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Episode 9 – Plastic Bags

Been to the grocery store lately? Ever wonder what becomes of all those plastic grocery bags after the shoppers are done with them? Holly with Help Our World has some bad…AND GOOD…news for you.

The bad news is that each of these plastic bags can take up to 20-1,000 years to decompose and in the process damage the environment and harm animals. Pretty alarming information, isn’t it? But wait, here is the good news! Most of these plastic grocery bags are recyclable. A group in California called Californians Against Waste (http://www.cawrecycles.org) estimates that 4% of Californias are already recycling. That’s 760 million bags recycled!. You should definitely check out their site at cawrecycles.org (same as above) for more information on news, advice, and facts, all about being green.

This is definitely a widespread movement. Cities across the country have already started banning the usage of plastic bags. Here is a news article from Australia about their effort to decrease plastic bag usage: abc.net.au (http://www.abc.net.au/melbourne/stories/s1576054.htm) Here is what you can do: recycle any bags labled HDPE 2, or even better switch to reusable bags! They are durable, long lasting, and can carry a lot more stuff. Check out ehow.com for their 5 steps to plastic bag recycling. You can also read more about more ways to help the environment at nationalgeographic.com (http://green.nationalgeographic.com/environment/).

So next time you are at the grocery store, do your part to Help Our World!

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HOW to Help?

Whether you are dedicated to saving the planet, or dedicated to saving your wallet, energy conservation pays big dividends. Think about it. What you don't use, you don't pay for. And, what you choose to use, can have a big impact on the environment.

Responsible choices by businesses and individuals cut the levels of air pollutants, reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, decrease water pollution, and much, much more. Opportunities for energy conservation are available everywhere - in our homes, schools, offices, farms, communities and industrial environments. New energy-saving technologies, as well as commitments to promote energy conservation in our daily lives, can save big bucks, maintain a clean environment, and protect the planet.

So let's get informed, get active, and get real! As an individual, there are many things you can do to help our world. Let's start with getting informed about energy conservation. There are many books, magazines and articles available at book stores, libraries, and online. One of our favorite books is You Can Prevent Global Warming (and Save Money!): 51 Easy Ways by Jeffrey Langholz and Kelly Turner. And one of our favorite Web sites is www.energystar.gov. Of course there are more serious tomes. Pick a few and get informed.

Get active. Start a recycling program. Contact a congressman regarding a pollution threat in your community. Make a donation. Start a car pool. Opportunities are endless!

Finally, get real. You can help the environment as well as your wallet, even if it is just one simple act at a time. Purchase and use a compact fluorescent light bulb. Borrow books from the library. Ride your bike to work. Buy locally grown produce. Remember to reduce, reuse, and recycle. You get the idea.

And don't forget to check back at HOW for informative tips on how to Help Our World.


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