Friday, August 22, 2008

#15 Reusable shopping bags

I know it's not a new idea. Stores everywhere are selling reusable bags, there has been a lot of hype about it in the media, and we all know it is one of the easiest and best ways to replace disposable plastic. So why when I go to the grocery stores do I never see anyone else with their bags in tow? I confess, I don't remember every time. I hate having to answer the question, "paper or plastic?" when I know that at home or even in my car there are a stack of bags I could have brought. But I am making an effort, and getting better. It's about doing it until it becomes a habit. I try to return my bags to the car after I have emptied groceries, that way I know they are there for next time and for unplanned trips to the store. Some big cities, like Seattle, have started actually charging for the use of plastic bags. I wouldn't mind that, because it would push more people into bringing their own bags, but I am also grateful that here the stores offer a 5 or 6 cent refund per bag brought in for reuse. My favorite reusable bag I have is from Target, because it's big and it folds up nicely. There are also some great bags out there made of recycled material , but I'd like to have some like this:

Pros: The bags tend to be sturdier and can hold more groceries. They will prevent the waste of thousands of plastic bags over a lifetime. They will save you money (by either paying you or preventing you from getting charged.)

Cons: You must remember to bring the bags with you! I have yet to find a suitable replacement for garbage can liners. Also, if you giving something (such as garden produce)
to someone, it's much easier to give it to them in a bag they don't have to give back.

1 comment:

Aaron, Julie, and Trey said...

I have been seeing more and more people using reusable bags. We have done it for a year and I LOVE them! They hold so much more, they're sturdier, AND I can walk out of the store with four full bags, hands-free. Which means I can leave the cart in the store, if it is not a major shopping trip. We are in the habit enough that when we forget occasionally, it is actually good, so we do have a few plastic bags around for the small garbage cans. I use the ones from Fred Meyer, but we do have a few Chicobags stashed in my diaper bag and in the glove compartment for those times we forget and don't want any plastic bags for the home. They are a little pricier, but I love how tiny and portable they are! And with the rebate each time you shop, you eventually break even!