We applaud two Woodside women for their contribution towards protecting our environment. Their creation of reusable and washable nylon shopping bags will make it easier for all of us to do our part in cutting down toxic waste.
Twenty five years ago, environmentally conscious people were concerned about the impacts from the use of paper bags for carrying grocery products. As some of us old COWs remember, plastic bags were introduced in the 1970’s, and proved to be so cheap to produce, sturdy, plentiful, easy to carry and store that they have captured at least 80 percent of the grocery and convenience store market. Compared to paper grocery bags, plastic grocery bags consume 40 percent less energy, generate 80 percent less solid waste, produce 70 percent fewer atmospheric emissions. However, we have all come to realize that plastic bags also seriously pollute the land and the ocean alike.
The production of the bags, as well as their disposal, are an environmental problem since they are made from petroleum products and the entire production process (shipping the oil in from overseas and then the refinement process) releases toxins. Then, once they are used, when they break down and decompose, they release toxic chemicals into the ground or ocean.
Plastic bag litter has become such an environmental nuisance and eyesore that Ireland, Taiwan, South Africa, Australia, and Bangladesh have heavily taxed the totes or banned their use outright. Several other countries, including England, are considering similar actions. San Francisco has just started to ban nonbiodegradable plastic bags. Cities such as Oakland, Baltimore, Boston, Portland and Santa Monica are considering similar measures and there have been talks among San Mateo County leaders and independent grocers on the Peninsula interested in following San Francisco’s lead.
Rather than tax or ban, two of our own Woodside moms, Stephanie Ashworth and Kerri Stenson have created a solution by designing a small reusable and washable nylon pouch which they sell to some supermarkets like Roberts and Draeger’s under the name Olive Smart. They have designed their reusable shopping bags to hold 20 percent more than a standard plastic bag. They come in a variety of colors. You can buy yours on line as well. For more information please visit their website at http://www.Olivesmart.com. Hopefully, Olive Smart will help encourage people to stop using disposable shopping bags.
So lets put our hooves together for a big round of applause for these two very creative Green Woodsiders!