Saturday, January 31, 2009

Plastic Bag Solutions

So, the other day I wrote about how bad plastic bags are. And granted, that was a bit preachy, and I try not to take anyone to church in this blog. It's supposed to be about solutions. So here are some solutions:
  • Of course, the obvious one is this: bring your own bags to the store. (Upcoming will be a product review of the brand I like best).
  • A lot of stores will give you a 5 cent discount for every bag of your own that you bring in and use. Target and Whole Foods are two chains that I know do this. (If you know of others, you could post them in the comments section). I also like how some stores (Borders comes to mind) ask if you want a bag at all. Carrying two books out of the store without a bag is not problem, which brings me to my next point ...
  • If you're not buying much, why do you need a bag at all? If you carry your purchases out, however, I recommend holding your receipt like a flag, just in case anyone wonders why you're walking out of Safeway with your hands full of groceries.
  • Granted, plastic bags can be handy for things like in-car trash bags and scooping cat litter. Re-using is definitely better than throwing away. My friend Sarah says you can get biodegradable bags for animal waste - I haven't looked into this yet, but as soon as I do, I'll let you know how it goes.
  • Zip-loc type bags can be washed out and re-used. I had a friend who did this, and I thought she was crizazy. It seemed like going just a bit far with the whole save the world thing, right? But, I admit I've become a convert to this practice. Zip-locs are expensive, so re-using just seems to make sense (I resisted the urge to write "makes cents" there, but didn't resist it enough, apparently). Turn the bag inside out and wash it with dish soap and water. Then let it dry -- it will dry faster if you open it up and place the mouth over a glass to keep the bag open.

So go forth, and keep a sea turtle from choking to death on a drug store bag.

Coming up tomorrow: DIY Sunday


Melanie said...

Do you have to bring plastic bags that were orginally from their store?

Tori said...

Nope! It really doesn't matter where they come from. And they will usually give you credit for cloth bags too.

Melanie said...


Sarah said...

Who do you ask for the discount? Your cashier? I'm just usually stuck with a mouth-breather who would look at me crosseyed if I asked.

Catfish said...

Yes. Just ask the cashier. In my experience, they give it to you automatically, but maybe I know higher quality cashiers!