Thursday, December 11, 2008

Can Plastic Grocery Store Bags Be Useful?

From time to time I am asked certain questions when it comes to living a green lifestyle. People become concerned about their eco habits and wonder if the things they are doing will have a positive or negative environmental impact. Yesterday I received a fantastic question from Linda at the Cozy Craft Corner concerning plastic shopping bags and I wanted to share her question as well as my response because I think everyone can benefit from the communication. Also hooray to Linda for pulling out the reusable shopping bags! Here is to many more uses in the future!

Today I remembered (the first time) to take my grocery bags with me to the store so I would use less plastic. My question is what do you do with your little garbage cans? Do you not put plastic bags in them? I use my grocery bags for that, car garbage and to use for a tote bag now and then.


Hey Linda!

Great question! The most important thing is reuse in this case. Although you are using the plastic bag in the garbage can it has now been used twice, extending its life further than the original intention so immediately that cuts the impact right there. How about further extending? When we use plastic bags in our bathroom trash can we tend to just dump the trash into our big kitchen can to take it out & leave the plastic bag behind, using it multiple times until it perhaps rips or becomes damaged. Same can work in the car! Most important thing is to continue to reuse as long as possible and not beat yourself up for the choices you make but to just be conscious of the ways you are [currently] & can [in the future] make a difference :)

Glad you're enjoying reading & thanks for asking!


The important lesson in this case is reuse. The longer we can extend the life of any item, the less of them will end up in landfills and that will have a serious, positive, environmental impact starting right now.

Do you have a question regarding to your living or working habits? Concerned you might not be as eco-awesome as you want to be? Feel free to pass your question along via email!


Vinyl Rocks My World said...

Thankfully, this is the way I was raised. We reused plastic bags as can liners until they couldn't be used any more. Great to remind people it's not really hard to do! :O)

Bridgete said...

They're absolutely perfect for cleaning the cat box. That's usually a one-time reuse because...well...once it's out of the cat box, the only place I want it to be is out in the dumpster.

But anyway. Yes, they are great for small trash cans too, I do that all the time.

High Desert Diva said...

So true.

Like Bridgete, we reuse the plastic bags for kitty litter clean up...

TheresaJ said...

Yes, I use them for kitty litter liner/clean-up, small trash can liners (used multiple times) and even as my occasional not so savvy tote, lunch bag, etc. I also have them on hand when walking my dog for clean-ups then as well. My town does have Mutt Mitt dispensers all over town (a great thing), but I most often bring my own and leave those for those in need on the spot.

ginger said...

i try to not have the grocery bags at all, but when they are there then the re-use factor is put in play. the reason i don't like them at all is because when they're being used as trash bags they do eventually end up in a landfill...forever. i try to buy trash can liners made from recycled or even biodegradable materials. some of the stores here in denver have actually stopped carrying plastic bags altogether for this always eventually ends up in a landfill. they now encourage people to bring bags or use paper. at least it's renewable and biodegradable.