This bag is 25 years old. The plastic v. paper v. canvas argument.

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You go into a grocery store and the bag you choose is a political statement. Are you one of the millions in America who opts for plastic? Paper? Or do you bring your own?

Obviously, I’m in camp bring your own bag. And there are countless articles you can read online for the use of reusable canvas totes, there are also plentiful against it. I’m prone to believe anyone who lauds plastic bags doesn’t fully understand their impact.

Plastic bags will be on this planet forever. They don’t biodegrade. They simply degrade into smaller little pieces, sometimes even microscopic, that then end up being eaten by animals, and eventually enter our bodies as well.

So, in my opinion plastic should never be the answer.

Yes – their carbon footprint is technically lower than that of the paper bag or of the canvas bag. A canvas bag needs to be used 327 times to make up for it’s initial carbon imprint.

That’s where the story of this bag comes in.

This bag is about 25 years old and it has been in use during that 25 long years. It’s made up for it’s carbon footprint over 4 times already. It has seen it’s owners children graduate high school and college, and get their first jobs… and their second ones.

It has never once been an eyesore, sadly decorating a branch of a tree on a crisp autumn day. It has never once been mistaken for food by a turtle.

One day, it will break, or maybe even get lost, it will outgrow it’s use cycle. And when that day comes, this bag will biodegrade to again become a natural part of our earth.

It’s not the tote bag that needs to change, it’s the consumption around it. We live in a society where we have been trained to throw something away – as soon as we are sick of it, or see something more aesthetically pleasing, or once something tears (that can easily be mended).

For the sake of our planet – I urge people to take a stand, to say “no” to the single use plastics so readily available at the grocery store. To buy a few reusable totes and USE them, keep them, give them the story they deserve.

Written by: Mollie Mac, ECOBAGS® very own marketing maven. Mollie is an adventurer and a green living advocate. If you have any tips or tricks for her she’d love to hear from you, email her at: mollie(at)ecobags(dot)com:)

Your Farmer’s Market Checklist: The Most Important Items to Buy Organic

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ecobags farmers market

It’s farmer’s market season again! Each year EWG puts together a list of the “dirty dozen” and the “clean 15,” to help you stay away from those nasty pesticides. To help your money go further at your local farmers market (or grocery store if that’s your thing) here’s there list for 2017 of fruits that you should be buying organic (because they have a high amount of pesticide residue on them when bought non-organically).

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Peaches
  6. Pears
  7. Cherries
  8. Grapes
  9. Celery
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Sweet bell peppers
  12. Potatoes.

And don’t forget your produce bags + reusable totes. Be kind to #motherearth. For their full guide click here.

Written by: Mollie Mac, ECOBAGS® very own marketing maven. Mollie is an adventurer and a green living advocate. If you have any tips or tricks for her she’d love to hear from you, email her at: mollie(at)ecobags(dot)com:)

The best (and simplest) ways to go zero waste at home!

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2017 ecobags zero waste easy tips

Many of you may be put off trying a zero-waste lifestyle – maybe because it seems to hard, or too expensive, or you’re just afraid of failure. But, zero waste is an aspiration and in just reaching for it, in changing some of your habits, you’ll be making a change for the better.

So here are some very simply zero waste changes that won’t even really change your daily or weekly routines.

  1. Switch to alternative disposables. What does this mean? Instead of reaching for a paper towel – invest in reusable towels, wax paper instead of cling wrap, cotton baggies for your snacks, etc.
  2. Next time you’re in the market for sponges or scrubbers – buy something sustainable. Switch to scrubbers made of bamboo or wood instead of plastic, try dish scrubbers made of biodegradable natural fibers.
  3. Learn to love liquid castille soap (I personally love Dr. Bronner’s), baking soda, and vinegar and buy them in bulk. These are your best friends when it comes to cleaning.
  4. Keep plants around your house – they’ll put a smile on your face and will keep the air in your home nice and clean.

While there are a million more ways to go zero waste – I think this a pretty easy and solid place to start, especially if you’re a bit scared of making the jump! Just ease yourself in, like getting into a cold lake.

