in places like the Island of Jamaica, or in Africa.
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Old 07-29-2010, 10:39 PM
 
474 posts, read 730,490 times
Reputation: 253
Because of the 'cheap' energy generated by the Columbia, aluminum plants went up in Troutdale - I think Reynolds High School was named after Reynolds Aluminum - and I think it was Alcoa in Vancouver. This was around the time of WW2. The plants might still be there?
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Old 07-30-2010, 05:45 PM
 
474 posts, read 730,490 times
Reputation: 253
I was just looking at my receipt from a purchase I made at the hardware store today. I was creditted 10 cents for having my own bag. I didn't even realize they had been doing that until today.
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