How many times have you made your way to the supermarket checkout counter only to realize that you left your reusable shopping bags in the trunk of your car? I do it all the time, so this month, I’m making a commitment to ALWAYS remember my reusable grocery bags. It takes a lot of energy to produce paper grocery bags and to transport them from the factory to your local supermarket. Plus, trees breathe in carbon, so chopping them down for grocery bags sure seems counterintuitive. Are you with me? Let’s make February’s challenge to Reduce Your Kitchen Carbon Footprint (RYKCF) all about swapping paper shopping bags for reusable ones.
To jog my memory to bring my reusable bags to the supermarket, I have updated my aisle-by-aisle Supermarket Shopping List with a friendly reminder at the top. Whether you keep your reusable bags in the trunk of your car or in your purse, February’s action is all about remembering your bags … and using them over and over and over again!
You can download my aisle-by-aisle shopping list for FREE. Check it out over on the Books & Freebies page on Liz’s Healthy Table.
Besides remembering my reusable bags, another barrier has always been the size of those bags. I tend to use a mishmash of bags that are bulky and random in their shape and size.
So this month, I bought eco-friendly bags that are washable, durable, colorful, and that fold up so they can fit easily into my purse. If you look on Amazon, you’ll see plenty of options out there, but these are the new bags that I recently purchased and am loving.
The bags are polyester, and you can fold them into their matching carrying pouch. They are small enough to stash in your purse, back pocket, or car door. Just don’t leave them in your trunk! The bags are waterproof, washable, and reinforced, so they can each carry up to 50 pounds worth of food.
January’s RYKCF action is to compost. While you can certainly compost paper bags, it still makes sense to switch to reusable bags to keep our trees growing tall vs. chopping them down.
But then there’s the dilemma of my in-home recycling bins. In our house, we’ve always reused paper grocery bags to gather our bottles, cans, and paper. Now that I’ve made the commitment to forgo paper shopping bags from this day forward, I needed something to replace them.
Once again, I hopped over to Amazon and purchased these compostable trash bags. But I will ONLY use them to gather and organize my recycling. Instead of placing them outside each week for pick up, I’ll simply dump the contents into the large plastic bins that our town provides. I checked with them and they said it was AOK to place loose recycling — paper, plastic, glass, aluminum cans — in the bins. (If you go to Amazon and type in, “biodegradable trash bags” you’ll find plenty to choose from in varying sizes.)
Okay! Get ready to take on February’s challenge, and let me know how things are going as you make the switch from paper to reusable bags.
My understanding is that compostable bags are only better if they are not going to the landfill. Composting requires oxygen which is absent from most landfills.
Ah. Great point. I’ll ask my composting gurus and see what they say. Perhaps NO bags are the way to go.