Archives for the month of: October, 2010

None!!!

We always hear this each time we go to the supermarket, but really it’s not hard to understand why bringing your own fabric bag is the best way to go and probably the easiest “green thing to do”.

It is a highly debatable subject, the sun would take many many many years to photodegrade a plastic bag, that is, turning it into microscopic granules, and of course plastic comes from fossil fuels which are non renewable. Paper on the other hand, is renewable, biodegradable and recyclable, but the process to make a paper bag often carries a lot of carbon footprint, depending if the trees are reforested, if chemicals are being used, if the water is being reused, how far are they being made and transported, etc.. Here are some facts I found

Impact of plastic bags:

•    take over 400 years to biodegrade and result in a large amount of rubbish in our landfills
•    Air pollution is caused during incineration
•    Manufacturers add many tons of carbon and other toxic chemicals into the atmosphere annually
•    Approximately 60-100 million barrels of oil are required for annual manufacturing
•    Stray bags pollute much of our environment and cause 100000 marine organisms death each year
•    Small particles given off during breakdown accumulate in ecosystems and contaminate the food web

Impacts of paper bags:

•    Use four times as much energy as plastic bags to produce
•    Many toxic chemicals are used in the production, contributing significantly to air pollution
•    The impact production on forests is enormous as millions of trees are cut down for production
•    Consumes 9 times as much energy to recycle compared to a plastic one
•    Due to the lack of water, light and oxygen in today’s landfill, paper does not degrade at a faster rate than plastic yet takes up much more space

We could go on and on about it, some paper bags may be better than some plastic bags and viceversa, so that’s why I chose to use fabric bags!!

If you aren’t doing something for the environment yet, this is a very easy way to start. I always have canvas bags in the trunk of my car, that way you can never forget them. Before you know, it will become a natural habit to bring your own bags with you. If you are not the one that makes the groceries, it’s even easier to remind the person that does to use canvas bags. Not only it’s better for the planet, but they are a million times more efficient than plastic or paper, they can hold a lot more groceries and are very resistant. And the best thing about it is that your kids will follow your example in the future.

pd. It also makes you feel a little better about yourself each time you go to the supermarket!

xx

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Everyone knows we are living in a time of change, we can also see it particularly in supermarkets where we see many labels of organic, green, natural and eco-friendly products. I’m going to focus on produce, it was one of the first things to become organic and it has now become more of a trend lifestyle, which is a good thing as well, but do you know why it’s better for you?

Farms use pesticides, they are substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest. They are many subclasses to pesticides such as insecticides, fungicides, rodenticides and many..MANY more, while it has benefits it also has a potential toxicity to humans and other animals. Each country has it’s own pesticide regulations, for example, Europe has banned all highly toxic pesticides that are known carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic to reproduction, endocrine- disruptors and bioaccumulative. Products that were treated with pesticides still cross international borders, that is why the UN has a division that tries to supervise inconsistencies between countries regulations and the claim they have decreased the number of countries that did’nt have any regulation on pesticides, so as you can see, there are many layers of issues with pesticides that we never think about when buying your groceries.

Why choose organic? It’s not only about pesticides and synthetic fertilizers (used to make a crop bigger in size and yield), studies have shown that organic produce has 40% and sometimes 52% more of some nutrients. Organic methods allow the plants to grow at a normal rate giving it time to develop nutrients, synthetic fertilized crops grow faster leaving not enough time for the plant to fully develop. So if you struggle with your kids to eat fruits or vegetables, wouldn’t you want to get the most out of each bite the take?

There is many more positive side effects of buying organic, for example  you are preventing chemicals used in farms leaching to the ground, polluting the water humans and animals drink.

I try to buy EVERYTHING organic but yes, it is more expensive and sometimes I have to make choices, that’s why the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has made hundreds of tests to determine which fruits and vegetables contain the most amount of pesticide traces and which are safe to buy non-organic. Here’s the list..

You can go to their website to see more reasons to choose organic and more statistics..

http://www.foodnews.org

I also found a very interesting article on why organic is more expensive, it’s well worth the read.

http://www.mint.com/blog/trends/organic-food-07082010/

Hope this information helps change your habits and if you already buy organic.. keep doing it!!! By the way, some organic produce actually tastes better!!!

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xx