September 2010 Archives

Paper or Plastic?

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"The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands."

                                                                              --Robert M. Pirsig--


     The next time you are at the store picking up a few groceries and you are asked the common question, "Paper or plastic?", your response should be, "Neither." While many people think that using paper is the better option, neither one is good for the environment.
     Let's start out with a few facts about plastic bags from Go to that website to read more.

  • A plastic bag in a landfill will take more than 1000 years to degrade.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency estimated 3,960,000 tons of plastic bags, sack and wraps were produced in 2008. Of those, 3,570,000 tons (90%) were discarded.
  • A U.N. study from 2006 stated that every square mile of the ocean has about 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in it.
     A lot of people think that paper is better than plastic, however, take a look at these facts about paper bags from
  • 14 million trees are cut down to produce the paper bags used in a year.
  • Only 20% of paper bags are recycled. 

      But if you don't use paper and you don't use plastic, what will you use for all of your groceries? The best option is to use reusable, eco-friendly shopping bags. This is one of the easiest things anyone, including college students, can do to be more green.
     The eco-friendly bags are sold at almost all grocery stores. The grocery stores in Indiana, Giant Eagle, Martins and Wal-Mart sell them. Even better, they are affordable. Wal-Mart sells the bags for $0.50, $1 or $2, and they are $1 at Martins and Giant Eagle.
     I use my reusable shopping bags for groceries, at the mall and even for taking home laundry on the weekends. They are big and can hold a lot which makes them great for so many uses.
     The way that I look at it is, that the more that people use these bags, the less paper and plastic bags that will need to be produced for grocery stores, and that means less energy will be used to produce those bags. In addition, if more people use reusable bags, less paper and plastic bags will be thrown away and left to sit in landfills.
     If you already use these bags, great! If not, this is one easy change that you can make to help make a difference. For the times that you do need to use plastic or paper bags, make sure you don't throw them away, find another use for them. Also, a lot of grocery stores have a bin where you can recycle your plastic bags.

     So, the next time you are asked, "Paper or plastic," make sure you answer, "Neither, I have my own bag."


     Visit this website to read more about the paper and plastic debate.

     The picture that you see at the beginning of this entry was taken by me, at Yellow Creek State Park, in the middle of the summer. Remember to take efforts to keep the earth looking as beautiful as it does in the picture.

Blog 1 - Introducing Myself

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            "Ask yourself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be waiting for us in our graves - or whether it should be ours here and now on this earth."

                                                                        --Ayn Rand--




            Hello all. My name is Jessica and I will be blogging about how to live an eco-friendly life. What exactly do I mean by eco-friendly? Appreciating and taking care of the earth for the health of yourself and for the health of the earth.

            I think that the earth and our world is a beautiful thing and I try my best everyday to take care of it and also to appreciate it. This means the ground, the sky, the stars, the air we breath, the sunshine, the trees, humans and animals. These things are all part of the world we live in and when we take care of the earth, we are also helping what lives on it and what surrounds it.

            I personally do my best to live an eco-friendly life. It is something that I care about and I hope to share with you all some tips that you can easily do to be more eco-friendly too. I feel that I am just a junior at IUP and I can't change the world and I am by no means an expert but with my blog, I hope to spark an interest, raise awareness, and create a positive discussion about how everyone can go green.

            Every week I plan to pick a eco-friendly tip to discuss and share how easily it can be implemented by anyone. I would love feedback sharing what you think about my tips and what more we can all do to live a more green lifestyle. I will also give tips on how to enjoy nature and appreciate what it has to offer. I am always snapping photos of things in nature - trees, sunshine, flowers, etc. - and I will share some of those on my blog as well. I will also include quotes that I find inspiring and beautiful with my entries.

           I want to stress on my blog that taking care of and keeping the earth clean is very important but what a lot of us tend to easily forget is that appreciating the beauty of nature everyday is just as important. Just remember, the earth is a beautiful thing, go outside, take a big breath of fresh air and appreciate the planet that we live on!



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