Thursday, May 15, 2008

Going Green, part 5: Reusable Grocery Bags

To see the first "Going Green" post and links to subsequent ones, click here.

This post is dedicated to my neighbor, Karen, who faithfully uses reusable grocery bags!

I (Betsy) used to think that people who took reusable bags to the grocery store were a little nutty, more "earthy" than I had time to be. Well, I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that reusable grocery bags are the way to go most of the time. Here's a short list of my conclusions:

Pros:
  • hold more stuff (they're bigger)-->fewer bags needed-->fewer trips to unload
  • stand upright in the car (the ones you can buy in the grocery store)-->cans don't go rolling around the floor
  • won't break if a sharp object/can is too heavy
  • more eco-friendly (duh)
  • easier to carry in the house/larger straps
  • more child friendly! No longer do I have to worry that my three little ones are going to start playing in the bags while I'm putting groceries up because the reusable bags won't suffocate them
Cons:
  • have to remember to take them to the store... (some people leave them in their cars so they won't forget when they leave the house)
  • some things (like meat) are best put in plastic bags you can throw away (you can always put them in a plastic produce-type bag at the store and then in your reusable bag)
  • some things (like fragile produce) are best put in smaller bags so they won't get crushed
It's definitely worth it to acquire some of these bags (or use extra tote bags lying around your house--any of you teachers? You should have plenty of these lying around!). Use plastic when you need to for certain items, but get in the habit of using reusable bags as often as you can.

3 comments:

Megan said...

I LOVE my reusable grocery bags! I've been using them for several months, have managed the habit of remembering them, and love that so much more fits in the bag. I even gave some to my Mom for Christmas. :-)

I'm also buying them in different colors to organize my chest freezer: one for vegetables, one for breads and fruit from last summer, one for meat and cheese, etc., so I can just pull out the bag I'm looking for.

Karen Duren said...

AH, Shucks, thanks for the reference! Here's another couple of pros... If you use the canvas kind (from my teacher days), they can be washed every now and then when they get enough food goo on them or trunk gunk on the bottoms. Also, I use mine to tote casseroles to potlucks, or wine bottles and glassware to a dinner party... things that don't easily stay upright. --K

Bridgette Boudreaux said...

For Christmas this year I received a set of envirosax.
(http://www.outdoorbalance.com/envirosax-shopping-bags-pouch-of-5-bags-p-28.html?gclid=CPH36ZS1sZMCFRJwxwodczdoog)

They don't stand up like you mention in your post, but the do roll up and are easily thrown into the bottom of the diaper bag. They do carry more groceries than the average bag and I use them for everything (toys to bring to playdates, dirty clothes when we are out and about, Christmas presents when traveling home, etc.)! I do agree that things like meat and gallons of milk are better off in the normal plastic kind.