Paper & Plastic Bag Tax

This post is about paper and plastic bag tax and will it drive people to use reusable grocery bags?

On ABC World News they featured a story about the use of paper and plastic shopping bags in grocery stores. The public has been slow to adopt the usage of reusable shopping bags. You have seen them. They are made of cloth or heavy plastic. Could a paper and plastic bag tax encourage use of reusable shopping bags?

I have mentioned on previous blog posts that I am frustrated that when I go shopping with my wife she seems to be the only one using reusable bags. However times are changing with grocery stores encouraging the use of their reusable bags and more people are participating.

On another news channel they mentioned that some major cities are thinking about imposing a tax on each throw away plastic or paper bag used. San Francisco has already outlawed plastic bags. Other cities like Washington, DC are looking at a 20 cent per bag tax. The poor are crying foul saying they cannot afford the tax. At Trader Joe’s last week we bought a reusable bag for about a dollar. Reusable bags are affordable so the poor need to think of another reason.

In Ireland the ABC News story went on to say that they have imposed a 33 cent a bag tax on all bags. Nine out of ten consumers in Ireland now bring reusable bags when they go shopping. Hitting the pocketbook changes consumer behavior in Ireland. Would such a paper and plastic bag tax work in the USA. I would be willing to give it a try.

I hope Americans think about the consequences of their buying habits but I know that is wishful thinking on my part.

Bring on the bag tax and lets get rid of those awful plastic and paper bags that create pollution in their manufacturing (plastic) not to mention the number of trees that must be cut down for us to use a throw away paper bag.

Go out and purchase some reusable bags next time you shop and keep them in your car so that they can be used for your next grocery shopping trip.

Next time the check out person says paper or plastic say neither, I brought my own reusable bags.

If you would like to learn more about our green practices at the inn please visit  green.

Less Garbage Is Green


Early this week my wife and I loaded up our VW Camper Van with bagged garbage to take it to the Lumpkin County landfill/transfer station. Since our middle son moved to Gainesville we have not been able to borrow his pickup truck for trash hauling so the van had to do. We try to create less garbage for the Earth and to reduce trips to the dump.

We placed tarps inside the van to catch any spills from leaky trash bags, loaded the van and went on our way to the dump. My wife commented that there we no odors caused by the garbage. We check our guest trash for food at check outs and also take all of our unused food and use it for composting. That explained the lack of odor.

We were also surprised that we had not made the dump trip in over 3 months and marvelled at the small amount of trash we accumulated in the last 3 months. The trash were were taking to the dump were items we could not recycle or compost. Less garbage was not only possible but easy.

When my wife goes grocery shopping she tries to purchase items in recyclable packaging. By recycling the packaging versus disposing we keep it out of the landfill which helps the environment by creating less garbage.

Here in the county we can recycle some plastics (mainly the water bottles guests leave us), cans and paper. We also use shredded paper/junk mail in our composter. Glass has to be taken to another county for recycling. Many wine bottles are bottle trees in the yard. See bottle trees for more information.

Being mindful about what you purchase and the packaging it comes in is very green. So is composting food to keep it out of the landfill. Start today and help the environment. Please do your part by creating less garbage and everyone will benefit.

To learn more about how we help the environment visit our inn page being green.

Recycling is Not the Same Everywhere

Here at Cedar House Inn and Yurts we have recycling bins in all guest areas to recycle paper, certain plastics and glass. Most guests are good about not throwing recycled items in the garbage can.

We also compost all uncooked and cooked leftover foods for the gardens and to keep the trash cans from odors.  It is all part of our green focus.

Our trips to the local landfill happen about every 3-4 months since we throw away very little.

Our county offers a recycling station but is very limited in what it takes. We haul certain plastics and all glass to another center in a nearby county.

I recently read an article about how much recycling varies across the country. It included a map of the USA showing the numbers of households that recycle. I was shocked but not surprised that the southern states do not have recycling programs as much as other parts of the country. It appears to be a blue versus red state issue. Blue States tend to recycle more. I often think this is true in most green practices.

I hope the south one day sees the importance of recycling on the Earth and environment.