When you arrive home from the grocery store and put away the food, what do you do with the empty shopping bags? When you think about how often American families grocery shop each week or month and how many bags they are bringing home, it’s easy to see how fast the trash (quite literally) piles up. Plastic is everywhere these days and impossible to escape, but when it comes to things like plastic bags, there are ways we can reduce and eventually, eliminate this pollution all together. Here are some things you can do:

– Purchase a reusable bag, either from your local grocery store upon checkout or use a canvas bag to store your purchases.

– Support plastic bag fees. Not only does this encourage shoppers to BYOB (“bring your own bag”), it simultaneously raises some awareness and environmental concern.

– Volunteer at a beach cleanup!

– Switch from plastic sandwich bags to a reusable lunch box.

– Choose to reuse! Check out pinterest.com for tons of plastic bag hacks and DIY projects

– Educate yourself by watching the documentary “Bag It” which explores the world of plastic and its detrimental consequences.

Not only does the production of plastic bags contribute to air pollution and energy consumption, but these polyethylene bags that are thrown away can take around 1,000 years to photodegrade and break down into smaller pieces that enter the waterways. By following the easy tips above we can all help to make a difference in a very big way.