Bacteria and your reusable bags…

Did I just sense some of you cringing?  Yes, I’ll admit… the latest news reports had me a little squeamish too, but let’s keep it in perspective and DO NOT let ourselves be led to think that reusable bags aren’t the right choice (it still IS absolutely the right choice!).

If you haven’t heard the buzz:  “A study from the University of Arizona and Loma Linda University in California found that most people who bring their own bags to the grocery store don’t wash or clean them regularly – and the researchers also discovered a large number of bacteria present in the reusable bags.”  Take a look at the study but you can also read more about the topic at Earth 911.

Admittedly, I’m not a frequent-reusable-bag-washer either. But I do have a fairly simple plan for combatting these cooties!  First of all, I have a set of bags dedicated to grocery shopping.  I tied a red ribbon on the handle of the bag meant for only meat products.  On the handle of the produce-dedicated bag, you guested it… a green ribbon.  It’s easy to just let the cashier know where you need your items placed (sure, sometimes they aren’t thrilled, but oh well!).

I have a whole second set of bags especially for all of my non-grocery purchases.  That absolutely eliminates the concern since there isn’t anything that goes inside to cause the contamination.

If this still leaves you a bit unsettled, well, there’s another simple way to ease your mind… (hold onto your hats!)… wash… your… bags. 🙂 

And in all reality, even the EPA admits that most of the bacteria doesn’t even pose a health threat.  Afterall, there’s more bacteria on the handle of the gas pump you just used to fill-up your car!

So, my green friends, do NOT be deterred.  Reusable bags are, and always will be, the way to go. (The harm plastic bags create is much greater!)  Just periodically let them go for a little swim in your washing machine and, I promise you, all will be well.

MGG Giveaway Day 4: “Citizenpip” for a ‘green lunchtime’!

citiznpp logo(This giveaway is now closed for entries… see “comments” for the winner!)

We’re on to the fourth giveaway… and it’s another great one! We’ve covered some giveaways for you, for your baby, for the whole family and now it’s time to send one of your kids off to lunch in the coolest, greenest way possible!

It’s Citizenpip’s lunchkit! Everything is BPA-free, safe, reusable, eco-friendly galore and super cute! Perfect for avoiding all of that needless lunchtime trash.  (Did you happen to know that, on average, a child throws away about 67 pounds of trash in one school year?!?)

Today, you can win a FREE Square Meal Kit! It includes an insulated lunch bag, stainless steel water bottle, thermos and fork & spoon set, four food containers and five cotton napkins.citiznpp2 kit

Does your little citizen need some pip?  Then just leave a comment here saying you’d like to win, or send a Twitter message that includes a reply to @momgoesgreen and a link to this blog. Facebook friends can also leave a comment to be entered. The winner will be randomly selected on November 9! (U.S. entries only… sorry.)

Enter to win and turn lunchtime “Citizenpip” green… minus the 67 pounds of trash!

Plastic bags + animals = heartbreak

Some of the first things everyone says to do in a “mission to go green” is to switch to CFLs, or eat organic, or switch all of your products to eco-friendly formulas, or buy a reusable water bottle. To these things I say: yes, yes, yes and yes.

But I STILL cannot get over how many of us haven’t switched to reusable bagsI… hate… plastic… bags. And when it’s obvious that you can buy a reusable bag just about anywhere (for 99 cents, I might add), I wonder why so many of us hesitate to use them.

I ran across some images that, although they show only a portion of the problem, to me this problem is heartbreaking.

Some you may have seen before, some may be new. But I think they speak for themselves…

plastic bag & sea turtle

plastic bag & bird

plastic & sea turtle

ottr w bag

(Sea otter mother & baby photo by photographer, Terry McCormac)

dolph w bg

(The archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, Brazil is considered a wildlife sanctuary but today, even in this isolated archipelago, dolphins are victims of the bad habits of consumption. Photo and caption by João Vianna)

If you don’t already use them (and after seeing these images), would you please consider buying (and using) some reusable bags instead?

‘Tis the season to remember your reusables!

no plastic bagsAs I’ve spent the last week doing some major shopping for the holidays, I’ve armed myself with my own reusable bags at every stop and in every store.

But one thing has certainly gotten my attention… where are all of my “reusable bag comrades”?!?! I’m shocked that I sometimes look around and can’t find a single other soul toting their totes, yet I DO see a sea of plastic! It’s so disheartening. It’s no wonder statistics place the worldwide usage of plastic bags somewhere around one TRILLION annually!

Please, please… if you haven’t already done it, make a small investment in reusable bags and make them a part of every shopping trip you make, no matter how big or small.  I could go on and on about the disastrous effects of plastic bags, including the heartbreak of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, but I think we all “know”… they’re simply bad news. And once you have them, REMEMBER THEM! That is the other half of the equation.  Buying them is not enough. They need to be USED! Come’on… you can do it!

Plastic bags are a serious topic, but sometimes serious topics also deserve a little levity too… are YOU stuck in a “Plastic State of Mind”???

It’s time to change the habit! Ban single-use bags made of plastic!

Giveaway: Bazura Bag… upcycled with a mission & a cause

(This giveaway is now closed for entries. See “comments” for winner announcement!)

My absolute favorite products have to be those that serve a real purpose, help the environment and also contribute to a cause… today I want to give you a chance to learn about and win one of “those”…

baz bagLet me introduce Bazura Bags!  These bags are created by a co-operative of women in the Philippines desperately working to put their lives back together after a devastating typhoon last fall.  Made from otherwise unusable drink containers collected by local schoolchildren (who are paid for their “supplies”), the women of the co-op create and sell these unique, fair trade bags to support themselves and recover from this disaster.

It should come as no surprise that Bazura is actually a Filipino word for “trash”!… well, not anymore!  They are creating these bright and cheery bags that can be used again and again for any shopping trip or occasion when you need a simple tote.  Just yesterday, I saw them for sale in the shop of Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art, so they are truly considered little works of art!

I have a market bag* to share too!  Would you like to win it?  Well, just leave a comment here saying you’d like to win and tell me how you’d like to use your bag, or send a Twitter message that includes a reply to @momgoesgreen and a link to this blog.  Fbaz womenacebook friends can also leave a comment to be entered. The winner will be randomly selected on May 24! (U.S. entries only… sorry!)

Even if you don’t win, consider buying one of your own or take a look at their site for a whole variety of products the next time you have a gift to give… and then smile when you realize all of the ways these bags are making a big difference in the lives of these women and for the sake of the environment!

(*Please note:  because all bags are unique, the bag will not look exactly like the one shown above, but it will be very similar!)