The Power of Saying No Would Save 21 Full Size Transport Trucks Each Year!


Crochet Crowd

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If just The Crochet Crowd, as a whole, said no to shopping bags, we would save 21 Trailer Tractor Loads of Shopping Bags in one year from hitting the landfills.

I’ve been thinking a lot about waste. Primarily looking at my garage and seeing boxes and my garbage consumption. Frankly, I’m embarrassed as can be that two people have so much trash in only 4 weeks!

The power of one person has a domino effect. I hear a lot, “Everyone else does it… so I will too.” Surely we have the foresight or should have the foresight that we are each responsible for our own actions. We may not think we are making a difference, when in fact, you may be on a very micro scale… However, a small thing is better than nothing.

So I got looking that we have over 180,000 fans on Facebook. Hypothetically thinking out, “What if one small community made a pact to do something constructive? Would it be noticeable?”

The power of our Little Community online could have a tremendous environmental footprint in a negative direction if things don’t change but could also tremendously change the environmental foot print for the better. The answer would be “No Thank You”, I have my own reusable bag!”

Look at what I figured out.

If all 180,000 shopped today and accepted 1 plastic bag from the store, we would use up 180,000 bags,

  • We would use 180 cases of 1,000 Shopping Bags per case each day.
  • In one year, if our entire community used 1 bag per day for a year, we would use up to 65,700 cases of shopping bags totaling = 66 Million Bags. Think about the grocery store where they load up multiple bags.
  • There are 121 Shopping Bag Cases per 1 Skid. For our community, it would take 542 Skids of Shopping Bags to sustain our 1 Bag per day theory.
  • 1 Tractor/Trailer load can hold 26 Skids. Our entire community would use up 21 full size transport trucks to deliver all of our bags in just one year!

Does that astonish you? I’m blown away by that… and yet we are only 180,000 people out of billions of people on this planet. Could you imagine what would happen if all 180,000 of us said no, even for just 1 week? It would save just over 10 skids of plastic bags from hitting the landfills.

So while we think that we as an individual cannot make a different… in fact, in the grand picture, we can and it does make a huge difference. To say no is a powerful word and is is something to be proud of.

While I harp about shopping bags, food containers and packaging of food is where I cannot get away from this usage of plastic… I mean a sealed plastic bag within a sealed box? It’s over kill… and I end up with so much garbage that it’s embarrassing! That I wish supermarkets would worry less about pretty boxes and really get to the heart of the situation and do their part to help cut the garbage out of the packaging before it ends up in the consumer’s hands.

Just something to think about… This was rolling in my brain the other day while at Walmart and seeing how many people leave with shopping bags… me included!

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About Mikey, The Crochet Crowd

I am Mikey, owner of The Crochet Crowd Blog. I'm a 'hooker' at heart with the passion to crochet. I am from Ontario Canada and teach how to crochet online through YouTube Video Tutorials. From a simple idea and being at the right place and time in my life back in 2008, the concept of The Crochet Crowd was developed. I'm here to hook and share. Come follow my crochet journey and share yours with comments here and you are most welcome to share your creativity within our Facebook page.
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35 Responses to The Power of Saying No Would Save 21 Full Size Transport Trucks Each Year!

  1. veryjoyful says:

    I love shopping with my reusable bags… it makes me feel French!

    ~~~Victoria – http://www.etsy.com/shop/veryjoyfulcreations

    P.S. On those occasions when I end up with a plastic sack, I recycle it, or use it as a small trash can liner, or use it to pick up after my pooch.

  2. Jennifer Rea says:

    Here in Ireland, we have a levy on all plastic bags. Depending on which one you want they can cost from 22c to a Euro. It has really made a big difference to the litter and most people bring their own bags to the shops.

  3. Sue DiMartino says:

    This was very thought-provoking and informative, Mikey! Thanks for putting the numbers out there so we can further extrapolate from them for other groups.

  4. In Oregon we recycle like crazy – For the last couple years I have been supplying friends and family with reusable bags. I use the plastic bags, cut into strips and crochet into a variety of shapes and sizes – I am experimenting with handles, pockets and decorations now. The plastic strips can also be used to make hats for outdoor gardening or the beach If anyone else crochets with plastic I would love to see what you have come up with.

  5. Lisa Brideau says:

    There’s a lady in my looming group that makes “plarn” mats for the homeless out of shopping bags. I admire this very much.
    That being said, i use my reusable bags as much as possible. The only time i get a plastic bag now is if I forgot to put my reusable bags back into the car!

