Much like reusable coffee mugs, canvas, cloth, or nylon bags are a simple way to shrink your resource footprint. The concept is easy: instead of choosing between paper or plastic at the check-out counter, use your own reusable bags. Some grocery stores even offer a rebate for every time you use your own bag. On the road to a no-waste lifestyle, this is a no-brainer. So next time you are asked “paper or plastic?” answer, “Neither, please!”
Tips & Tricks
Use bags that you find attractive and functional. This way you will be happy to show-off your bags all around town—not just at the supermarket, but anywhere and everywhere you shop. You can even design your own bag (see below for links). Keep in mind that shopping bags are great advertising for whoever’s logo is on them.
Keep your bags in your car trunk. This way you won’t ever forget them on the way to grocery store.
Web & Print Resources
Energy used to produce grocery bags:
Stores that give credits:
Whole Foods: www.wholefoodsmarket.com/company/sustainablefuture.html
Design your own bag:
The U.S. uses 11 million plastic shopping bags every hour. Source
It takes 594 BTUs to produce 1 plastic bag, and 2,511 BTUs to produce 1 paper bag.
If your supermarket gives a 5 cent rebate, you can earn back the cost of buying a $5 bag in just 50 2-bag trips to the market.
In 2001, Taiwan banned the free distribution of plastic grocery bags, and in Ireland there is a 29 cent plastic bag tax. Source