paper v. plastic

The age-old question, paper or plastic? Which one is actually better? Growing up I always thought plastic was the right choice, until our homes were overloaded with bags filled with bags stuffed in drawers and closets. What happens to them now?

Then we have the paper debate. Paper comes from trees, and we must save the trees! So, which is better – paper or plastic?

Both are equally terrible. They take the same amount of energy to produce, ship, and store. Paper cuts down trees, and plastic takes approximately 500-years to decompose. *sigh*

Thankfully, it is the 21st century and we have a third option. The reusable bag was introduced in 1977 as an alternative to plastic bags, but has only recently become popular. Many stores carry them to be purchased for a few dollars, and some do offer a cash credit every time you use your reusable bags. Here is a list of stores that have an incentive for bringing your own bags:

  • Whole Foods – 5¢ off your total or toward a local charity of your choice
  • Target – 5¢ off your total
  • Trader Joe’s – an entry into their monthly drawing of a $25 gift certificate
  • Heinen’s – 6¢ off for every $20 spent
  • Kroger – 5¢ off your total
  • CVSGreenbagtag program. Buy a tag for 99¢ and attach to your bag, every time you shop have the cashier scan the tag and your Extracare card and you will receive a dollar every 4th visit. CVS will donate 5¢ to the World Wildlife Fund for every Green Bag Tag sold between April 1, 2010 and March 31, 2011.
  • IKEA – charges you 59¢ for every plastic bag you use.

Save money and the planet!

in other news…

Day three of my vegan challenge, and I am doing well. I will admit that it is a lot harder than my vegetarian challenge. I’m taking a lot of time to read labels and Google ingredients. I’ve successfully vegan’d at Chipotle and Starbucks (only after I investigated thoroughly : )

With the hectic-ness of my life this past week, I haven’t had a normal schedule or the time to shop/cook/run/think. wahhh! So this is why I had the most random meal of my life last night. Furiously searching my kitchen for vegan foods, (finding old moldy things along the way) I settled on this:

Sweet potato fries, kosher pretzels with sesame seeds, carrots, and roasted red pepper hummus. Wasn’t great, but got the job done. My hunger has significantly gone down, and my body wants food only for nourishment. That’s impressive for such a short amount of time.

I shall keep you posted. Happy Wednesday!

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