I’m Shirley Stone, the creator of “Project-2 Go Green and founder and managing partner of Emerald Networkers, LLC. Thanks for your interest.
I am an entrepreneur who has been self-employed since 1982 and have been involved in operating an advertising and marketing business since 1988. My services were always targeted toward small businesses providing cost effective advertising and marketing strategies.
I have been involved in online marketing since 2005, but about two years ago I started a marketing company that approached small businesses to advertise on shopping bags. Although advertising on bags is not new, it was a new idea and service for me.
When I first started out working with shopping bags, it was for promotional purposes only. My goal was to provide a service that would help brand small businesses. It was to be a cost effective way for businesses to market their business, service or product on the bags and give them away.
However, while searching for bags that would be suitable to use, I discovered environmental problems that I was not fully knowledgeable about and learned that the problems needed to be considered in my decision.
Up until the idea to promote businesses on shopping bags for which I began my research, environmental problems were just news to me. I was aware of the movement to “save the earth”, but at the time, I’ll admit, environmental issues were not a concern.
You see, I had been recycling and reusing for years. I have tried to save energy by using energy efficient appliances and believed in turning off things using electricity when not in use. I try not to waste water. I’ve given away a multitude of unwanted items to be reused to extend their usefulness before ending up in a landfill. As far as reusing shopping bags, I have always collected them for other uses before throwing them in the trash.
I am sure there are many many people all over the world who have done and are doing the same things as I have been doing. However, all that recycling and reusing that we’ve been doing, seems to not have helped the problems that for a long time we didn’t know were problems to the extent that the problems exist for us and our environment, today.
For my decision, I knew that un-recycled paper bags use natural resources that we now need to replenish. For years and years our main and most abundant source of life sustaining oxygen has been used and not replenished enough. So, for the earth to be able to continue to produce the oxygen we need, society has needed to change habits of using paper. So now less and less paper is needed for use in society. Now, for the sake of the environment, more and more paper is being produced from recycled paper. What I didn’t know was that even the process of recycling paper contributes to the harm that’s being perpetuated throughout our environment, as well.
So, I didn’t choose paper and my financial resources would only provide for one other type of bags. Not cotton or some other organic type and not polyester… but plastic.
I found out that plastic bags are deemed to be harmful mainly because they are not being recycled enough and are not biodegradable without some kind of treatment. Even with the treatment, plastic will only biodegrade like any other biodegradable substance in the right environment.
Plastic is a man made substance that nature hasn’t yet handled fast enough or can’t handle to maintain the environment as needed. We know now that for the sake of human life and the lives of other creatures of earth, plastic has to be disposed of properly without the help from nature.
For us to be able to continue natural organic lives, society’s habits of disposing its waste have to change and is changing, but it appears that the change is too slow.
Since the creation of plastic, it has been molded into many different forms for many different uses and has been integrated in all aspects of society. Mostly all humans, almost everywhere use plastic in some form, some way or for some purpose everyday. Although plastic has provided a widespread quality of life that has enhanced the evolution of living, our consummation of plastic has resulted in a saturated environment exhibiting excessive waste and pollution.
Everything is dirty, now… the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat,
is either laced with pesticides or made with substances not provided naturally.
I found out that it is the waste and pollution that are destroying our environment and as the pollution increases, the adverse effects of it will be experienced more and more. We will not know that doing more now to resolve the problems will make a difference ultimately until we actually do more about it and fail. I believe there are more life threatening issues today, than in other time in the existence of human life.
Another problem is that plastic has allowed us humans to change the evolution of life in such a way as to change our psychology of living toward the not natural… the synthetic, as if we were created artificially… not from what is provided by the earth… from our environment.
Since there was so much controversy against plastic…, like most other people, at first I settled on the type of bags that were and are expounded as being “eco-friendly”.
Because of my lack of knowledge and limited resources, I started out using the shopping bags claimed to be made from recycled reusable material, wanting to believe that they could be and will be recycled.
The bags were actually made of plastic. They were the cloth look alike bags that were made from a mixture of plastic materials, only I didn’t know that at first. I thought that since the bags were being marketed as “eco-friendly”, looked good, and were large enough for my purpose, they were the best bags to use. They also had the best price not considering the bags made from nothing but recycled plastic.
After creating Project-2 Go Green marketing program using those particular type of bags for awhile… for almost a year, over 100,000 bags were distributed through businesses and at social events. The businesses seemed to loved them, as well as the people who received them.
However, my concerns for the environment increased as the distributions of bags increased, and as I paid more attention to the news. I could see the movement where more and more municipalities were banning single-use plastic shopping bags all over the world.
Although I was limiting my use of the disposable plastic shopping bags, I came under the realization that if the disposable bags that are widely used and reused mostly end up somewhere harming the environment, the bags I had decided to distribute could create the same type of problem in the future, if they were not or could not be recycled.
