Trash bags that actually biodegrade?… it’s “Green Genius”!!!

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Since we’re ‘super recyclers’ around the Mom Goes Green home, we go through trash bags very slowly, but I’ve always been bothered by the idea of anything that does need to be tossed in the trash because sometimes I do feel forced into a plastic trash bag!… blech!

Lately I’ve used Hefty Renew bags (since, at least, they’re made of 65% recycled plastic) but there’s a new bag in town, baby!… thanks to Green Genius I discovered their fantastic BIODEGRADABLE trash bags in a local store and I’m hooked!

They’re made from less recycled plastic (40%), but did you happen to notice I said BIODEGRADABLE?!?  Their tricky little ingredient is called EcoPure (a blend of organic materials) that actually turns the bags into food for microbes in landfills… (loving it!) The EcoPure bonds with the plastic, literally making it consumable for the microbes that break it down into simpler organic matter (loving it more!).  The bag becomes entirely edible, only the simplest organic matter remains and the bag has been biodegraded (total love fest!!!).grn genius bx

Is it affordable, you ask?  Oh yes, my friends… about 20 cents per bag which is completely in line with all of the major brands of regular trash bags. Here is a list of stores, but I’m betting there are more, since my retailer (Discount Drug Mart, found all around Ohio) wasn’t even listed!

Keep your eyes peeled because I’m thinking, before long, this bag will be available everywhere!  And then think about it… hmmm?… a biodegrading bag or, oh… one that lasts an eternity in a landfill(?!)… I think you’ll want to be a “Green Genius” too!!!

Simple green tip: Ditch your disposable pen habit!

Fpen grnACT: Each year, in the United States alone, we discard and send 1.6 BILLION plastic disposable pens to landfills.  Take a look at what that number actually looks like:  1,600,000,000

Mind-boggling, isn’t it?  And it is believed that most components of those pens will never biodegrade either… (and the image just got uglier, didn’t it?)

The better solution?  Invest in a refillable pen. The refills are no more expensive than disposable pens and the waste they produce is substantially less.

The pen may be “mightier than the sword,” but the refillable pen is “mighty green”.

Upcycle with TerraCycle… joining the “Brigades”!

Mom Goes Green is now also “Upcycle Mom” to 400 kids… the kids at our daughter’s elementary school, that is!

We’ve finally joined TerraCycle in their “Drink Pouch Brigade”.  If you know TerraCycle you probably know all about their products, but if you don’t know about their brigades, let me give you the rundown…

terracy prodsFirst of all, keep in mind that each year literally BILLIONS of non-recyclable drink pouches get tossed in the trash and wind up in landfills… fortunately, along came TerraCycle.  They upcycle this otherwise worthless trash and convert the used drink pouches into fashion bags, tote bags, pencil cases, and a whole slew of other items for kids and adults.  All you have to do is save the drink pouches, send them to TerraCycle and earn a little cash for your school, organization or charity of your choice.

Sure the financial part is a little incentive, but more than that (to me!) is the idea of all the trash that is being salvaged, upcycled and put to use.  Anytime something DOESN’T go in the trash can (thus the landfill), I’m one happy green momma!

These programs are perfect for schools, community groups, Boy Scout or Girl Scout troops, youth groups, churches… you name it… any group can do it and make quite a contribution to the planet.  terracy logo

And it’s not just drink pouches… they also collect yogurt cups, candy and cookie wrappers, chip bags, glue sticks and glue bottles… there is a list of 25 brigades, so something is sure to fit.

I’m ready to go and lead my little troops in the Drink Pouch Brigade.   Now, if I suddenly stop blogging, could someone please come over and rescue me from under the mountain of drink pouches where I’m likely to be buried?!?

Toxic water from landfills is all around us.

I’ve never wavered on my opinion about drinking tap water over bottled water for reasons that include BPA, an abundance of trash and the simple waste-factor. While I still believe in filtered tap water, new studies are becoming rather alarming.

landflRecently, in my home state of Ohio, the EPA reportedly found pollutants in all 30 of the landfill facilities they investigated.  Each landfill has waste-collection systems, ponds or pumps that make it possible to draw water (the other 25 do not).  But the concern is clear – all were found to contain arsenic, benzene and vinyl chloride (all suspected carcinogens) as well as lead (which can cause brain and nervous system damage).

In addition, as many as 29 pollutants were found at levels that exceed drinking-water health limits and pollution standards for streams, and it poses a hazard when it’s released into groundwater or surface water.  Simply put, this is polluting our environment, our soil, our wildlife and our families.

This makes my stomach churn and I have an instant headache.  Suddenly my glass of water doesn’t look so tasty!

But all joking aside, it makes me wonder when, or if, we will ever be able to drink water and not feel that we are potentially drinking a glass full of toxins at the same time.  To me it means the EPA needs to “step up” and enact tougher standards to prevent this awful contamination, and violators needed to be assessed astronomical fines until they cut it out!  WHERE exactly are we supposed to get clean water otherwise?water wst

To make matters worse, my husband also sent me an article from the New York Times regarding data compiled on more than 200,000 facilities that have permits to discharge pollutants.  Permits to discharge pollutants?!? “Permit” and “pollutants” should never even be in the same sentence.

The database comes from the Environmental Protection Agency and the California State Water Resources Control Board and includes businesses and industry in every state of the US.  Take a look, check your zip code and I hope you aren’t as shocked as I was.

To me, this says we sure have a long way to go.