Monday, April 2, 2012

2nd Step towards Sustainability: Reusable Produce Bags

In keeping with the reuse theme for the first few steps. Today's step is another simple replacement:

Use Reusable Produce Bags when shopping

This is another potential sewing project if you're handy with thread. They're also available in eco-friendly shops and handmade stores like, if you don't wish to make your own. These bags are often made with mesh or mesh-like materials and drawstrings. This helps to keep the bags light. I use mine at every shopping trip and haven't noticed them adding any weight. 

Here's How It Helps: When you buy your produce at the store, you put it in one of those little plastic bags. Then you get home and put up your apples and oranges and what have you. What then do you do with those little plastic bags? You might reuse them once but then they end up in the trash. If you recycle, you might add these little bags to your recycling, which is better than the trash, but still not ideal. The ideal would be to use less plastic in the first place, helping to reduce the demand for this earth un-healthy product. By using reusable bags, you're saving three or four, maybe even six or seven little plastic bags each shopping trip!

Here's How To Do It: Buy or make a few bags to start. Think of how many you usually use in your regular shopping and try to get that many. Then as you get ready for your grocery trip, take them with you. I've found that many farmers at the farmer's market also use plastic grocery bags, you can take your own bags with you there as well. They're see through so I've never had a problem at any traditional store, even Wal-mart. If your bags get dirty or need to be washed, some are machine washable, but I've found that I just need to rinse mine with hot water and lay them to dry.

Cost: I bought a set of four for $6 plus shipping. You could probably make a good number for about that much in materials. While this doesn't save you money, it's a minimal investment for quite a good environmental impact.

There's today's simple step. Make a small purchase and save some plastic!

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