Paper or plastic? This question always paralyzed me. Which one of them was the better environmental answer? Turns out, neither is good. Twelve million barrels of oil are used to manufacture the 100 billion plastic bags we use yearly. Fourteen million trees are toppled annually for paper bags.
That wasn’t my only packaging guffaw. I was never without a water bottle. Now, I always recycled it. Well, if always meant while I was home. But there were airports and malls where I couldn’t find a recycling bin, and I’d toss it. I figured the other bottles I recycled made up for the occasional toss. Not even. Americans drink 56 billion 16-ounce bottles a year (1.5 million barrels of oil made that happen) and fewer than 25 percent are recycled. Oops.
My solution? Going BYOBB—bringing my own bag and bottle.
My hip, reusable bags are bright and fun, carry mad stuff, and have comfy shoulder straps. Using them at the grocery store was cake, but I figured boutique and bookstore salespeople would be put out when I pulled out my own bag. Nope. No one flinched. Now, I carry bags in my purse and store others in my car so I never have to go paper or plastic. I also bought some aluminum bottles (reusable plastic bottles leach toxins) and a water filter. Turns out my new bottle and bags are perfect accessories. People always ask me where I bought them. Who knew that being green could look so good?