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Reusable BagMaking a habit of bringing reusable bags to the grocery store was one of the easiest transitions I’ve made so far.  Reusable bags are easy to find (they’re sold right next to the checkout lane at Roth’s and Albertsons), and only cost around $1 each (give or take 50 cents).  After the initial purchase, the only other step is remembering to bring them.

What’s so bad about plastic and paper bags?  In a nutshell, the amount of natural resources and energy used to produce them, and the amount of waste they produce.

Both plastic and paper bags can be recycled, but this process takes a lot of energy as well.  Before I switched to reusable bags, I thought paper bags were the best choice—I was wrong.  Paper bags actually take more energy to produce and to recycle than plastic!

If plastic bags are your go-to choice, think about this: once they’re in the environment, a plastic bag takes hundreds of years to breakdown.  As it does, toxic particles seep into soils, lakes, rivers, and oceans.  Are you a paper-bag person as I once was?  It takes a ton of trees to make all those bags.  This article describes the process in detail.

Solution? Reusable bags.  They are cheap, easy to use, and environmentally-friendly.  The benefits don’t stop there.

Reusable bag handles are:

  • Stronger.  Paper and plastic bag handles tend to break easily.
  • More comfortable.  Carrying a plastic bag full of something heavy can be painful!
  • More versatile.  I’ve even worn these bags on my shoulder while biking or walking home—I couldn’t do this with paper or plastic bags.

Last but not least, many stores (like Roth’s) will give a 5 cent discount for every bag you bring.  The bag pays for itself in no time!

Reusable Bags

July 2020