in Our Daily Life
Too many plastic bags!
More than 18 million plastic bags, made from crude oil or other petrochemical derivatives and which, in most cases, cannot be recycled and will take from 200 to 400 years to disintegrate in nature, are distributed in France every year (70% by supermarkets). It is also estimated that 120 million such bags litter the oceans of the planet as deep as 300 metres killing thousands of dolphins, turtles and other fish every year…
In November 2005, the French Government adopted a decree forbidding the distribution of such bags – an interdiction which will not be fully enforced until 1 January 2010 … However, over the last few years, some supermarkets have started to do away with the practice of systematically handing out dozens of “sacs de caisse” (plastic bags available at the checkout stands), and more and more stores are following their example. Yet, one can still find lots of bags distributed everyday in major supermarkets. Many small shops do the same, and even farmers at local markets, no matter how illogical this is… The best way to discourage them not to continue this useless and devastating practice is to refuse plastic bags systematically, and to bring your own reusable bag when you go shopping!
According to the most trusted and serious consumer magazine in France “60 millions de consommateurs”, all types of detergents found in the ‘supermarchés’ seriously contribute to polluting our waters. They all contain toxic substances for the environment (even the brands ‘l’Arbre vert’ et ‘Maison Verte’ which promote themselves as respecting the environment)!!
Knowing that approximately 95% of households in France use a washing machine 4 to 5 times a week and that some of the water from the washing loads ends up untreated in the rivers and seas, we feel strongly that it is important to tell you about an alternative toxic free detergent called “eco-balls”!
Peta, who lives in the Normandy region and who informed us about this alternative washing powder, highly recommends using them. Not only are they very economical, but they are also quite effective: “We all use our washing machines regularly and eco balls are an effective, economical and environmentally-friendly answer to detergents. They are three saturn-shaped objects which you place on top of the wash and set on the normal programme. They contain no phosphates, but little washing pellets which are composed of mineral oxides. They are hypo-allergenic, with no harsh chemicals and last between 750 and 1000 washes, which makes them really economical to use.
The result is clean and fresh and you are helping to protect the environment. Try them!”
These eco-balls can be purchased worldwide via the following website:
Tel: 0845 230 4200
Fax: 0845 230 4220
Quelques gestes utiles pour la planète
1) A la maison
Choisir de préférence un système de chauffage à faible
consommation, et l’entretenir régulièrement.
Eteindre ou baisser le chauffage en cas d’absence.
Préférer des ampoules à basse consommation, et plus grande efficacité.
Ne pas laisser ses appareils électriques (TV, chaîne stéréo,
ordinateurs, imprimantes…) en veille.
Donner ses vieux objets et vêtements, par exemple à Emmaüs(www.emmaus-france.org), plutôt que de les jeter.
2) Dans la cuisine
Eviter d’acheter des produits avec emballages jetables.
Trier ses déchets (voir aussi ici).
3) Dans la salle de bains, les toilettes et la buanderie
Prendre une douche plutôt qu’un bain.
Choisir une chasse d’eau économique.
Eviter de laisser couler l’eau, par ex. en se lavant les dents.
Choisir des lessives moins polluantes (voir p. 20).
4) Dans le jardin
Utiliser au mieux son compost (voir page 19).
Refuser les traitements chimiques (insecticides, engrais).
5) Hors de la maison
Privilégier la marche, le vélo ou les transports en commun.
En voiture, éviter la climatisation, et conduire en douceur.
A Few Helpful Gestures for the Planet
1) At home
Give preference to a heating system with a lower consumption, and maintain it properly.
Turn off or reduce the temperature when away from home.
Replace your light globes with high-efficiency, low-consumption bulbs.
Do not leave electrical appliances (TV, stereos, computer
printers) on stand-by.
Give old items and clothing to Emmaüs (www.emmaus-france.org), instead of throwing them in the garbage.
2) In the kitchen
Avoid buying products with disposable wrappings.
Sort and recycle waste
(see also here).
3) In the bathroom, toilet and laundry room
Take a shower instead of a bath.
Choose an economic flush for the toilet.
Avoid letting the water run, for ex. while brushing your teeth.
Use less polluting laundry detergents (see p. 20).
4) In the garden
Make the best use of your compost (see page 19).
Avoid using chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
5) Outside the home:
Walk, bike or use local transportation systems.
In your car, use the air conditioning sparingly, and drive smoothly.
French Accent Magazine - December 06