That's right folks - Week One of the Go Wilde challenge is here!
Today's challenge is....Refuse to use single use plastic bags! That's it. Super simple. Just purchase a few reusable bags and put them in your car, hang them by the door, or wherever else you'll remember to take them before shopping. Ladies, you can also consider using a slightly bigger purse - I've shocked myself with how much I can fit in there. Also, figure out where the nearest plastic bag recycling program is, and take any plastic bags you might find or have there once a month to recycle!
My dad has been telling me for years to keep a few reusable bags in the trunk of my car for when I go grocery shopping. I'm embarrassed to say it's taken those few years to finally sink in, but now that I'm more educated and know some serious facts on the subject I'm changing my ways for good. Here are some shocking things to know:
A single plastic bag takes over 1,000 years to degrade, breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces and filling up oceans, waterways, landfills, you name it.
About 1 million plastic bags are used every minute, which mean over a trillion are used in a year.
On average, we only use a plastic bag for about 5 minutes before throwing them away. Those five minutes just arn't worth the thousands of years it takes to get rid of these bags.
Plastic bags kill over 100,000 animals every year because they mistake the plastic for food. If the plastic doesn't cause them to suffocate right away, it will cause serious digestive issues that make them have a slow and painful death.
Recycling the bags in your general recycling bin won’t fix the problem. Almost all curbside recycling programs do not accept single use plastic bags. They clog the machines and the specific type of plastic is expensive to recycle, so the plants will either burn them or send them to the landfill. So keep any plastic bags you might have in a separate container and drop them off at grocery stores with plastic bag recycling programs. Go to www.plasticfilmrecycling.org to find a drop off location near you and learn more about recycling plastics.
Have your reusable bags at the ready and wondering what to do next? Tell the world that you are ready to #gowilde and share your success with others on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Together, we can change the world.
-Lauren and Alex