A couple weeks ago I took a hard look around my house to assess how much plastic I’d been living with – shampoo bottles, pill bottles, packaging materials, garbage bags, straws, garden hoses, watering vessels, a few flower pots, etc. – not that these things aren’t useful. But this little exercise was a personal epiphany. I realized in a stark way how plastic has become an embedded feature of life in our culture. I felt compelled to take a couple steps back and think about how “green” I actually am, and how I could improve.
One major use of plastic I noted during my home inventory was all my large plastic garbage bags. As a gardener, and something of a neatnik, I always have extra boxes of 30+ gallon bags for trash, leaves, detritus, recycling and garden-bed sheeting. I’m going to make a switch, right now.
Why Aren’t We Green Enough?
Recycling, growing organically, and reducing our energetic footprint may not be enough. I’m reading that our landfills and oceans are heavily polluted with plastic that will not break down for many decades, if ever. The National Wildlife Federation says plastics can take a hundred years to decompose.
Petroleum-based plastic needs sunlight to break down (photo-degradation), and sunlight can be scarce for items buried in a landfill. In our oceans, filtered sunlight dissolves plastic into smaller bits, eventually, which is why it’s being found in the bellies of both large and tiny sea creatures. What can we do about it as individuals?
As A Community
Maybe it doesn’t seem like individuals can tackle such an enormous task, but we can take some steps, like changing our plastic habits as quickly as we can. We can encourage our city councils to begin a ban on plastic grocery bags. Many fast food chains are now limiting access to single-use items, like plastic utensils and straws and schools are teaching recycling.
All this is a good start, but the word needs to be spread, and quickly. Not everyone is an activist, but we can talk about reducing our use of plastic at city hall meetings, in newsletter articles, and neighborhood coalitions and block parties. The movement is growing, but is it fast enough?
Using Earth Friendly, Soil-Building, Waste Reducing BioBags
When I got the assignment to write this article, I was excited. Here’s a genuine alternative to plastic bags that can last in our environment forever.
Compostable BioBags are made from ingredients that are obtained from plants – substances like corn starch! Perfected through rigorous scientific studies, these bags are part of the solution to our plastic problem, and are truly just the beginning of helping us meet our obligations toward restoring the health of the Earth.
Using BioBag products does more than lessen the long-term impact of polyethylene. They contribute to a healthier earth by breaking down entirely in a compost setting. Compostable bags leave no residue and actually provide nutrients to the soil. They give waste materials a new life in the form of compost, and provide the added bonus of replenishing the soil. The resins used to produce BioBags are sourced from non-GMO plants.
With innovators like the BioBags folks, perhaps our descendants will know what it’s like to live on a healthier planet. As good citizens, we can talk to our friends and communities about using less plastic – and how to compost what we can. As individuals, we can choose reusable grocery bags, recycle, and avoid plastic packaging as much as possible.
We can decline single-use utensils, containers, straws and cartons, get refillable water bottles and use compostable BioBags for our gardening. Let’s start reducing plastic in our homes with compostable bags for food storage, garbage, and lawn & leaf collection. There’s no better feeling than knowing we’re being good stewards of our planet.