Tote This

Today’s resolution is simple and way overdue – stop using plastic bags. Employ reusable tote bags instead.

First stop – plastic bags at the grocery store. I normally have full intentions of using my reusable bags when I go grocery shopping. I actually prefer them, as they stand up better, hold more and are comfortable to carry. However, most times as I walk up to the store, I am kicking myself for forgetting. Why can’t I remember? For the last 2 years I have probably only remembered my reusable bags about 20% of the time. That is a horrible record. Every time I carry out a week’s worth of food in about 12 plastic bags, I feel pangs of guilt and regret. It should be just as second nature as remembering my keys and purse as I head out the door. Keys, purse, bags. Check, check, check.

Since I didn’t quite trust myself yet not to forget, I loaded my car with extra bags as a backup plan. If I forget again, no problem… just let me reach for my secret stash…

Next stop – no more plastic produce bags. Over the last week, I have been saving all the bags that I would have normally thrown out. Produce bags, bread bags, used Ziploc bags… Here is the result. One week.

I am not going to throw away that pile of plastic above, I can reuse these bags when I want to purchase food from the bulk bins (less packaging!). So I washed them all and cut out the lid of a big coffee can and put them in like this:

Hmmm… Just like a nice can of plastic Kleenex…

Since I am not going to use plastic for produce anymore, I went and bought these. They even come in their own little bag, making them easy to just pop in my purse.

Cute, huh? Bye-bye plastic, hello pretty reusable mesh. These are called Care Bags Produce Bags and can be found here.

Third stop – no more plastic bags at any store, ever. Tote it or carry it. Fail safe solution? Carry a nylon bag that scrunches up really small in my purse.

Really, this stuff is just about planning ahead. Once I thought about it, it took me only 2 minutes to figure it out. Sometimes breaking old habits is just about simply thinking about them in a different way.

Listen to the kids sing about it. Let’s build them a beautiful and sustainable planet, without the plastic bags in the landfills and oceans.

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6 thoughts on “Tote This

  1. Has this been working in practice? Know what I do? I put the grocery bags in my car, and the nylon one in my purse. Yay, I did it! Then I buy something and use it. Then I carry it into my house. If I bought clothes, the bag goes all the way upstairs to where the clothes are then put away. Then, the next time I buy something and root through my purse for the nylon bag, it’s not there. Gah! It’s on my dresser. Double Gah! The grocery bags are in a pile at the back door waiting to be put back in the car, and here I am standing at the till with nothin’.

    Not an excuse I know. But the hardest part for me is remembering to put the bags back in the place they belong. It’s hard to form a new habit that is inconvenient. That sounds so lame. But true.

    • Totally true. I sometimes march right back to the car and put the bags back in as soon as the groceries are out of them. I also leave them by the back door to help me remember. I also have put lots of them in the car. So if I forget, I still have more left. I have been the worst forgetter in the past. It stops now! We don’t forget our purses right? It is just forming new habits I guess.

  2. Pingback: Bulk Bins | One Earth to Live

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