A friend sent me this slideshow about the dangers of plastic bags: the nearly one trillion that are consumed worldwide each year are responsible for a growing amount of litter, contamination of soil and waterways, and catastrophic effects on wildlife.
It got me thinking about the cloth bags that have become popular lately, and my own resistance to using them. True, I have one Stop & Shop branded one in the trunk of my car, but when it comes time to shop, I rarely stop and grab it. Shame on me.
I'm not an Earth-hater, mind you. Perhaps just a bit lazy. I do have these great little Wrap-N-Mats that I bought from a catalog years ago; they are reusable sandwich (or snack) wraps that eliminate the need for plastic sandwich bags. That counts for something, right? And honestly - these are great (I had no idea that the "mat" part was meant to imply that they are a "sandwich mat and place mat in one!" until I just visited their site).
Why aren't more brands combining branded utility with the green movement and providing everyday items like cloth grocery bags or Wrap-N-Mats (branded, of course) as free give aways? Not manufacture and sell them, mind you, but rather replace the same old (and often useless) tchotchkes like t-shirts, stress balls, and stuffed animals they normally distribute with utilitarian goods that may encourage greater adoption of these habits?
Or would the actual production of these bags just add to the cumulative effect of our consumption, which continues to be an enormous and hazardous drain on the environment?
I don't know. It's not easy being green, but this seems like a good way to integrate brands into daily life while raising the collective consciousness of the issue.