Whether you are committed to living a “greener” lifestyle or you could care less about being “green”, I think we can all agree on one thing: plastic grocery bags can get totally out of control! For example, take my recent trip to the grocery store. I walked to the store with my double stroller, and because I wasn’t in my car, I forgot my reusable bags. No big deal, I thought – I’m only getting a few items. I purchased 13 items. Here is the giant stack of plastic bags the checker used to bag my 13 items. My 2-year-old is standing next to the pile to give you some perspective on its size.
What is so great about these reusable bags that we see everywhere?
- They hold more than plastic – you can fill up a sturdy bag to the brim and it won’t rip.
- Therefore, you need fewer reusable bags than you would need plastic bags.
- They’re cute! they come in lots of colors and sizes. You can even make your own!
- They collapse very small to fit into purses and diaper bags.
- For smaller shopping trips, you can even forgo those small shopping baskets in lieu of just putting your reusable bag over your shoulder and filling it while you shop.
- …and for the holidays, reusable bags make inexpensive, but very useful gifts!
One of the hardest things about bringing your own bags is actually remembering to bring the bags into the store. I love how Central Market and Tom Thumb have little signs in their parking lots as reminders: “Did you remember your reusable bag?”.
Here’s a tip from me: I’ve found that the plastic storage pocket areas in the doors of most cars are perfect for storing your reusable bags! When you empty your bag in the kitchen, set the empty bags by the door to your garage or on your purse/diaper bag. That way, the next time you’re heading out the door you can put the bags back into the car door pockets for the next time they’re needed! I have at least 7 different bags so even if I leave 3 in the house, I still have at 4 available in the car door if I run into a store while I’m out. Because reusable bags hold more, we rarely use more than 3 bags for even a week’s grocery shopping.
Have you made the switch to reusable bags? What are your favorite styles and brands?