They get stuck in trees, they fly at your windshield on the interstate, and they clog sewers and tangle animals and litter streets. Yep, we’re talking about plastic bags. Most people treat them as if they were a necessary part of grocery shopping, but the truth is you can live a normal life without toting things around in plastic. Here are five ways to reduce your use of plastic bags.
1. Use Alternative Bags
For many of us, the grocery store is where the battle against plastic bags can be won. You may collect as many as twenty to thirty bags per grocery visit, which then end up in the trash or sitting in your cupboard. But you can avoid this trap by buying reusable alternatives, such as hemp or cotton totes. Or if you forget your totes at home, simply ask the cashier for a paper bag rather than plastic.
2. Use Paper Bags as Bin Liners
If you collect paper bags from the grocery store, you can reuse them instead of plastic as trash bags. As long as you don’t dump liquids or wet food (which you can easily compost), paper bags are a sturdy alternative to plastic.
3. Use Muslin Bags for Produce
Say goodbye to inconvenient plastic produce bags at the grocery store. Muslin bags are a great, reusable alternative that you can bring with you on every shopping trip. They’re also breathable, meaning they release gases from your fruits and veggies which keeps them fresh longer at home.
4. Carry Single Items to Your Car
If you have free hands after you’ve checked out, use them! Especially when you’re buying a single item or carrying a light load, tell the cashier you don’t want a bag — you can carry it to your car. Most of the time, if you just stop and ask yourself, “do I really need to use a bag for this?” you’ll find yourself saying “no” more often than “yes”.
5. Try Bee’s Wrap
Using paper bags instead of plastic is a simple solution. But once you’ve taken your groceries home, how do you keep perishables safe without using plastic wrap or ziploc bags? Simple — bee’s wrap. Made of cotton coated with bee’s wax, it’s a sustainable, reusable way to keep food fresh.