Written by Alexa
Walk through any farmer’s market, and your bound to see plenty of people using reusable bags to tote around their various amounts of fresh, local produce. It’s quite easy to get caught up in that kind of mentality at a farmer’s market. There are further steps that can be taken in preparation for a trip to the local grocery store that can green your trip.
According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), over 380 billion bags are used in the United States every year (http://environment.about.com/od/recycling/a/reusablebags.htm), so much so that they pollute our oceans. Plastic bags may be recyclable and collected at various major grocery stores, but they are not biodegradable due to the chemicals that are used to manufacture them. In other words, we’re stuck with plastic bags forever. One way of cutting back on plastic bags is to eliminate the use for them altogether. San Mateo County has recently placed a ban on the use of plastic carry out bags starting April 23, 2013 (http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula/ci_21841131/san-mateo-county-bans-plastic-bags-expects-24). If users do not have reusable bags with them, they will be charged a dime per paper bag used.
Today, there are all kinds of different reusable bags available for purchase in the public. Type “reusable bag” in any search engine, and there will be a flood of websites catering to the need.
It is also possible to create your own reusable bag, such as a produce bag. One popular minimalist blog, The Year of Less, offers step by step instruction for how to create your own reusable produce bag all around $5 (http://theyearofless.blogspot.ca/2012/07/day-6-making-reusable-produce-bags.html). However, all kinds of bags can be made available at any ready online store.
So! If you’re ready to cut back on your plastic bag (and even paper bag, can’t forget the trees!) collection and start a new green chapter, go ahead and integrate reusable shopping (and produce) bags into your daily routine.