ECOBAGS Founder and CEO, Sharon Rowe, is featured in a segment airing this morning, 8/22/08, called “No Economic Slowdown For Reusable Bags” on NPR’s Morning Edition. Check out the segment here.
Shades of Green is a concept I encounter everyday, working at a green company and attempting to live as green a life as I can. A few months ago, I expressed my opinion that all green attempts, whether it be products, services or practices should be applauded and welcomed into the world of green – after, of course, a thorough green-analysis. I still find myself navigating the blurred lines of what is green or what is greenER. Customers ask me “Which is greener – recycled canvas or organic canvas?” and I usually respond, ‘Well, it really is a matter of opinion. Recycled canvas is reclaiming material that would normally be headed toward the landfill as it is no longer considered “useful” but does involve the use of additional energy in reprocessing. Organic cotton canvas is a virgin material that is being grown in a sustainable method.” They are close cousins of one another but represent different green values – Reuse vs. Purity. I consider both of these options to be at the Greenest end of the reusable bag spectrum because they are grown in a pure, sustainable method, have a long useful life and will release a minimal amount of harmful toxins upon their eventual biodegrading.
Some people consider the Reusability aspect of a bag to be green enough in itself. A quality reusable bag can keep thousands of plastic bags from being created and dying a slow, toxic death in our landfills. These people may choose less expensive fabric options for their reusable bags, such as nylon or non-woven polypropylene, hoping to eliminate the use of plastic bags but possibly not considering the birth and death of the reusable bag itself.
If you were to run into me at a farmers’ market or grocery store, you would catch me using my trusty nylon bags. I would then struggle to explain why I carry these when there are greener options available. The simple answer is: I bought them when I didn’t know any better! I thought that reusability was all that mattered and didn’t give much thought to the environmental impact of the fabric itself. Plus, it’d be against my green values to just toss these bags now when they’ve still got plenty of uses left!
What I’m trying to say is that while the price and snazzy colors of the 99 cent bag at your local Megamart make it a tempting option, take a moment to think further about what that bag is made of, how it is produced and what will happen to it when it eventually sees its last use. For some of us, these bags are the best current option. For others, they’re a step in the right direction and the first stop on the train to Greentown. All Aboard!
I am always encouraging customers to flex their creative muscles by breaking out their art supplies and decorating their ECOBAGS to match their own personal style. They really are the perfect blank “canvas” for expressing your aesthetic, color scheme or opinions on just about anything. But up until a few days ago, I’d never actually taken pen to bag myself!
ECOBAGS Intern Amy is known around the office for her signature “style.” Leggings, cowboy boots, neon tee’s – she has no fear when it comes to expressing her personality through her clothing and accessories. So before she sailed her loaded minivan off to college this morning, Raya and I decided to wish her well with a customized ECOBAG! Amy’s been talking about a Zombie bag for months now, so Raya and I decided to make her bag dreams a reality. All we had to do was invest in a pack of multicolored Sharpie markers (which happened to be on sale anyway) and get to town on a blank EveryDay Tote. Check out the resulting totable art (and grateful intern) below.
Now Amy has a piece of us to take with her to college and a handbag that lets all her new classmates know just how Zombie-crazy she is.
Get your own creative juices flowin’ on an ECOBAG today and be the talk of your own town, school or Zombie Club.
Earlier this year our friends over at Heal The Bay informed us that LA County was close to approving legislation BANNING plastic bags. Unfortunately, the Plastics industry has launched an aggressive misinformation campaign against AB 2058, a bill designed to REDUCE single-use plastic bag consumption and litter in California.
AB 2058 is now stalled in Senate Appropriations Committee. But you can help put pressure on leadership of the Senate and Assembly to stand up to the Plastics industry and pass AB 2058 this year.
Please call the three Legislative leaders who can make a difference and urge them to support AB 2058 — here’s all you have to say (it should take no longer than 20 seconds):
- Hello, my name is _______ and I’m calling upon the leadership of [Senator/Assembly Member] to get AB 2058 out of committee and moved forward to a full vote.
- AB 2058 will keep my taxpayer dollars away from being spent on land filling and cleaning up plastic bag blight in my community.
- AB 2058 will actually help me save money on my grocery bill because I will bring a reusable bag to the market and not have to pay the hidden cost of single-use bags that is currently embedded in the price of goods.
- I urge you to keep this bill moving forward and pass AB 2058 this year.
Here are the three leaders to call:
Don Perata (Senate pro Tem) – (916) 651-4009
Darrell Steinberg (Senate pro Tem-Elect) – (916) 651-4006
Karen Bass (Assembly Speaker) – (916) 319 2047