Written by: Mollie Mac, ECOBAGS® very own marketing maven. Mollie is an adventurer and a green living advocate. If you have any tips or tricks for her she’d love to hear from you, email her at: mollie(at)ecobags(dot)com:)

B Corp: For Profit as a Force for Good

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Sharon with Wings_Cochin India

Eco-Bags Products Founder & CEO Sharon Rowe, visiting our factory in India.

We are so happy to announce that we have been re-certified as a B Corporation. We so strongly believe in for-profit businesses as a force for good, and our ability as social and environmental change makers. It is a community that we are proud to be a part of and celebrate.

We have been a certified B Corp since 2010 – but we have been sourcing our labor and product ethically & sustainably since our inception in 1989, before it was the “cool” thing to do, before “social responsibility” was a buzzword.

Eco-B2016-best-for-the-world-overallags Products was  a B Corp Best for the Environment honoree in 2014 & 2015, and this past year – 2016 – we were recognized as a B Corp Best for the World Overall. We are happy to see B Corporation growing as more and more businesses join each year – and love to meet new friends, and see the old, at their annual retreats. As B Corp has grown it has had to change and adapt to the plethora of different businesses that are certified each year.

During our re-certification we learned that B Corp has changed the way it assesses businesses to better represent the growing number of for-profit companies that are seeking B Corporation certification that are social ventures whose sole purpose of existence is to employ those who are refugees or disenfranchised; companies like Greyston Bakery, whose practices (& baked goods) we so wholeheartedly believe in and support.

We are constantly looking for ways to improve in a way that benefits both the environment as well as the people and animals living on it, and our proud of our score of 111 on the B Corp impact assessment, from the B Corp website:

Any score higher than 0 points is a good score, as a positive score indicates that the company is doing something positive for society and the environment. The Assessment rewards practices that go beyond standard business practice; therefore, every point earned on the Assessment reflects incremental, positive impact.

Most companies score between 40 and 100 points out of the 200 points available.

Our factory  is both third party fair wage and fair labor certified, and the farm where we source our cotton uses revenue to fund a school for the children of their workers. Our cotton is GOTS certified organic. We have our SA 8000 certification, which is a social accountability standard. Our bags are made of either recycled cotton or organic cotton. We employ members of our local community and to lessen our carbon impact most of us walk to work or drive less than 3 miles, and one of us commutes by foot & ferry. We are a group of people committed to and with a strong belief in our companies values & mission.

We have made a commitment, and will continue to make that commitment, to support sustainability for the environment, and to make sure everyone in our supply chain works in a safe environ
ment, and makes a living wage.

Written by: Mollie Mac, ECOBAGS® very own marketing maven. Mollie is an adventurer and a green living advocate. If you have any tips or tricks for her she’d love to hear from you, email her at: mollie(at)ecobags(dot)com:)

 

The Sooner you Turn Off the Tap the Better

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ecobags conserve water world water day

March 22nd marked world water day. There’s no denying that water is an integral part of life, so what can you do to help protect the worlds waters?

  1. Be active in your community. Clean up litter when you see it, participate in community clean up days, don’t litter, go to meetings with you local constituents, be vocal about how you want the earth treated.
  2. Stop using so much disposable plastic, and opt for reusables. Reusable bags, reusable water bottles, reusable coffee mugs, reusable lunch packs, even reusable food covers. It’s estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea. Don’t be part of the problem, be part of the solution.
  3. Conserve your water usage. Take shorter showers. Turn off the tap while you’re brushing your face or washing your teeth. Only run the dishwasher or clothes washer when you have a full load.
  4. Dispose of chemicals, oils, & batteries properly – so they don’t end up in the water system.
  5. Avoid using pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Choose non-toxic household cleaners and try not to use antibacterial soaps or cleaning products.

What other ways do you help to preserve our waters?

Written by: Mollie Mac, ECOBAGS® very own marketing maven. Mollie is an adventurer and a green living advocate. If you have any tips or tricks for her she’d love to hear from you, email her at: mollie(at)ecobags(dot)com:)