Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Going Green--Reusable Bags


For Christmas, my mom bought us several reusable shopping bags. I politely accepted them but wondered what in the heck we were going to use them for. I figured we would never remember to take them with us, so what was the use?

However, after my aggravation with the plastic bags that seemed to be taking over the pantry, I decided enough was enough. So this weekend, the hubby and I finally remembered to haul all those bags down the recycling bin, located in front of the grocery store. And we brought the reusable bags with us, to do our shopping. I'm never going back, here's why:

1. I hate, hate, hate loose plastic bags. They multiply like rabbits and float everywhere. The cats love to play in them, which only worries me more.

2. These things are like magic bags! We fit $100 worth of groceries in (essentially) 3 bags! This makes carrying groceries in a snap.

3. The structured sides mean the bags don't flop over in the car or on the counter. No more renegade groceries escaping into the trunk!

4. They fold down easily and compactly. This not only makes them easy to store in the car but also appeals to my organizational streak. Much more calming than a growing plastic monster.

5. Guilt free! In my frustration at bags run amok I would occasionally stuff one in the trash. And every time I did, I felt a little guilty pang about filling up landfills and killing sea life. No more!

For those of you who have also made the switch, what do you like? If you haven't, why do you prefer about plastic? Does anyone out there still get paper? (Do stores even still offer paper?)


  1. I am a firm re-usable shopping bag convert! We leave ours in our trunk as well, and then we always have them when we head to the store. I also have some smaller nylon ones that fold up into their own pocket that I keep in my purse.

    We are lucky here in that they pick up our plastic bags curb-side for recycling. Also, just about every store here charges for plastic bags now, which is an even bigger incentive to remember to bring my own!

  2. How many do you have. We have three and I think another three ouught to see us more than set.

    I wish! Our recycling program here is peanuts compared to the one in CA. They won't even take coated cardboard! I feel awful shoving that stuff in the trash. : /

    The stores here have talked about that but they've gone the other way...Target gives you $.05 off your purchase for every bag of your own that you bring in.

  3. I started using 1-2 of my own bags when I lived in Raleigh because I had to walk to the store and the plastic bags killed my fingers. When I moved up here (NH) I lapsed and we've been overrun with plastic bags! We joined the coop and got a free bag, so with a small set already started I picked up some nice sturdy (and large) grocery totes from LimaBeanHome on Etsy to round out our set of 5 (I think) reusable shopping bags now :) I love them for all the reasons you mentioned!!

  4. Yay!! Congratulations for making the switch!! I've been using reusable bags for a long time now and love it. I even have reusable produce bags. On occasion, I will get a couple of plastic bags on purpose to use as garbage bags for out bathrooms, but that's it. I even managed to get Scott in on it. =)

  5. Alicia--Oh yea, plastic bags are killer on your hands!

    Janine--Yea, the hubby thought I was nuts, but I think after seeing the awesome part of only have three bags to carry in--he's sold. : )

  6. Anonymous10:49 AM

    I love my reusable bags! My only complaint is that the baggers at my grocery store want to stuff all they can into one bag, no matter what gets crushed. It's like they've achieved a personal best if they don't have to break out the second bag. I finally learned that common sense would never take over, so now I tell them, "Use BOTH bags, please."

  7. I guess they figure using reusable bags means you...don't want more bags to carry? I'm having a tough time dreaming up any sort of logic there. Esp, since with plastic they usually underbag. I get home and find that they gave the bananas their own bag.

  8. There is a store called Trader Joe's out here in the west that still uses paper bags although they love it when you use your own bags.

  9. I LOVE Trader Joes! I miss them so much out here. : ( They have some of the best stuff!


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