  6. when i go to the store i use a box for the food and have 2 reusable bags. but i recycle the plastic one i cant use for garbage.

  7. robyn says:

    happy new year Mikey. as I sit hear in the land down under reading your page about the over use of plastic shopping bags its no different here to the USA ,is their a crochet pattern for a market bag made out of these bags so I can use up my stash of these bags .

  8. Diane says:

    Thank You Mikey. I live in Eugene, Oregon USA. In my town plastic sacks have been banned. When you go to the store you may use your reusable bag or buy a paper sack for 5 cents.
    There is always a lot of discussion about is this going to make a difference or not.
    You’ve done a very good job of stating very clearly how much impact it can make. I’ll forward your post on to others.

  9. Grace says:

    Shane, I have already taken the bags to the sewing machine and did repairs. Just want to share that if I forget the bags when shopping I come home with plastic, fold them and reuse them to gift wrap my garbage for my waste manager cmpany who comes to pick them up once a week. I try to reuse what I get and it seems to work. I also have crocheted some bags using the bags. – recycle, reuse.

    Mike, the supermakets are not reponsible for the packaging of food it’s the manufacturers. Cereal boxes are so much bigger than the actual product inside the boxes. Do they really need to use so much cardboard? What about glass milk bottles and soda bottles. We could create more jobs by hiring bottle washers instead of manufacturing the plastic bags. There is so much more that can be done especially in the way food is packaged. I also hate how the milk tastes coming from plastic contaniners.
    Sorry I will get off the soap box. Have a nice evening.

  10. Ginny Valery says:

    We aren’t allowed to have bags in our area. It kinda stinks cause We always reused them for a lot of other purposes and they never went in the trash. I am very big on recycling and if can avoid the trash can it does.

  11. Shane Suri says:

    I love my reusable bags! I started using them when we lived in Germany and just never quit. All the local clerks know me as the crazy packing lady because I don’t let anyone else pack my bags for me. It annoys the baggers and clerks sometimes but most of them aren’t well versed in how to pack the bag to maximum capacity and I don’t like just having 5 items in a reusable bag. Mine are starting to show a lot of wear and tear and it’s well past time to break out the thread and needle to fix them. 🙂

  12. diane says:

    the large town closest to where i live, has a plastic bag ban so reuseable bags have become the norm for me. it did take some getting used to i must admit! and i started recycling…..so much less garbage, from one can a week to maybe one a month and i love it. one time, i had been saving my plastic bottles, laundry soap containers for awhile and took a truck full to the station where they took them all for free and recycled them. a big life style change….

  13. Sharon K. Lozano says:

    We also use reusable bas. Have made them for two daughters also! Our stores will give you 3cents for each bag you bring in to use,

  14. Stephanie Alexander says:

    I use my own bags all the time and it feels great

    Stephanie

    >

  15. Lori Johnson says:

    already use cloth bags easier to carry! recycle everything I can or reuse plastic containers for planters also made storage seats out of plastic bottles 🙂 I have a Elderly man who collects cans so I collect all the cans in our building every month for him and he always gets 4 to 5 large bags a month with the money he gets he told me he uses to feed his dog who is so sweet I also include either a bag of dog food or couple of cans for him 🙂 not much goes to waste here 🙂

  16. Cheryl E says:

    I also use the reusable bags and keep many in the car. I do get the plastic bags though when I need them – I use to dispose of kitty litter or dog waste (instead of buying the fancy packages of litter liners, etc). Good for you for putting it out there, though. Even a little bit helps a lot!

  17. mimabettan says:

    Wow , out with my cloth bags again 🙂
    Stunning!

  18. Judy Williams says:

    I always reuse or recycle plastic bags.our commissary offers paper bags that we use and then recycle or use for crafts for grandkids. We do use reusable bags also. Best of everything.

  19. Kim Seidenwand says:

    I have been wanting to make my own shopping bags for this very reason! I am using your video tutorials to improve my crochet skills, and pattern reading ability so that I can eventually make several.

  20. dikf54 says:

    been doing this for years and unfortunately not every one appreciates my bags. I always bring back the plastic ones to be reused too if I have any.

  21. Diane Fargen says:

    I do try to use reusable (crochet) bags. I do have some plastic as I don’t want that icky meat juice on my other foods. I also reuse them too cause they always double bag things and the clean bag goes back to the store for the icky meat. My biggest problem is they are bagging things while I am trying to unload my cart and I even put my bags down to begin with-what do they think those bags are for?

