Proud To Be A Bag Lady

Posted in Conservation, General Green Living, Recycling on November 9th, 2009 by Jessica | 16 comments
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A couple of posts ago I mentioned an article that made me stop and think about my plastic bag use and put me on the path to a greener future and I wanted to share that with you. However, I couldn’t find that exact article but I did find several other posts that stated some of the same facts that I found in the article that I read a little over a year ago. You can check out Suite 101’s Say No To Plastic Bags article here. Or you can read Worldwatch Institutes’s article on plastic bags. Both of these articles give similar facts and both are enough to scare the heck out of me and put a twinge of guilt in my stomach over the last plastic bag I received. I think beyond the fact that it takes 1000 years for the bags to degrade is the fact that marine and wildlife think that these bags are food and then die painful deaths when they eat them. Plastic bags can resemble jellyfish in the ocean and often have food residue in them that entices wildlife to investigate and ingest.

So I have vowed to officially become a bag lady. This wasn’t all that hard of a stretch for me since I love bags and purses of all kinds and this gave me a reason to buy super cute recyclable tote bags all in the name of greener grocery shopping. I know that it isn’t really financially reasonable to buy all the bags you would need to get all of the groceries that you need any given week especially if you buy groceries like I do. What I did was buy one bag each week with my regular grocery shopping. Wal-Mart and Meijer both sell bags for 99 cents that work well with their bag holders (that’s so the cashier doesn’t grumble too much when you bring your bags). I have also found that most other major retailers are now selling their own branded recyclable bags. My favorites though are from the Disney Store and Toys’R'Us with bright fun prints and favorite characters I love showing them off. Their prices range from $1.99-$5.50 and are completely worth it to me. I have also washed all of my bags at least once and I have to say that they are holding up nicely although they won’t last forever they are completely recyclable.

If you prefer getting all your bags at once you can take a look at Cheap Totes and Tan’s Club both offer a variety of cotton tote and grocery bags sold in bulk or singles. You can also take a look at ebay for deals on totes.

So What Can I Do?

  • You can start by changing out one plastic bag for one recyclable bag each week until you have enough bags to complete a week’s worth of shopping. You can also not have them bag the bigger items like laundry soap, milk, and tp paper to save on space and bags. It may mean a few more trips into the house from the car but I always like a bit more exercise.

  • Take a large bag with you to the mall when you shop so you can simply tuck your purchase in your bag verses taking a store bag. I always put the receipts in my purse so I can make sure nothing gets lost.

  • Help your friends make the switch by using cute totes to wrap presents in this holiday season instead of gift bags. It makes a simple gift that much better by giving a two for one present. I am going to be making Santa sacks this year for my kids instead of wrapping their gifts from Santa. I’ll be posting this craft possibly later this month so stay tuned.

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