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View Full Version : Our Oceans are turning into plastic. Are we?


geekgolightly
06-26-2007, 11:03 AM
A vast swath of the Pacific, twice the size of Texas, is full of a plastic stew that is entering the food chain. Scientists say these toxins are causing obesity, infertility...and worse. (http://www.bestlifeonline.com/cms/publish/travel-leisure/Our_oceans_are_turning_into_plastic_are_we.shtml)

Silver
06-26-2007, 12:37 PM
OMG.. those pix are heartbreaking. Hubby teases me when I cut plastic rings and six-pack containers. I just tell him I don't know where this will end up...

debinoz
06-26-2007, 12:42 PM
I cut mine up too. That picture of the turtle should be enough to make everyone do it.

geekgolightly
06-26-2007, 12:43 PM
I am trying to edit out as much plastic from my life now. I am collecting the plastic bags from the grocery stores, including the ones I use to contain my fruits and veggies and reusing them. I take them with me to the store. There are biodegradable alternatives to plastic for kitchen uses, but they are really expensive. I need more ideas about how to lessen the amount of plastic I use and dispose of.

I read this article two weeks ago, and am still walking around in a state of shock.:pout:

Oh! I am also buying milk from cardboard cartons or glass and looking for anything any alternative to plastic packaging, especially the single-use type and will support companies that have alternatives to plastic.

Silver
06-26-2007, 12:54 PM
The info about recycling really opened my eyes. I've always been a steadfast recycler, being careful to put every bit of recyclable material in one of our 3 blue recycling bins. There are only 3 of us on my whole street that recycle!! WHY?!? Our bins are delivered for FREE!

I guess it is better than not recycling at all, but I'm going to look at plastic containers differently now. And I think I'm switching to paper bags at the grocery store...

Jan in CA
06-26-2007, 01:13 PM
:pout: That is so sad. We have 3 large bins (trash, recycling, green waste) and we usually have much more in the recycling bin that the trash bin. As far as I can tell most of our neighbors recycle, too.

I am planning on getting some canvas bags for groceries, but money is tight right now. We do reuse the plastic bags though so I guess that helps. We can all do more though for sure.

Stiney
06-26-2007, 01:28 PM
Jan, if you have a Trader Joe's near you, they have canvas bags for either 99 cents or a $1.99. I also bought an insulated bag that is reusable, which is great because I walk to and from the grocery store. I've got one insulated bag, and one canvas, but I plan on upping that a bit. And I think I'm going to start bringing the canvas to different types of shops--I hate how EVERY store wants to give you a bag. :pout:

That pour turtle. I cut plastic ring things into ridiculously tiny pieces, but I rarely buy anything that uses them.

Jan in CA
06-26-2007, 01:40 PM
Jan, if you have a Trader Joe's near you, they have canvas bags for either 99 cents or a $1.99.

:passedout: Whoa..that's great! I'll check them out!

zazzu
06-26-2007, 01:48 PM
I request plastic bags every week at the market. Then I just take them back the following week and put them in the store's bag bin.

Somewhere on the internet, I read about a woman who crochets plastic grocery bags into plastic rugs. Those were sorta cool. :)

Jan in CA
06-26-2007, 01:50 PM
Here are a couple sites that you all may be interested in.
http://www.reusablebags.com/
http://www.greenhome.com/

I bought some canvas lunch bags, but I don't see them anymore. It was several years ago so they must be making something new now.

Stiney
06-26-2007, 01:51 PM
:passedout: Whoa..that's great! I'll check them out!


They aren't as big as the Trader Joe's paper bags, but they're close. The insulated bag was either $1.99 or $2.99, can't remember which. It probably is made of plastic, though. :pout:

lissalue
06-26-2007, 04:59 PM
this just moves my plans of knit grocery bags up a notch on my to-do list. i don't want to bring home any more plastic bags if i can help it!

Jan in CA
06-26-2007, 05:31 PM
We just bought a couple reusable bags at Target today!

brendajos
06-26-2007, 06:12 PM
Here are a couple sites that you all may be interested in.
http://www.reusablebags.com/
http://www.greenhome.com/

I bought some canvas lunch bags, but I don't see them anymore. It was several years ago so they must be making something new now.


I LOVE LOVE LOVE www.reusablebags.com (http://www.reusablebags.com). I go back there all the time for more bags and carry the bags i have in my back pack all the time. I give them as gifts, in an effort to get more people using them.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y200/brendajos/General%20Pics/Sunday%20Blog%20Pics/trunk.jpg

There's my latest grocery expedition in my trunk... that plastic bag in the lower left hand corner irritates me because it was just eggs and bread and could have gone in one of the 2 extra bags he gave back to me...grrrr. (meat i can understand but they are washable so it isn't necessary either!) The purple and green bags have carribeaner (yeah i have no idea now to spell that) clips on them too. cheap ones but functional enough.

