January 13, 2008

PAPER OR PLASTIC?



















Image from papernorplastic.com


I have been struggling with this question for the last year. Do I choose plastic and contaminate the earth with one more bag that takes over 1,000 years to decompose? Or do I choose paper and kill tree after tree after tree?
I tivo'd Oprah's show last week that talked all about going green. Simran Sethi, who hosts The Green on The Sundance Channel gave me the answer I've been looking for. Not an easy answer; I'm going to have to be very intentional when I decide to go to the market. The answer...NEITHER.
Nate and I live near a new Harmon's and we love it because it feels like a specialty market like Whole Foods or Wild Oats. And they've provided totes like this {for $1 each} to replace your paper/plastic dilemma. Case closed.
But then what about your produce bags? Those are plastic and still take the overwhelming 1,000 years to become nothing. What about them? Simran suggested getting a few of these bags. When shopping for produce, toss everything into a bag like this. At the register the checker can separate and ring up your produce and then return it to your earth-conscious, hippie woven tote.
I'm ordering two. One for the trunk of Nate's car and one for the trunk of mine. This will help with my guilty conscience. I mean, I really want my kids to know what a polar bear is because they've seen one and not because they learned about them in a class called "extinct animals you missed out on because your mom wouldn't stop using paper and plastic at the grocery store".

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Tonia,
Actually these are my favorite bags for produce. They are a tighter weave, made from organic cotton, and are fair-trade. And the company Blue Lotus is amazing.
http://www.bluelotusblankets.com/
Thanks for watching the Oprah show.
My best,
Simran Sethi

Tonia Conger said...

Thanks Simran! I appreciate what you shared on the Oprah show. You're darling!

deidra said...

We've been using reusable bags for quite sometime (and not special ones that we have to buy, but ones we've had around our house). The biggest struggle I've found is actually remembering to take them in the store. It's been a hard concept for me to master!