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Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is committed to preserving and sustaining the vibrant communities of the Eastern Shore and the lands and waters that connect them.

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ESLC offers tips to“Love the Land” with a more green lifestyle

Reusable grocery bags a simple first step toward eco-friendly living

Queenstown, Maryland – February 25, 2008 – As part of their recently launched “Love the Land” campaign, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC), a private, nonprofit land conservation organization, reminds residents to use reusable bags during their next trip to the grocery store. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans use 380 billion plastic bags annually, with only about one to three percent of those recycled. These plastic bags, which are made of polyethylene (HDPE) that  take years to break down – overwhelm our landfills, increase carbon consumption, clutter waterways and landscapes and kill thousands of marine and land animals that mistakenly ingest them when foraging for food.

As more Eastern Shore residents are looking for ways to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, getting started with small steps – such as using reusable grocery bags – is a good way to ease into a more green routine. ESLC urges residents to try becoming a “Bring Your Own Bag” household as a good first step toward becoming a more environmentally responsible citizen.

“Every reusable bag you take with you to the store you use has the potential to eliminate hundreds, if not thousands, of plastic bags over its lifetime,” said Kristine George, ESLC’s Director of Communications. “A family that goes to the grocery store once a week can eliminate about 720 plastic bags a year if they adopt reusable bags instead. That’s a pretty easy step to take that can make a pretty incredible impact.”

ESLC offers the following easy tips to adjust to life as a BYOBer.

  • Make a pledge to use only reusable bags when you shop and purchase enough to accommodate your usual shopping needs.
  • Urge your friends to do the same and use an inexpensive stylish reusable bag to package the next gift you give instead of an expensive paper one.
  • Use your existing plastic bag stash as garbage can liners to cut back on the amount of waste.
  • Ask for a credit for not using plastic during your next grocery visit – many major chains give a two to three cent rebate bag. According to the website reusablebags.com, U.S. retailers spend about $4 billion annually on plastic bags for their shoppers.
  • Keep your stash of reusable bags in a conspicuous place so you will remember to take them with you on your next shopping visit.
  • Reusable bags can be purchased at local grocery stores and food markets for as little as $.99 a bag. ESLC offers reusable bags for purchase on its website at www.eslc.org  and a variety of conservation groups such as reusablebags.com also offer a number of stylish and affordable options that can be purchased on their website.
  • Show your support for your local farmers by buying local food (and bringing it home in a reusable bag of course.) In addition to being the freshest you can buy, buying local helps preserve open space and rural heritage as well as the local economy.

In the next few months. ESLC will be offering a number of educational resources and reminders to residents to help them identify ways they can help protect the Eastern Shore’s landscape, waterways and rural heritage. It is part of ESLC’s “Love the Land” campaign, a year-round public awareness program, is aimed at educating local residents about land protection, land use planning and conservation as well as how they can help protect the Eastern Shore landscape that we all know and love.

For more details about how you can “Love the Land” by protecting your land, becoming a member of ESLC or learning more about what you can do in your local community, please visit ESLC’s website at www.eslc.org.

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