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What’s in Your Bag? A Guide to Green Shopping By Michael Patton Executive Director The Metropolitan Environmental Trust Tulsa, Oklahoma Texas Recycling & Sustainability Conference August 2007
Buy Local Buy Recycled Packaging Buy Recyclable Packaging Buy Reduced Packaging
Every dollar I spend is a vote for the environment. People want to be better shoppers.
Package Material Storage Shipping Reuse Disposal
Weekly Grocery Spending (Food Only) Men living alone - $60 Women living alone - $50 Elderly - $45 With children - $31 With young children – $28 Source: USDA
Weekly Spending by Ethnicity White - $41. 67 Black - $32. 50 Hispanic - $32. 50 Source: USDA
Packaging by Mother Nature Compostable Fair trade and country of origin & buy local when available
What is Organic? Organic food must be produced without the use of sewer-sludge fertilizers, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and irradiation. A variety of agricultural products can be produced organically, including produce, grains, meat, dairy, eggs and processed food products.
Average Annual Expenditure Fruits and Vegetables 9. 7% of food budget is spent on fruits and vegetables Fresh fruits 3. 23% Fresh vegetables 3. 17% Processed fruits 1. 9% Processed vegetables 1. 42% Food Institute analysis based on Bureau of Labor statistics
Baskets, Bags and Trays Bananas and Banana Bread
Meat & Dairy Aisle
Resealable Bag Fresh, Frozen or Canned
Average Annual Expenditure Meat, Poultry, Fish & Eggs Food Institute analysis based on Bureau of Labor statistics 15 percent of American’s total food budget is spent on meat, poultry, fish & eggs.
Use a meal planner to reduce waste.
Paper or cardboard vs Polystyrene egg cartons
Buying in the deli allows for portion control Paperboard milk cartons vs Plastic milk jugs Natural vs. Dyed containers
Average Annual Expenditure on Dairy Products Food Institute analysis based on Bureau of Labor statistics Americans spend 6. 42% of their food budget on milk, cream and other dairy products.
Bottle Grade Plastics 94 percent of plastic bottles are #1 or #2 vs Plastic tubs
Cereal Boxes as Art
Box is Pure Marketing The One Box we Read
Bag inside a Box vs Bag only 100% Recycled Rising Post-Consumer Content
Total U. S. Beverage Consumption (2005) Carbonated Soft Drinks 28. 3% Bottled Water 10. 7% Milk 10. 9% Coffee 9. 0% Beer 11. 7% Fruit Beverages 4. 7% Sports Drinks 2. 3% Tea 3. 8% Wine 1. 2% Distilled Spirits 0. 7% All Others 15. 3% Source – American Beverage Association
Real Choices Glass Plastic Aluminum
53 million plastic bottles Are thrown in the trash every day. In Tulsa, the average household buys 225 bottles of water per year. Of those, 16 are recycled.
Shipping and Distribution State Deposit Laws
States with Bottle Bills n California n Maine n Connecticut n Massachusetts n Delaware n Michigan n Hawaii n New n Iowa York n Oregon n Vermont
States Considering Legislation n Arkansas n Illinois n Maryland n North Carolina n South Carolina n Tennessee n West Virginia n Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Legislation Senate Bill 1035 establishes a five-cent levy on containers holding liquids, including carbonated soft drinks, beer, sports drinks, tea, and all forms of water. Revenues would be deposited into a state-administered Returnable Beverage Container Fund and used to compensate deposit claims submitted by beverage distributors and redemption centers. If approved, distributors would be responsible for paying the state a monthly fee for all containers manufactured in or imported into the Commonwealth. Conversely, the state would be responsible for paying redemption centers a two-cent handling fee for each unredeemed beverage container.
Plastic Bottle Recycling n n The first plastic bottle was recycled in 1977 Recycling a ton of PET bottles saves 7. 4 cubic yards of landfill space. The weight of a two liter bottle is 48 grams, down 29 percent from 1978. Number of PET bottles per pound: n n 16 oz – 18 bottles per pound 2 liter – 9 bottles per pound Source: NAPCOR
Chips vs Crackers Give Piece a Chance
Paper Product Aisle
Virgin vs Post Consumer
Grades of Paper Recycle-phobia Quality of Products
Around 45% of the paper Americans use each year (over 47 million tons) is recovered for recycling. This is made into a wide variety of goods such as newsprint, boxes and office paper, paper towels, tissue products, insulation, cereal boxes, molded packaging, hydro-mulch, gypsum wallboard - even compost and kitty litter! 80% of U. S. papermakers use some recovered fiber in manufacturing, and nearly 200 mills use ONLY recovered paper for their fiber.
Beware of words like ‘toxic, ’ ‘hazardous’ and ‘caution’ on label Find safer alternatives Buy Concentrated?
Natural Drain Cleaner Recipe: 1/2 cup baking soda 1/2 cup white vinegar Boiling water Pour baking soda down the drain. Add white vinegar and cover the drain, if possible. Let set for 5 minutes. Then pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain.
At the Checkout Paper vs. Plastic
Michael Patton The Metropolitan Environmental Trust Met. Recycle. com Recyclemichael@yahoo. com