My attention to environmental news of how bad the problem really is motivated me to make sure I was providing a solution… not creating additional problems. I wanted to provide the ultimate best for the environment so I continued my research to be certain that the bags I was distributing were truly recyclable… 100% eco-friendly.
I also learned that being “reusable” and “can be recycled” may not be100% eco-friendly.
Bags made from raw or organic material may give the impression of being eco-friendly because they are made from natural material and are reusable. The fact is that the growing and processing of the organic or raw material nullifies the eco-friendliness. Since the manufacturing and shipping of those types of bags are made and shipped from China or some other country overseas, that nullifies the eco-friendliness of the cotton type of bags, as well.
I see widespread marketing that mislead the public in ways that will create future problems. Most bags being sold today, do not meet the criteria of being 100% eco-friendly. The bags that do are being banned and bags of the same type are believed to be harmful.
This is society’s dilemma. We’re at a crossroad where we know we should be doing something about the conditions of our environment, but we actually don’t know what is best.
The knowledge of the urgency to do more to help save the earth by helping to clean and sustain our environment caused me a dilemma for deciding which bag was the real or the right reusable shopping bag to distribute.
With the ban on plastic, pure plastic bags were not considered at all at first. So, for awhile I continued to use the plastic bags that looked like cloth that people loved so much. Now-a-days, I see those type being used everywhere… even in movies and commercials.
Although the bags I chose conformed to the newly instituted bag laws, I was still uncertain about their recyclability. Numerous manufacturers and resellers here in the US and in China were contacted with the question in search for an answer that would give me certainty.
Out of numerous manufacturers and resellers contacted, only one representative said that the type of bags I was using were not recyclable. The rep spoke as a matter of fact, stating… “yes, the bags were made from recycled materials, but after they were made, they can not be recycled again”. Everyone else said that they could be… but never that they were actually being produced from recycled bags of the same type.
I chose to believe the one representative, because the cloth look-alike (polypropylene) reusable shopping bags are classified as number 5 plastic and at the time, I could find no recycling facility that processed number five (5) plastics anywhere.
Many many things are made from number 5 plastics like the solid white food tubs containing creme cheese, yogurt, and margarine.
Check the recycling facility in your area to learn whether the 5 plastics are being recycled there. You most likely already know the answer because you know that those type of containers are just being thrown into the regular garbage.
With all this in mind, another dilemma was created for me that changed the way I wanted to do business.
The first dilemma was which type of shopping bag to use. Then it was whether I should continue with the bags I was using with the knowledge that the possibility is certain that the bags could not or would not be recycled. So, instead of being able to make a definite decision not to use the bags, I became even more perplexed.
Nevertheless, I could not in good conscious continue using the bags I had learned were not truly eco-friendly. I could not in good conscious continue to distribute so-called eco-friendly shopping bags knowing that sooner or later they will end up in the garbage. Furthermore, since the bags were classified as number “5” plastic, most recycling centers at this time would not be able to recycled those bags, anyway.
After months of researching and against the flow of mainstream understanding, I finally decided on the right type of reusable shopping bags to use and promote. These bags are the “Right” reusable shopping bags.. the best reusable bag for the money and the environment!
Now I am certain that the term “eco-friendly” does not necessarily include being 100% eco-friendly. This is particularly true for shopping bags.
Most shopping bags I found that are reusable are not eco-friendly entirely. It’s factual that they were shipped in from another country. If you have a reusable bag purchased from any store, check the label inside the bag. I’m pretty sure you will see, “Made in China” or someplace else overseas.
If the bags weren’t entirely eco-friendly, I decided to not used them. 100% eco-friendliness is determined by where the bags were made… what materials they were made from, durability, reusability; and most importantly, recyclability to cut back on the waste.
I wanted the right reusable bags that the masses would use, reuse and are easily recyclable so that they will refuse to use the disposable shopping bags and any other bags that could harm the planet. The bags had to also conform to the reusable bag criteria being instituted as law across the globe.
The bags I now provide are the right reusable bags, manufactured in the USA. They are made from 50-100% recycled plastic film that has been tested and certified to be 100% eco-friendly based on production, performance and conformance. These bags can be recycled into new bags, with minimum use of resources that will effect the environment.
These shopping bags are specially designed for easy handling. The bags’ durability is matched by their attractiveness. Majority of people would not just throw away these bags like the disposable ones, and I don’t believe you would either.
Whether there is a bag ban in your area or not, you should be using the right reusable shopping bags to help limit plastic bags waste from ending up in landfills and other undesirable places in the environment.
I now provide the right reusable bags where anyone concerned about the environment, or anyone who wants to do more to help save the earth, or anyone who wants become active in the green movement or who just want to earn extra income, can do so by joining me and others to make a greater impact by making people more aware that there is an urgency for us to do more to clean our planet, before its too late to make a difference.
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