I don’t ever take a plastic bag from stores. I have practiced this for years, long before it became the “green” thing to do.
Three years ago I purchased some reusable grocery bags from Price Chopper. I keep them in the trunk of my car so they are readily available all the time. I went into Walmart once without a shopping bag thinking that I was going to get just one item but ended up with several. Instead of getting a plastic bag, I purchased a reusable Walmart bag.
This is very important to me. It is one small way that I can contribute to protecting our environment. When you think about the fact that every single piece of plastic that has ever been made is still on this planet, it should boggle the mind. For years and years we have manufactured plastic toys, containers, wrap, tools, furniture, padding, car parts, house parts, – bags by the trillions — – this list goes on and on. Plastic absolutely does not “go” anywhere ‘” it doesn’t biodegrade ‘” wow. So, if we throw it away, it just stays around. We use, produce and waste far too much.
Live simply by using the principle: BYOB ‘” bring your own bag.
I have used my Price Chopper shopping bags for about three years, which is a good amount of time for something that is considered “temporary.” But, some of them are now beginning to tear at the seams. Though they are made of a heavier, reinforced plastic, there isn’t a feasible way to sew them or repair them (though I could try heavy duty tape). A better, long term and what I believe is a permanent solution is to use canvas bags. You pay a little more, but you only pay it once versus every few years to replace the thinner, temporary shopping bags that all of the stores are selling. With proper care, heavy-duty canvas bags are known to last for years. They can easily handle heavy items without stress or tearing.
Because I sew, I also make my own in various sizes. I even make them from patches of old jeans that no longer fit or have been cut into shorts because denim is a good, durable fabric for bags. (Recycle, recycle, recycle.)
Ordering printed canvas bags on-line or from your local printer can be fun also. You can get canvas bags with your pet’s pictures, your own business logo or your own art printed on them.
Sometimes people get caught up in where they shop and they want the branded bag from that store. If you shop at Macy’s, it makes you feel good to put that new dress or shirt into the Macy’s bag and walk around with it. Think about it. It makes you feel something. But then you get home and you throw away that plastic bag that gave you a special feeling when you were walking around with something new in it. Well, I feel special whenever I put my items into my own shopping bag. I don’t need to carry someone else’s brand and to become a walking commercial for them.
Some European countries charge extra if you use a store-provided plastic bag. Pursuing legislation in America to stop plastic bag use in stores really would probably be a massive uphill battle against big business and people’s mindsets. The better thing to do is to set the simple life example for others to follow.
I appreciate every single time I go to a store and pack my items in reusable bags. I know that I am not contributing to the waste that is sitting around on this planet. And I hope that I am showing others a different, but more positive way. If you are seeking ways to lessen your footprint on our Mother Earth, this is a small step. It feels good and will make you a trend setter! Try it – BYOB.