I haven’t gone totally and completely green. Rather opting for simple and small changes to help the planet. One adjustment that is now a routine part of my life is using reusable grocery bags, or what I call earth bags. I made this major modification several years ago and now it is a no brainer. . I literally don’t even think about it anymore. I just quickly grab them from the pantry doorknob and out the door I go.
When I am in the checkout line I strongly insist, even demand, all my groceries must be bagged in them. No paper, no plastic, thanks. I feel really good about this small habit because I know how much plastic is harmful to the environment. I know I can’t totally rid my life of all plastics but this little practice makes a huge difference. And here are some more reasons I say, “No paper, no plastic.”
1. I want to help save trees.
I used to think paper bags were better than plastic. To a certain extent this is true. Even though they will break down better they are still destined for the landfill. Also, they are harder to find. When I was growing up the question was, “Do you want paper or plastic?” I would usually respond with paper, please. Now many stores I frequent don’t even offer paper , just plastic. When I use my earth bags I use less paper. In my mind this gesture can save a tree or two.
2. Don’t want to be a Litterbug.
Plastic bags usually end up as litter because of carelessness. They are so simple to use and very lightweight, you just forget about them. Look around your community and you will see plastic bags floating around. Many communities, including mine, have launched don’t litter/keep our community beautiful campaigns.
3. Plastic bags are flimsy.
We all have been in the checkout line. The bagger is placing only one or two items per plastic bag. Then you walk out the door trying to carry a gazillion plastic bags. I really hate that! Just another reason I use earth bags. Plastic bags are so thin and flimsy. They don’t last. If you got canned goods or heavy food items forget it. They rip and tear. To avoid this groceries are double bagged yet that is more plastic.
4. Plastic bags take up space.
Which leads to my next reason for using earth bags. After carrying those gazillion plastic bags home, what do you do with them? You can reuse it as garbage bags or to store items. But it is too many of them for all of that. They can populate like roaches. Taking over your home. Cluttering your kitchen drawers and closets. So, you know what happens next? They go in the trash and off to the landfill.
5. Earth bags fit better in my metal grocery cart.
I take Paratransit, a transportation service for the disabled, to the grocery store. This could mean the bus driver giving me the evil eye as I try and board with a bunch of bags. Realistically, that doesn’t work. So, I got a metal grocery cart. But placing all those plastic bags in the cart doesn’t work either. But earth bags do. I can usually sit two bags side by side. Then place two more bags on top. That is a total of 4 bags. The metal cart rolls smoothly on and off the wheelchair lift on the bus, making me and the bus driver happy. Once off, I keep it moving and roll right into my house.
6. Earth bags are just plain easier.
It doesn’t take rocket science or a lot of work to use earth bags for my grocery shopping. I just grab and go. Also, they are easy to maintain. Most of my bags are made of strong and durable fabric that last a long time. And if they get soiled or dirty just a quick cleaning in the washing machine and they are good as new. For my reusable freezer bags, a fast wipe down with a soapy dish rag and they are ready for the next shopping trip.
It’s Earth Month and April 22 is Earth Day! Have You Gone Reusable Yet? A tiny change like bringing your groceries home in reusable bags can make a large difference. Single use plastic bags are bad for the environment. Use earth bags instead.