Sunday, April 22, 2012

Paper Or Plastic? How About Neither?

Mel Brooks had a great bit as the 2013-Year-Old Man in which he declared that Liquid Prell Shampoo was the greatest invention of mankind (comparing it and its unbreakable tube favorably to the heart-lung machine which, of course, could break if it fell out of your medicine cabinet). 

In honor of Earth Day, I'm going to nominate Neato's, a reusable, machine-washable storage bag that comes in various sizes and easily replaces plastic bags and baggies.  We use them for sandwiches, snacks, veggies in the fridge, cosmetics on the plane, art supplies for the kids.  To paraphrase Brooks, I love this product.  (Disclaimer:  the creator of Neato's, Rachel Ostroy, is a dear friend).

Neat-os are made of FDA certified food-safe materials.  All materials have been certified as bisphenol-A (BPA) free, phthalate free, PVC free, lead free and non-toxic.  The fabric is a cotton canvas that was designed for chefs and is coated in food safe plastic, that can withstand high temperatures and is non-abrasive, making it easy to clean lots of different ways.

Reusing this durable product instead of disposable plastic bags is such an easy way to go a little greener.  One bag can replace hundreds of plastic baggies, not only from being thrown away, but from being produced.  Neat-os are also made in the USA eliminating the CO2 emitted by shipping baggies across the seas. And from your purchases they give to 1% for the Planet.  (Click here to check them out.)

Rachel reluctantly applied for the Sustainable Business Council of Los Angeles Achievement Award, and ended up being one of twenty-one finalists.  Although she didn't win, here is part of what she would have said in her acceptance speech:
This award is cool, not because I won, but because it exists. We are all working towards the same cause and the achievement is the collective effort and the impact of the collective effort. We have to work on all fronts, not only to switch from our disposable habit, but to change our building design, create new energy sources, change our farming practices, change our eating habits, change our dependency on oil, the list goes on and on. But it’s not the parts, but the whole that make this fight attainable.


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