Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Paper or plastic? Neither.

I’ve been thinking about plastic bags lately. A lot. I pretty much can’t stand them and avoid them like the plague, though we do have a few hanging around to reuse as trash can liners. I’ve been thinking about the cashiers and customers that use them so judiciously and the unbelievable amount of waste they produce.
There’s no doubt that plastic bags are wasteful and overused. Just watch anyone with a cartful of groceries that doesn’t bring their own bags—they go home with 20-40 plastic bags, easily. Who wants to deal with that? Not me, so I bring my own reusable bags when shopping and it makes my life so much easier. I keep a stash of bags in my vehicle for grocery trips, as well as one in my purse so that I’m always prepared for a quick shopping trip or run to the library.

You can find reusable bags at almost any store, which is great. I have a grocery bag size Tyvek one that I got at Trader Joe’s and I love it. I also have gotten bags that fold up into neat little pouches at http://www.reusablebags.com/ (check out the produce bags, too) and have made my own bags out of t-shirts that I diverted from the Goodwill donation pile, which is super easy.

So, how to remember your bags? This is the biggest hindrance I hear from people. They leave them at home or in the car, only to realize once in the store. How about a reminder on your car and enlisting family members to help you remember? I’ve made a pact that I will only buy what I can carry in my arms if I forget. I would positively hate for that to happen, so I remember! Here’s to less plastic in our lives.

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