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5 Ways Reusable Totes Really Help the Environment

  • 4 min read

Reusable totes are totally on trend. But the fact that they can help the environment makes them a must for any regular shopper. Check out our 5 ways that reusable totes are a great eco-friendly buy.

We’ll admit it - Our reusable totes are pretty and practical but that’s not the only reason to pick one up today.                                   

In a world where plastic waste has proliferated to mind-boggling levels, committing to carrying a reusable bag is a small step we can all take towards protecting the planet. 

Don’t think individual acts of dumping your plastic bag in favour of a forever-tote will impact the planet much? We beg to differ. 

Here are 5 ways that using a reusable tote can really help the environment. 

#1: Think “Reusable” in Reusable Totes

A reusable tote can be folded up and tucked into your handbag to be taken out again and again when needed. Plastic bags rarely see that kind of usage. 

According to the Centre for Biological Diversity, most are used for an average of 12 minutes and then ditched. And as they are costly and challenging to recycle, typically they end up in landfill sites. 

But here’s the disturbing low-down – Because it can take anything upward of 300 to 1,000 years for one plastic bag to decompose, their very presence in the earth contributes to the degradation of the soil and other aspects of the environment. 

As a bag breaks down, tiny toxic particles are released into the soil, air and waterways, continuing the contamination and often ending up as low-grade, deadly lunch for wildlife. 

#2: High-Five for Less Litter

Alongside life in landfills, plastic bags tend to end up as litter. After all, they’re lightweight and throwaway and even the gentlest gust of wind can carry them pretty far.  

In fact, discarded plastic bags have turned up as far north as the Arctic Circle and as far south as the Falkland Islands, according to the British Antarctic Survey.

Once a bag touches down on land, sea or shore, they become trouble for local ecosystems. 

Whether they’re clogging drains and causing floods, or tangling up and directly killing marine and other animals, an errant plastic bag can pose major problems for wildlife and humans. 

Reusable bags are generally heavier and less likely to be borne away by wind, rain or wastewater when their owners done with them. 

Also, if your reusable tote is made from recycled material, such as those in Enya’s Attic, then it can be recycled again once you’re ready to replace it. 

Yep – it’s the gift that keeps on giving!

#3: Reduces Greenhouse Gases

Reusable bags made with renewable resources such as cotton, jute or bamboo can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is because renewable resources have a speedy growth rate. 

Plants can be harvested and seeds planted in quick succession, which means a continuation of crops that absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. 

Plastics, on the other hand, are predominantly made from non-renewable fossil fuel. They release a vast amount of toxic emissions into air and water, which makes them one of the biggest culprits of greenhouse gases emissions. 

Something to note: Conventionally-grown cotton can be problematic for the environment due to its use of harmful pesticides and fertilisers. Opt for organic cotton totes and products were possible and kick pesticides and insecticides to the kerb. 

#4: Supports Sustainable Jobs

Many eco-friendly reusable totes use materials made from sustainable crops farmed in less developed countries. Buying one of these bags can benefit farmers and textile workers here, helping them to support themselves and their families. 

However, that’s not to say that all reusable totes are made with respect for human work. So look out for the appropriate certification on your bag. 

Enya’s Attic totes, for example, are made by Stanley and Stella who are one of the Fair Wear Foundation brands. 

#5: Prevents More Plastic Being in the World

Finally, here’s the great thing about reusable totes too – because they’re more durable and longer-lasting than plastic bags you can use them for everything! 

They can be your go-to grocery carrier. Your gym pack or book bag. You can use your reusable tote as your carry-on bag on planes, a picnic hamper or a beach bag. 

And while you’re using your tote for all these purposes, guess what? You’re not using plastic. 

When you consider that the average American family takes home almost 1,500 shopping carrier bags a year and an individual approximately 400, every single person who makes a stand by bringing their own bag is benefitting the environment. 

You might think that your contribution is too small to be significant. 

But that’s not true. 

Buying a reusable tote is not just a fashion statement or a practical purchase – it’s an act of someone who cares about their world and is willing to do something about it.

Why not check out some of our best-selling totes here.

 

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