Making A Difference
There are so many ways you can Make A Difference for our planet. Our goal is to pass along those simple ideas to help you. If you have suggestions, send us an email at info@esseReusableBags.com.
This page is a work in progress. Check back often to read more information.
Portland moving to ban plastic bags at stores
Reported on Kare11.com
July 15, 2011
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Plastic shopping bags could be banned at Portland's larger grocery store and other retailers as soon as Oct. 15.
Mayor Sam Adams proposed an ordinance Thursday that is expected to easily win City Council approval.
The Oregonian reports Adams had backed off his bag-ban proposal to give the Legislature a chance to enact a statewide ban. The session ended last month without approval of a bill that would have banned plastic bags and imposed a 5-cent fee for paper sacks.
Critics say plastic bags are an environmental problem.
Portland's ordinance would exempt plastic grocery bags used for produce, bulk food and meat. (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Students become waste-watchersby KELLY SMITH, Star Tribune 10/26/10
The school's waste efforts have cut daily trash from six barrels to one.
Students at Highlands Elementary School in Edina (Minnesota) compost food and biodegradable utensils in the lunchroom and collect paper towels in the bathroom and empty juice boxes and plastic snack bags in the classroom.
Next, staff want to get a wind-power turbine on the roof.
Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune
"We really try to teach kids to be green," Principal Peter Hodne said. "We're trying to do things that have a low cost but have a big impact."
Minnesota has so many schools that meet the "green" designation -- 50 by one count -- that it's host to the first-ever national Green Schools conference Monday and Tuesday. Three west-metro-area schools will be highlighted for their green efforts.
"This is the next major trend in education," said Jim McGrath, executive director of the Green Schools National Network. "The schools that are doing this are probably the best-kept secrets in the country."
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California: Ban on Plastic Bags Spreads
JOHN ROGERS, The Star Tribune reported on 5/31/12: LA's move to ban plastic grocery bags could mark beginning of end for a ubiquitous container.
LOS ANGELES - Ah, the little plastic grocery bag, we hardly got to know you. Although it seems as if the single-use grocery bag, as it's formally known, has been around forever, it wasn't until 1977 that it was introduced to U.S. supermarkets, a move that prompted perhaps the most asked question of the following decade: "Paper or plastic?"
As the years went by and plastic won, people began to find myriad other makeshift uses for the little bags with the briefcase-like handles. You could line small trash cans with them, use one to scoop up dog doo and another to carry wet towels home from the beach. You could even use them to take pictures in the rain and not destroy your camera.
The discarded bags, though, had a nasty habit of washing up on beaches by the thousands, clogging storm drains and getting tangled in all sorts of stuff. That raised the ire of environmentalists, who have been on a ban-the-bag quest for years.
Now, with the city of Los Angeles taking the first step toward joining nearly four dozen other California municipalities in outlawing them, the humble little polyethylene bag may be headed for the trash heap of history.
San Francisco already bans the bag. So do San Jose, Long Beach, Berkeley and Malibu.
But LA, with nearly 4 million residents, goes through an estimated 2.7 billion plastic grocery bags a year, according to city officials, and environmentalists believe a ban here will have a huge impact and could even influence the rest of the country to follow suit.
"This is a gateway for sustainability," said Leslie Tamminen of the Clean Seas Coalition, which pushed for the LA ban. "This is meant to change consumer behavior and expand consumer consciousness." So, using those handy little bags with the tie-shut handles for cleaning up after your dog or cat? Forget about it.
In Santa Monica, many people say they already have.
Meanwhile, bans have begun to be adopted elsewhere. Every county in Hawaii, has now banned plastic grocery bags, although all the bans won't fully take effect across the state until 2015. The bags have also been banned in Portland, Ore, and in the Outer Banks region of North Carolina, although there is an effort under way in that state to repeal the ban.
In LA, the proposed ban wouldn't completely eliminate plastic bags.
People who feel they just can't survive without having a plastic grocery bag to entertain a cat with or slide over a broken parking meter could still obtain one by going to a takeout restaurant. Unless, that is, they live in Malibu.
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Aveda's twist on recyclingby KAREN YOUSO, Star Tribune, 01/30/10
Every day, thousands of plastic bottle caps arrive at Aveda Corp. in Blaine (Minnesota).
The caps of many colors come in sacks, boxes and bags. They arrive by mail, auto and hand; from churches, schools, businesses and households. They come from as near as down the road, and as far away as Honolulu. Stacks of discarded packages with return labels from Illinois, New York, North Carolina litter warehouse bins.
Donors get nothing in return for making the trek or paying the postage to Blaine, except the good feeling that comes with recycling, said Aveda spokesman Evan Miller.
The bottle caps -- from water, soft drinks, shampoo, it doesn't matter -- are turned into new caps for Aveda's hair-care products. And the process can be repeated indefinitely, Miller said. They won't be thrown away. Indeed, just last week, about 30,000 pounds of caps left Aveda to be recycled.
TO RECYCLE PLASTIC CAPS
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What to do with your old cell phones
More than 100 million cell phones are no longer used annually. If we recycled all of them, we would save enough energy to power 18,500 U.S. homes for a year. (Source: US Environmental Protection Agency)
Get info at eCycle Cell Phones.