Other thoughts on earth-friendliness:
Dude, I HATE plastic bags. I've had my fill of them. They build up in my apartment because I don't want to put them in with the regular trash since I don't think of them as disposable. I bring my own heavy duty bags to the store now, and the amount of bags in my apartment has gone WAY down. Cashiers don't seem to mind. I was a cashier and I loved it when people brought their own bags. Adam and I give cashiers the added bonus of bagging items ourselves and they often thank us.
I've found other uses for these flimsy little demons. It's nearly impossible to stop them from ever entering my home, after all. They're good for padding in packages, carrying stuff, enclosing particularly stinky items (by tying up the handles), lining little garbage cans and waterproofing.
I found this amusing/sad image gallery at reusablebags.com
It's called a bag fence. It's supposed to keep shopping bags from blowing out of the landfill.
I have more thoughts, but I'll post them one at a time when I feel like it..