Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bagging the plastic habit

I pledged to bag the plastic bag habit for July. In truth, it's a lot harder than it looks.

One week into my experiment, I've still acquired four shopping bags and rescued a newspaper bag from work (thinking it's just right for dirty diapers on the run).

Lack of planning was the culprit in each instance. I'd run into the store thinking I'd just grab one thing and come out with several cloaked in plastic.

The latest time was the result of great intentions. I darted into Goodwill after work, hoping to pick up a serving dish or two that I could carry meals to a flood victim at our church later this week. It was that or buy disposable, and I reasoned that if the couple couldn't use these temporarily, the clients at their homeless organization might.

So I saved some dishes but at the price of bags. But at least Goodwill does #2 recyclable.

I do realize that my small effort has paid off somewhat in our cleaning closet, which typically showers us with a sea of yellow, white, brown and purple bags.

Still, I have plenty to reuse or recycle. If you're like me, here are just a few things you can do with your shopping bag supply:
  • Use it as packing material. There's a wierd satisfaction in shipping them off to be my mother-in-law's problem!
  • Use it for diaper (or dog waste) disposal. Far better than those wastes of space and bags, the Diaper Genies. We even reuse or bread and newspaper bags for this.
  • Take your lunch. It's not exciting, but who cares?
  • Use it for a trash bag in your vehicle.
  • Line your trash can. I haven't bought a can liner for my bathroom trash can in years. Sure, it's not scented like flowers. I can deal with that.
  • Hang it on the door knob of a room for a fast place to store your recyclables as you clean up.
  • Leave a few in the back of your car for those unexpected filthy shoes or clothes that inevitably happen with your children (no matter how old they are).
  • Bring them back to the store - whether to house a return or to reuse again.
  • For the good planner, save them up and return them to the store for recycling. Locally, our Kroger and Wal-mart are now accepting plastic bags and packaging.


Chile said...

With our last dog, we needed at least one bag per day for her walks as she preferred to go on someone else's grass. So, every time I visited MIL, I swiped all her grocery bags. With our new dog, she prefers to go in the yard. Now, I seriously need to convince MIL to ditch the plastic bag habit!

Glad you are making progress with it, and finding uses for the ones that sneak in.

lauren said...

I ALWAYS forgot my bags at home, in the garage, etc. until I was given a foldable bag for my purse. It is a lifesaver.