Everyone knows about reusable shopping bags - if you don't have several bags full of bags somewhere in your home, garage, or car, I don't know who you are. So, why are so many people not using them? My guess is the people I see walking out of the grocery store with plastic bags probably have reusable bags somewhere, but not in their car when they need them. So, a couple of tips:
1. Store your reusable grocery bags in your car
2. Take them into the store with you!
3. As soon as you unpack the groceries, put the bags back in your car or in a place nearby so you'll remember to put them in the car next time you take a trip
4. Keep your grocery bags clean by washing them and using them only for groceries
On this last point: I'm a big fan of using reusable bags for any kind of shopping - clothes, household products, hardware store, etc. But you've got to be careful about contaminating your food items with a dirty bag. So, separate your bags per use and wash regularly either by hand or toss into the washing machine.
PS - Check out the pics below of the super handy bag that folds up small enough to store in my purse!
Ok, the other item in the first picture below is a produce bag. I definitely need more of these! I love these bags because those plastic produce bags are a nuisance and too flimsy to reuse for anything. Cut down your plastic waste by using a washable produce bag!
Last point here is that even with all my efforts to reduce usage of plastic bags, they find their way into my house everyday. Did you know you can recycle clean, dry plastic bags at the grocery store (and theoretically, anywhere that gives them out)? It's true, so if you end up forgetting your reusable bags, like everyone does, recycle those plastic bags on your next trip to the store.
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Over the course of the past 10 years or more, I have be working on developing more sustainable practices at home to reduce waste (including recycling). I have also been on a mission to swap out cleaning and personal care products with safer versions (products that limit exposure to environmental toxins).