There is a company that takes the plastic bottles too... they send you a box and you just tape it and ship it to them, free, when it is full. i need to find their info online again. it makes me feel better about all that plastic in the trunk there. :pout:

brendajos
06-26-2007, 06:17 PM
OOOH and btw... can I suggest that when you start clearing stuff out of the house, for whatever reason, consider freecycling or craigslisting whatever it is you are getting rid of. There are people out there who will take almost anything. A friend of mine got rid of a TV that didn't work, someone came and picked her apples up off the ground, i got rid of a BUNCH of homespun and some bathroom decorations I was no longer using.

It can be tedious because there are people who will flake out on you when they are supposed to come pick it up, but to me it is worth keeping the stuff out of the landfills.

lissalue
06-26-2007, 06:18 PM
i am using some eco-spun yarn for my bags. it is part cotton, and part recycled bottles. i thought it was perfect for a project to cut back on my plastic use.

newamy
06-27-2007, 01:03 AM
We use lots of canvas bags. I request paper bag if needed and I can. We recycle loads too. In our community almost everything can be recycled- it would be interesting to call the garbage company and find out what they do with the plastics.

Anyway- you can knit tote bags out of plastic grocery bags- they might be sturdier and, well they will last awhile anyway, but you can maybe reuse the plastic in a better way. I might have to try that myself.

geekgolightly
06-27-2007, 10:20 AM
:pout: That is so sad. We have 3 large bins (trash, recycling, green waste) and we usually have much more in the recycling bin that the trash bin. As far as I can tell most of our neighbors recycle, too.

I am planning on getting some canvas bags for groceries, but money is tight right now. We do reuse the plastic bags though so I guess that helps. We can all do more though for sure.

you can knit shopping bags out of sugar and cream! I found this pattern

http://www.craftzine.com/blog/archive/2007/05/knit_shopping_bag.html

amy
06-27-2007, 12:31 PM
GGL, thanks for starting this thread. What a moving article! It's given me pause.

I want to share something very positive and uplifting with you all. A few months ago I came accross this incredible website www.ecocycle.org (http://www.ecocycle.org), which helps organize Zero Waste events in Boulder, CO. I'm organizing a singing event (happening this Saturday) and I decided to make it a "Green" event. We'll have compost collection! Not just for food scraps: we've bought earth-friendly, biodegradable plates, cups, and fake-plastic forks (made from potato starch), so it can all be composted. This is an event with about 100 people, and a potluck dinner on the grounds. I expect to have less than one bag of trash, and instead, several bags of compostables! Of course we'll have recycling collection as well.

I just posted more details in my blog thread (http://www.knittinghelp.com/knitting/forum/showthread.php?t=29232&page=83).

We just bought a couple reusable bags at Target today!
Yay Jan! :cheering:

Kaydee
06-27-2007, 03:36 PM
This article was so sad. I couldn't believe the picture of the turtle, how does that even happen???:shock: I can't blieve that the garbage went on for hundreds of miles, its horrible.

geekgolightly
06-27-2007, 06:29 PM
This article was so sad. I couldn't believe the picture of the turtle, how does that even happen???:shock: I can't blieve that the garbage went on for hundreds of miles, its horrible.

Yes, It's sad, almost unmanageably so. I read this 2 weeks ago and have spent these past weeks trying to absorb the massive impact we have had - I have had - on this earth. It's a wakeup call, indeed.

amy, you rock. that's really cool that you're so conscious of this already. :muah:

Phretys
06-28-2007, 08:36 AM
If you sew, you can make your grocery bags with cotton fabric. Here is a cool pattern from Craftster for a bag that folds into its own pocket so it fits in your purse:

Singlet Style Shopping Bag (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=177482.msg1837265)

If you read through the thread, you can see many examples of bags that have been made using this pattern. The one that gives me pause, however, is the set one person made out of vinyl fabric. To me, that sort of defeats the purpose, since vinyl is one of the more harmful plastics which you should avoid as much as possible. Fumes from vinyl/PVC have been linked to diseases such as endometriosis (http://www.endometriosisassn.org/pvc.html).

Debi

geekgolightly
06-29-2007, 09:55 AM
I was cleaning my sons room and almost everything in there is plastic.

I found some sites that sell eco friendly toys. I am going to ask that family not buy him anything that isn't sustainable from now on. Seth will probably want some plastic toys, but we can move to majority wooden/other natural materials.

planet happy (http://stores.worldwidechild.com/-strse-252/Majestic-Oak-Puzzle-from/Detail.bok)

pristine planet (not just toys) (http://www.pristineplanet.com/sustainable%2Dwooden%2Dkids%2Dtoys%2Deco%2Dfriendl y%2Dwooden%2Dchildren%2Dtoys%2Dwooden%2Dtoddler%2D toys/wooden%2Dtoys/9964_a_2.html)

I have a 1983 Honda that I am very proud of. I want to use everything to it's last drop now. And what I don't want I will freecycle or craigslist.

and of course melissa and doug
http://www.melissaanddoug.com/index.shtml