Tag Archives: reusable bags

What Are Some Easy Ways to Protect the Environment?

Not everything about protecting the environment has to be a big step or expensive to get started, such as adding solar power to a house. Some of the things you can do are relatively simple and won’t take a lot of your time.

1. Switch to CFLs or LED lighting.

Both types of bulbs cost more than conventional bulbs, but they last longer. CFLs have the problem of containing mercury, while LED bulbs as yet are quite expensive, take a bit more effort to find and not everyone likes the color of light. Either will save you money on your power bill compared to conventional bulbs, with LEDs using even less power than CFLs and having the potential for a longer life.

2. Check your car’s tire pressure.

Low tire pressure is a big drain on your mileage. The impact can be something you’ll notice with each refuel of your car. That means you’re saving money and using less gas, not a bad deal at all for trying to be a little greener.

3. Stop using paper towels.

Yes, I know how wonderfully convenient paper towels are. But they’re also a huge waste. People cleaned in their homes just fine on a regular basis without them.

Use newspapers to wipe windows and mirrors instead. They do a good job when combined with your preferred glass cleaner.

Get some good microfiber cleaning cloths for other types of cleaning. Microfiber does a really good job on many tasks. If you don’t want to spend the money, there’s really nothing wrong with sticking to the towels and cleaning rags you already own, of course.

4. Use reusable shopping bags.

This one can actually be kind of challenging. Remembering to bring the bags after you buy them is tough for many people.

Cheap reusable shopping bags can be bought at many stores now, and you can buy better quality ones online. More and more stores are getting used to customers bringing in their own bags, and some even give you a nickel or so off your total purchase for each reusable bag you bring in.

5. Eat vegetarian meals sometimes.

Meat production is really hard on the environment, especially meat that comes from factory farms. You can save money and do a bit of good for the environment if you cut down on how much meat you eat.

The simplest way is to just decide to have one vegetarian meal a day, week or month, whatever works for you. Try out some new recipes.

Use Reusable Shopping Bags – Green Step by Step

The number of paper or plastic bags you can generate simply from grocery shopping is pretty horrifying if you think about it. Even if you send them in for recycling, that’s a lot of waste for something that a reusable bag can do so much better.

You can get reusable shopping bags at many stores for a dollar or so these days. They aren’t bad, but not all of them last well. If you’re looking at the long term, do consider spending a little extra for a quality bag. Then you’ll also have your choice of materials and style, rather than a store logo or something.

More and more stores are giving nickel discounts for bringing your own bags. Target and CVS are starting programs; it’s not longer just the little guys.

The challenge is in remembering to bring your own bags, of course. Figure out if keeping them by the door, in the car, in your purse, with the shopping list or something else works to help you to remember your bags.

Have You Picked Up the Reusable Shopping Bag Habit?

Grabbing a reusable shopping bag as you head out to the store sounds like such a simple thing, but in reality it can be a very difficult habit to pick up. All too often I head out to the store to realize that my bags are still at home.

Reusable shopping bags do quite a bit for the environment if you can remember to use them. Plastic bags are hard on the environment not only in terms of their manufacture and distribution, but in that so few are recycled. They’re terrible for wildlife. They break down very, very slowly.

Paper bags are a problem as well, although they do generally come from wood from managed forests. But they are heavier than plastic and can actually have a higher environmental cost than plastic in terms of manufacture and distribution. On the plus side, they break down nicely.

Reusable bags can even save you money. Some stores charge customers for bags, while others give a small discount for bringing your own. Either way the cost difference is small, but it can add up over time.

There are many ways to get reusable bags. You can buy them at your local grocery store, often for about $1 a bag. They’ll have the store’s logo or something along those lines on them, but they’ll get the job done. On the other hand, you’re a walking advertisement for that company. They may also not be terribly durable.

You can sometimes find them free at events. One of mine came from a local fair. The city’s information booth was giving them out.

You can also shop online for them. This is the most expensive option, but if you want the most durable and attractive bags, this is probably the way to go. You may also spend less in the long run. Many of the store bags and free bags are poorly made and won’t last through that many uses if you load them too heavily.

The key to building up a good reusable bag habit is to find something that works for you. Here are some ideas:

1. Keep them in the car.

Reusable bags are light, and take up very little room when empty, so they’re a good choice to just toss in the trunk. Do so after each time you use them, and they’ll make it to the store with you every time you drive over.

2. Buy bags that fold up into your purse.

If you carry a purse, this can work well for you. Some varieties fold up very small, and you can just have them with you all the time. No more forgetting them even in the trunk!

3. Put it at the top of your shopping list.

Just be sure you go over your list right before you leave. This won’t help you much if you don’t look at your list until you’re actually at the store.

More Reusable Bags

I wrote the other day about buying reusable bags for doing your shopping. I got a message about another company I think you might like to know about.

They’re called ReJavanate.

You might guess from their name that it has something to do with coffee, and you’d be right. They take the burlap sacks coffee is transported in, and make it into new bags. They work with The ARC and have people with developmental disabilities hand make the bags.

Just another great option when you want a reusable bag rather than picking between paper and plastic.

Choosing a Reusable Shopping Bag

Something I often find challenging is remembering to pack my reusable bags when I go grocery shopping. Not quite the habit I’d like it to be yet. I’m working on it, of course, but it just isn’t there yet.

It is wonderful, of course, how available they are now. I can’t think of any grocery store in my area that isn’t carrying reusable bags, and many are about $0.99. A couple stores carry higher quality ones that do cost more, though.

But getting something a little more stylish is always a temptation. I do enjoy wandering the reusable shopping bag selection at Reuseable Bags. In particular, I’m thinking some of the ultra compact bags would take care of that memory problem. They could just sit in my purse or car, ready for use. There are even some styles for kids, so you can start them off young.

I really need to start doing this, though. It makes much more sense to me than trying to remember to return the plastic ones for recycling, or debating if I have a need for a paper bag. Henry’s takes $0.05 per bag of your own you bring, which is a small reason, but a reason nonetheless.