I LOVE the idea behind My Bag and Me!, a board book written by Karen Farmer and illustrated by Gary Currant. The book aims to teach kids about the importance of carrying your own reusable bag to the store. It's a perfect way to introduce kids to the concept that we can all make small changes that will add up to a big difference for the planet. Here's an excerpt:
We can all make a difference
it's easy to see,
when you reuse a bag
like My Bag and Me!
The book also comes complete with a small reusable bag that kids can take along to the store. It's a fantastic idea, and along with the text of the book, I think it does a great job of teaching kids about the importance of respecting the planet.
But here's my problem. I am 100 percent disappointed in the way this book is produced and marketed. The reusable bag that comes with the book is made from Dupont's Tyvek. According to Dupont's website, Tyvek is made from fibers of "100 percent high-density polyethylene that are randomly distributed and nondirectional." So basically, these bags are 100 percent plastic. If you're gonna go with plastic, why not just give your kids one of the plastic bags from the store? I mean, how hard could it have been to include a cloth bag with the book?
My next problem is that this book uses the old greenwashing technique of calling the book and bag "100 percent recyclable." But as any greenie knows, it's one thing to call an item recyclable and quite another to find somewhere to recycle it. I really can't understand why ... when you are writing a book about the importance of reducing our use of paper and plastic ... you use nothing but virgin stocks of paper and plastic. How refreshing it would have been to find an eco-book that is actually printed on recycled paper. And I probably would have had fewer complaints about the bag if it had been made from recycled plastic.
So there you have it. My Bag And Me! ... great idea, poor execution.