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So, I've been trying more & more lately to do what I can to be more environmentally friendly. However, I can't help but notice the extreme prevalence of plastic in our society. For example, when I go to the grocery store, I always take my own canvas bags w/ me to put my groceries in instead of using plastic bags, which I feel awesome about. However, when I go to produce, they have all these rolls of plastic bags to put the produce in. Obviously, I have to put my veggies in something, but what are some alternatives to using plastic bags for this? I go to checkout and I'm using my own reusable bags but then putting plastic bags in those so it helps, but not entirely. Sorry if this sounds stupid but I know there's got to be a better way. Any ideas?
There are a lot of produce bags on the market - made from mesh, organic cotton, organic hemp. Or if you have some old t-shirts it's super easy to make your own shopping or produce bags without having sewing experience, especially produce bags since they don't really require a strong stitch.
Can't those plastic bags be recycled? Some stores I've seen have recycling bins for them. I always collect mine and put them in there.
I sometimes use the paper mushroom bags...but then i feel bad about that too. Its really tough. Other times I just pile my veggies into my canvas bags and sort them out at the checkout and put them straight back in there...that way there is no plastic or paper wasted.
The other problem is that the produce bags are really bad quality and rip which means that you cant even really reuse them.
Sometimes if you ask...especially if its at a fruit shop they will give you a box to put all the things in. That way you are reusing the box and then recycling when your finished with it.
Thanks for all your great responses & ideas! Eventually, I would like to get the reusable produce bags, as that would probably be the easiest. In the meantime, I have been reusing the plastic produce bags I already have from the store for harvesting from the garden. Not a perfect solution, but at least they're getting reused a few times. My next idea for my next trip to the store is going to be to do like Alysha said and try to just pile my fruits & veggies into the canvas bags. The people at checkout may look at me a little funny, but who cares? I would love to recycle them, unfortunately my grocery store doesn't have recycling bins and the place I normally go to recycle does not accept plastic bags, so I'm going to just try to reduce how much I use them.
Yeah, who cares if they look at you funny? :) I often just carefully place them in my buggy or basket and tell the cashier that I will just put them in my canvas bag. If it's something that could be wet from misting (like lettuce or kale), I go ahead and put it into one of my bags. They look at me strange sometimes, but it doesn't bother me at all. If you frequent the same places, they'll get used to it after a while. :)
Places like Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, health food stores aren't likely to look at you funny, I see plenty of people do it all the time! The only thing I would say is be careful - wash your canvas periodically to keept it clean (no need to be crazy about it, but every once in a while is a good idea). If you are putting things straight into a basket, grocery carts are pretty dirty. Also, the reason I rarely leave things out of a bag is because the belts and counters can harbor bacteria, particularly if it's a busy place. Not because they don't get cleaned, but because sooo many things are being placed on those belts - including raw meat and babies' butts and shoes (yes, I've seen it happen) - and the belts and scales and things can't be cleaned between every customer. So, just make sure to thoroughly wash your produce if not using a bag to prevent things like food contamination from salmonella or what not. Exposure to some bacteria is a good thing obviously, but with food it's important to be careful of things like that.
I was having the same issue about the produce bags. I actually made a comment to the proprietors of my fav. organic grocer. The woman there said she uses those bags that Subway give in their kids meals. It works pretty good:)
Hi Everyone.....if you ever wanted a reason to stop using plastic...just look at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
For Earthday, please click here: http://snip.it/earthday and "Like", on the cover, "Ocean Health: Pacific Garbage Patch".
It's a competition. If we win, we are can draw attention to and support the Wild Equity Institute in San Francisco which fights for endangered species throughout California. http://wildequity.org/