Most of us agree that there is enough chilling proof that our Earth is in real danger. We spent too many years unconcerned with how our carefree consumption habits that were affecting Mother Nature, and now it’s clear that there is a price to pay if we don’t change our ways.

Fortunately, a growing green movement has hit the mainstream. People everywhere are now waking up and becoming ecology conscious.  In 2016 it is common sense to recycle, reduce, and reuse; you’re not responsible if you don’t watch your water consumption. These days, if you’re in the check-out line and you’re asked if you want paper or plastic, the right answer is neither.

If you haven’t brought your own recyclable grocery bag, prepare to endure the disdain of your fellow shoppers from the line to the door, a virtual I’m not green walk of shame. With eco-friendly companies like Reyn Spooner providing fashionable eco-friendly and upcycled accessories, everyone can have a closet full of eco-chic bags. If for some reason you failed to get the memo, here are ten facts to consider.

How Bad Are Paper and Plastic Bags? Really Bad.

Senior man and baby holding the Earth in hands against a

  • In can take anywhere from 15 to 1,000 years for a plastic bag to decompose, and even then they are broken down into tiny toxic particles.
  • One million birds and countless sea animals die each year from ingesting plastic that they confuse with edible sea life. Once ingested, plastic blocks their digestive tracts, and they die of starvation.
  • The cost to recycle plastic bags is greater than their worth, so even recycling companies will throw them away to be sent to landfills.
  • Plastic bags are made from natural gas and petroleum products; non-renewable energy that also raises gas prices.
  • The number of plastic bags used in the United States alone takes 12 million barrels of oil to produce.
  • Paper bags are no better; the United States cuts down 14 million trees a year to make them.
  • It takes just under 15% more energy to make one paper bag than two plastic bags.
  • Making paper bags requires chemicals heated to high temperatures, which release harsh toxins into the atmosphere.
  • Even though paper bags are easily recyclable, only about 20% of them get recycled.
  • One paper bag is equivalent to ten plastic bags in weight, so more fuel is needed in order to ship them to stores.

5 Benefits of Eco-Chic Upcycled Bags for Everyday Use

Upcycled Eco Bags - Large in Assorted Colors

If you still don’t think one person’s behavior impacts the environment enough to change, there are some personal benefits for you beyond leaving the world a better place for your children and grandchildren.

  1. They may soon be your only option; more and more nations are taxing or banning the use of disposable bags. Isn’t it better to volunteer than be forced to do something?
  2. They save you money; many stores give their customers discounts for shopping with their re-usable bags. Who doesn’t love saving money?
  3. It used to be that re-usable bags were pretty drab, but now you have stylish options. You can do your part to be environmentally conscious by shopping with fashionable eco-friendly and upcycled bags, and you’ll look good doing it.
  4. Even the most basic reusable bag has a lifespan equal to just under 800 disposable bags. A high quality reusable bag can last a lifetime.
  5. For every person that uses reusable bags instead of disposable bags, more than 22,000 plastic bags are removed from our earth; that’s incentive enough.

Buying Eco- Bags Provides Funds for Important Causes

All of our eco bags are made from remnant and scraps of fabrics left over from the production of our Made in Hawaii men’s shirts and accessories. The great thing about this is many of the patterns and styles only have a few available, or are simply one of a kind. These bags are perfect for packing a beach lunch, going shopping, lugging paperwork to and from school or work, and a host of other purposes.

Molokai Channel Salmon Small bag

Their stylish patterns, durability, and lightweight feel also make for great on-the-go purses. The perfect example of this is the Molokai Channel Small Salmon Eco Bag, the ideal accessory for a flowy, white summer dress. In addition to all of these perks, for every Reyn Spooner eco bag purchased, 10% goes to the Hawaii Wildlife Fund, which is a non-profit dedicated to conserving Hawaii’s native wildlife through their research, education, and advocacy programs.

Hawaiia Wildlife Fund

In gratitude to Mother Earth, Mai iloko mai – That which is within matters.