4. Reduce, Recycle, Re-Use Plastic Bags from the Grocery Store

A Storage Idea

I’ve bought numerous reusable fabric bags intended for conserving our environment by saving on the mass production and use of paper or plastic garbage bags. The problem is they are all in mint condition. Not even a crease or stretching of the sometimes flimsy handles. I feel like such a responsible and socially conscious citizen when I approach the grocery bagger with my reusable bag but if I’m honest more often than not it’s not til I reach the register that I remember I left it at home or in the trunk of my car.

Facing this reality I’ve tried to come up with ways to do a little old fashioned recycling of the re-chid bags that tend to over-take the cupboard under the sink so quickly. The obvious re-use is trash bags. They tend to be too small for the tall kitchen trash cans but work perfectly for an office, bathroom or bedroom. If you own a pet and have to pick-up their droppings, forego the plastic gloves and zip-lock, and double up on the bags you just acquired at Target.

Rather than using plastic wrap or foil to keep food fresh in the fridge, keep it in the dish and wrap a bag around it and tie it shut. Use a bag to shake up a batch of puppy chow. Store messy craft supplies or paint brushes. Hide potent chemicals from children. Keep your smelly tennis shoes separate from the clean clothes in your gym bag or to prevent dirty clothes from smelling up clean clothes in your suitcase on a vacation. Wrap up a gift by cutting up a brown paper bag and sticking a bow on top. (Brown is so in right now.)

Feel good about a really simple form of recycling and save a few bucks while you’re at it. How have you re-used your grocery bags? Please do tell.

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5 thoughts on “4. Reduce, Recycle, Re-Use Plastic Bags from the Grocery Store

  1. Lindsey says:

    A friend told me he re-uses plastic bags as packing material when shipping stuff. Nice. What a thinker that John K. 😉

  2. Jill D. says:

    Did you know the city of Portland outlawed plastic bags last fall? (http://www.portlandtribune.com/news/story.php?story_id=131135057969612800)

    I would be at a loss for how to clean up after our dog without them! And when I have extras, I bring them to the ‘free’ plastic bag containers at the park to share with other pet owners.

    Fun post!

  3. Loved reading your ideas… I have a few of those cloth bags too and I am always impressed when I see people bring them into the store! feel like such a loser. I think if I use my paper bags that are in good shape over and over again that I’d feel like a winner. All you have to do is look under my sink and you know there are plenty of them to go around town.

  4. Lindsey says:

    haha mom you are too funny. You don’t have to feel like a loser just try to recycle the bags! You could use them for packing material when you ship things like Jon. I’ve seen your cupboard under the sink 😉

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