Sunday, July 06, 2008

Just say NO to plastic

We've been bringing our own canvas bags to the supermarket for several years now and I'm glad to see more and more people picking up on this. It seems everywhere I go now - from Whole Foods to Target - there are at least a few people toting their own bags.

If you haven't started doing this yet, here's why it's so important to make a better effort to bring your own bags. And if you do end up with plastic bags, don't just throw them in the trash. Some stores take them back for recycling.

If you don't have a store in your area that does that, there are lots of things you can do to reuse them right in your very own house including:

1. Save money by using them to line wastebaskets and diaper pails.

2. If you have a dog - poop bag.

3. Use them as filler when you mail packages.

4. Bring them with you when you travel and put soiled or wet clothing into them.

5. Keep them in your car for trash disposal or (if you have kids) emergency barf bags.

6. Use them to put items in when you donate goods to charity.

7. Donate them to local stores or businesses (the food pantry, the library, etc.)

8. If you don't want to spend money on canvas bags, reuse them when you go to the store.

Your kids will thank you someday for helping make the world a cleaner, better place.

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Blogger Rocas said...

I've been creating a thousand and one uses for the plastic bags for years. Back when I first started doing this, it was called 'being cheap', now I'm 'thinking green'.
We don't have canvas bags, but we do re-use the same bags over and over again. I find they are easy to stow in the car and we also get a few cents for each bag that we bring in ourselves, off our shopping bill.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Jennifer H said...

I bought reusable bags several months ago (I posted about this, too, on my own little soap box. :-) ), and I do remember them almost all the time now.

When I do end up with plastic bags, I bring them in to recycle, or use them for the uses you listed.

It's not so hard to remember once it becomes a habit, and the bags I purchased were 99c each. But my grocery store gives me 5c per bag when I use them, so they pay for themselves in 20 uses. Can't beat that.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Elaine A. said...

What a great list, and thanks for encouraging people to reuse and recycle on you blog. I've been on the re-usable bag bandwagon for about 6 months now and I don't know why more people won't get on it (lazy I guess...). Our city is actually talking about banning them at grocery stores. YAY!

10:54 AM  
Blogger Maureen said...

I've been carrying mine own for quite awhile now. I got them here: and they are awesome and super cute! I even gave them out as gifts last Christmas and they were a huge hit. But, when I forget and get the plastic ones I always reuse them for something else or bring them back to the store to recycle.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Woman with a Hatchet said...

I paid some crazy amount for my canvas bags before they became the "in" thing and everyone started selling them for $1 a piece.

I may never recoup the cost, but they get used all the time for everything from shopping to diaper and travel bags.

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Kimmylyn said...

I reuse plastic bags until I can no longer use them. This was a great list!

11:01 AM  
Blogger FRIGGA said...

Plastic bags used to not be biodegradeable (sp?) but now they are, so it's a lie when we say they'll just sit in landfills. But in any case I'm so broke I can't afford trash bags so I use them for that. I also use them as suitcases and beach bags and a bunch of other uses. I most definitely can't afford to buy canvas bags which certainly are less biodegradeable then the plastic ones.

I say YES to plastic! :0

11:59 AM  
Blogger XUP said...

An excellent reminder!! As a great incentive, the Loblaws chain in Canada, gives you 50 points for every cloth bag you use when you shop with your Loblaws interact card. When you have 2000 points you get $20 worth of free groceries. It adds up fast.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

That's awesome that so many of you are reusing bags and bringing your own. Even you Frigga. Whatever you're reason - be it environmental or financial or what - you're within the spirit of this post.

And yes, they do make biodegradable plastic bags now. They are corn-based. Unfortunately, at this point in time, most stores are still using the petroleum-based plastic bags which most definitely do NOT biodegrade. But over time, hopefully, the other variety will be put to use more extensively.

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Randi said...

I always save mine for seasonal garage sales:) But I re-use them too for all the reasons you mentioned. I never cared about all this stuff until I had my son. Now it's very important to me.

I REALLY want to start bringing my own though. Every bit helps, that's for sure!

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Sarcastic Mom said...

Great post! We used to save our plastics and reuse them all, like you said. Now we use the reusable grocery bags, and it's awesome! We bought several, so even when we forget to put them right back in the car, there are more waiting in the trunk to cover our forgetful butts! ;-)

(PS: this is the fifth time I'm entering the Captcha letters in, and I swear it was right all the other times, but it's not working. A bit frustrating!)

9:20 PM  

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