April 14, 2010

Reusable Bags

Reusable bags are very “in” right now.

  • You can go here to score a free bag from Earthbound Farm.  Go here for one from Red Gold Tomatoes. Go here for info on one from Target.
  • Want to be even more earth friendly by using something that might normally be thrown away (like an old stained t-shirt)?  Go here to learn how 5 minutes and a simple sewing machine stitch can result in a free homemade bag.  I especially like this kind of bag because I can throw them in the washing machine if they get dirty.
  • Go here to learn one of the reasons I like using cloth bags instead of paper or plastic.
  • Kroger stores in some parts of the country offer a bag credit.  Talk to your manager and regional manager to encourage Kroger to expand this service.
  • Are you local?  Want a chance to score a free bag?  Head over to Earth Fest this Saturday.  Last year, booths were handing out free bags left and right.
  • Want a cute gift bag idea for a housewarming gift or for a wedding shower?  Gather together some themed cooking or entertaining items—a good cheese knife, a small cutting board, a jar of good olives, maybe even a bottle of wine and put them in the shopping bag with a $5 or $10 gift card to your favorite grocery or gourmet store.  Tie with a pretty bow, and you have a very simple gift. 

As with everything, reusable bags have an environmental cost too.  Yes, they reduce a lot more waste than they create, but I think it is still a good idea to be aware when choosing bags. 

  • Try not to lose them. 
  • Look into ways to recycle them or reuse them in another way if they fall apart. 
  • Opt for better quality bags whenever possible so that you can use them for years as opposed to months. 
  • Making your own bags out of older cloth, blue jeans, or t-shirts makes use of something that could have otherwise been trashed. 
  • Keep in mind that if they are shipped to you, there is an extra packaging and shipping impact.  I love free, but it is important to realize that “free” isn’t always “free” in every sense of the word.  I’ve signed up for plenty of freebies—just saying that if you already have a huge stash of reusable bags, you might want to pass this freebie up and save it for someone who is just starting to use them.

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