  22. I had never thought about how many plastic shopping bags consumers would use in a year. The number is astonishing ! I do reuse the plastic bags, but I do have sturdy bags I could use when I shop and that would make a difference.

  23. Janet says:

    In South Australia, plastic bags are not available at supermarkets at all – bring your own, please. I keep reusable bags in the car and lots of crocheted bags in the fifth wheeler in which I live. A few years ago I made a string bag which folds into a small pouch for my sister to keep in her handbag; she loves it and uses it constantly.

  24. Laura Murphy says:

    and you said you weren’t good at math….well I beg to differ with ya….you could do analyst math. Yes we all can make different in our own worlds, recycling is a good start and to remember to have those reusable bags in the car before leaving the house. 🙂

  25. Cindy Lindstrom says:

    One of the first things I made when I learned to crochet 6 years ago was a market bag. I now have a collection of 8 that I use primarily for grocery shopping. I have one huge one for boxed items like cereal and pasta, things that are bulky but light weight. A couple that hold about 10 cans each. One that holds just 2 loaves of bread. One that is specific for meat – the grocery I go to has a rule about meat not being in a bag with other items unless it has an extra plastic bag. The bag boys at the grocery rush to help load my bags because they tell me they are so neat. (I have a feeling they laugh when I leave, though). 6 years X 52 weekly trips X 8 bags = Me, doing my part! Thanks for pointing this out to others.

  26. Rachel B says:

    That is a very good point. I have several reusable bags, I just have a horrible habit of forgetting about them until I am in the check-out line — which means they are still put away at home, gathering dust! Ugh. One of my new year’s resolutions this year was to make it a habit to bring them with me when I go to the store. Though, the more I think about it, would it really hurt to leave one in the car to use at other places where I know I am getting just a few items, and save more bags?

    • Cindy Lindstrom says:

      I set a reminder on my smart phone that knows when I arrive at the grocery and it beeps to remind me to get my bags from the back.

  27. Tena says:

    I love my reusable sack bags! I always leave them in the car for the next trip to the grocery store! I am a shamed to say I started using them originally because they are so much bigger than the disposable plastic bags, which equals less trips to and from the car. Another plus I use the larger insulated bags for all my groceries. So cold items make it to and from from the store in our hot Texas summers (lets face it is hot most of the year in Texas). Looking at it from the perspective you have shown us Mikey, individually and/or all together as the Crochet Crowd community we can make a big difference!

  28. Kat says:

    The town I live in recently passed a ban on plastic shopping bags, the complaints and whining was truly amazing. Didn’t bother me as I have been bringing my own bags for 10+ years. And I don’t use the cheesey weak little recycled bags the stores try to sell you, I buy fabric totes from garage sales and thrift shops or make my own. I recycle or reuse (or just don’t bring it into my home) everything possible so that I have about 1/2 a tote of garbage about every 2 months. There are cardboard recycling bins down the street and a homeless man comes and gets my aluminum cans to recycle. I pay to have a compost bin that the garbage company picks up every 2 weeks. What garbage I do have is packaging and I am always trying to find ways to eliminate that. It takes a little bit of forethought and not really very much time and effort to make an important difference.

    • Rose says:

      I so agree with you Kat. Whatever we do we help preserve this wonderful Earth that God has loaned to us. Whenever I need to package or wrap something I ask for paper bags and reuse them instead of buying wrapping paper. I draw or stamp on it with my own designs or have fun with my grandkids. Everyone doing just a little equals lots!!

  29. I agree. I have considered using my stock pile of crockery bags to crochet reusable grocery bags. if we think about it the plastic bags by themselves are not very strong but if we strip them down and crochet them into reusable bags they are stronger and then it also stops them from filling the land fills!!!!

  30. Hey guys!!! If you don’t have a reusable bag already, why not make one?? There’s no excuse!!

  31. Katie Becher says:

    If i can carry it 99.9% of the time i ask for no bag 🙂

  32. Dorothy Darby says:

    Newcomer to your blog; but wanted you to know that one member of our crochet group collects the shopping bags, cuts them into strips, crochets such items as beach bags, permanent shopping bags, and assorted little coin purses. Clever and practical way to make use of something that would otherwise be tossed into a landfill.

    Sent from my iPad

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