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Life Ain't Easy Being Green

4:22 PM, May 10, 2012 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
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The Los Angeles Times reports that, “A reusable grocery bag left in a hotel bathroom caused an outbreak of norovirus-induced diarrhea and nausea that struck nine of 13 members of a girls' soccer team in October 2010.” This grim news comes on the heels of a 2010 study, which found that more than half of reusable grocery bags were contaminated with bacteria – some even with E. Coli.  

Green mountains

Who knew reusable grocery bags could be so hazardous to your health? Thankfully, though, the Minnesota Star Tribune has given us some helpful tips on how to stay healthy while staying green: “Designate bags to use exclusively for meat and fish, washing them after every use,” the venerable daily instructs us. “The reusable fabric bags can be washed the same way as sheets and towels. Reusable plastic bags can be soaked in a basin with soapy water and a quarter-cup of vinegar. Then hang to dry or put in the sun, which is a natural disinfectant.”

Got all that? Residents of Los Angeles may want to keep these steps in mind, as their fair city bans single use plastic grocery bags. Just please make sure that that soap is Earth-Friendly. Oh, wait: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends washing contaminated surfaces with a “bleach-based solution.” Who said it was easy being green?

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