Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Pollution Solutions is Resources for Health's award winning program that grew out of a RFH Roots & Shoots service-learning project. Between 2005 and 2010, we distributed over 20,000 reusable cotton shopping bags. Children and adults decorated their own shopping bags to take home following our educational and entertaining presentations. Here's a brief history:

Launched for Earth Day at SunFestival Southwest, the project was inspired by the number of bags one family estimated they saved from the landfill by reusing their own cloth bags for grocery shopping.

In honor of Earth Day, Pollution Solutions helped launch the Roots & Shoots National Reusable Bag Campaign, inviting over a thousand groups to unite in ridding our communities and our world of disposable bags.

: RFH Roots & Shoots was selected to present Pollution Solutions in the Regional Showcase at the National Service Learning Conference, where Jane Goodall was the keynote speaker.

: With a grant from the Arizona Recycling Coalition, we presented the program to 5,000
youth during summer programming at all the Phoenix Public Libraries and Phoenix Afterschool Center (PAC) programs. In part due to our efforts, a new bill also was entered into the Arizona State Legislature proposing a retailer tax on plastic and paper bags.

: RFH Roots & Shoots leaders traveled to Florida to accept an Environmental Excellence Award. With funds from the award, we continued giving presentations and distributing reusable bags at locations such as REI.

: The last of the Pollution Solutions bags were distributed as part of the Phoenix
Country Day School's annual Earth Day event in 2010, our third year represented there.

Today, we see reusable bags commonly used everywhere and are pleased and grateful to have played an important role in this movement!

Monday, October 4, 2010


Still not sure why the best answer to the question "paper or plastic?" is "neither!"? Now you can view our Powerpoint presentations in pdf format!
A Story About Shopping Bags
A Story About Shopping Bags
(teen version, created by our Roots & Shoots youth leaders!)

Monday, September 28, 2009


Pollution Solutions was a 2008 SeaWorld/Busch Gardens/Fujifilm Environmental Excellence Award winner! Core members and leaders of our Roots & Shoots group traveled to Busch Gardens in Florida to accept this prestigious award. The award has helped keep the Pollution Solutions program going strong! As you can see in this photo from the annual Feathered Friends Festival in Gilbert, it is always very popular at festivals, fairs, and expos, and our youth presenters often receive rounds of applause for their presentation. Read more about this award and others Resources for Health has received on our awards blog.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Thanks to the good folks at AZ StRUT, Pollution Solutions has two laptops to help tell A Story About Shopping Bags on PowerPoint at outreach events. Our Roots & Shoots youth leaders even created a teen version of the presentation so that there is one version for younger kids and a more hip version for older kids. AZ StRUT (Students Recycling Used Technology) is a 501c3

nonprofit that teaches students valuable technology skills, provides quality refurbished computers to schools and non-profits around the state, and benefits the environment by diverting old equipment from our landfills. A classic win-win-win situation that fits well with our philosophy at Resources for Health.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


If you are ordering bags, enjoyed "A Story About Shopping Bags" slide show, or just really appreciate what we do, you can show your appreciation with a donation. Just click below. Keep your receipt, as Resources for Health is a 501(c)(3), and your donation is tax deductible. Or, learn other ways you can help us and the planet at the same time by clicking here.

Monday, June 2, 2008


If you are using a Pollution Solutions reusable bag, THANK YOU for helping us rid Arizona of disposable bags!

At schools, afterschool programs, festivals, expos, farmers' markets and more, we provide 100% cotton reusable shopping bags for the young and young at heart to decorate and make their own. Anyone can make a difference, without radical lifestyle change, without a huge investment, just by carrying your own reusable shopping bag!

At the same time, we tell "A Story About Shopping Bags." Did you ever wonder how a plastic bag is made? Or where it goes when you are done with it? How many trees are cut down each year to make paper bags? We've got answers for you!


Sunday, June 1, 2008


Don't forget, to make artwork on the bags permanent so that they can be washed, place paper (brown bag or plain white, not newsprint) on the inside of the bags and on the outside over the crayon drawings. Then iron on the cool/cotton setting until all of the extra wax from the crayons has been absorbed into the paper.

Friday, May 30, 2008


Now that you are on your way to making reusable shopping bags a habit, what should you do with that overstuffed drawer of plastic bags? DON'T throw them away and DON'T put them in your city recycling bin! Plastic bags wrap around moving parts of the recycling machinery causing it to jam. Plastic bags ARE RECYCLEABLE, but must be recycled correctly, that is, at:
Visit www.bagcentralstation.com and enter your zip code to find a participating store near you!

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Funding for our 2008 programs, in collaboration with the City of Phoenix Public Works Department, was provided in part by a grant from the Arizona Recycling Coalition. In addition to all of the Phoenix Public Library branches, we presented Pollution Solutions at 29 different Phoenix Afterschool Centers (PAC) last summer.

We are still looking for more green business and nonprofit sponsors to help keep Pollution Solutions financially sustainable. Please email us to learn more about becoming a 2009 Pollution Solutions sponsor!

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Jacob, a Resources for Health Roots & Shoots youth leader, wanted to compare how plastic, paper, and cloth bags biodegrade. So he buried one of each type of bag beneath some dirt and watered occassionally for six weeks. He had read in garbologist William Rathje's research that: “In a dry landfill, paper bags don’t degrade any faster than plastic bags. In a normal, well-run landfill, paper bags do not biodegrade any faster over at least 40 years than plastic.” But after only six weeks beneath the dirt, Jacob's paper and cloth bags had almost completely biodegraded, while the plastic bag remained intact. The lesson from this experiment is that people not only need to Use Less Stuff, but also to compost more and throw away less. That means also carefully choosing reusable items that are made of renewable and compostable materials, not more plastic.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Plastic bags may take 1,000 years to biodegrade. Daniel Burd, however, found a way to do it in just three months. A 16-yr-old high school student from Waterloo, Ontario, Burd made his discovery trying to biodegrade chicken feathers for a science fair project. He had isolated two microorganisms who could biodegrade plastic, in the right conditions. This process could be easily industrialized, mostly because it requires almost no input of energy. Burd's project, "Plastic Not Fantastic," received first prize at the science fair with a $20,000 scholarship, and he looks forward to seeing what his experiment will lead to. Perhaps a Solution to the Continent of Plastic?

Of course, even if microorganisms can biodegrade plastic faster, they do not address the pollution created in the manufacture, transport, and disposal of plastic bags. Reusable bags are still the way to go! But thank you, Daniel, for providing hope that the plastic bag mess that already exists can be addressed.