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Top Five Reasons to Take Your Own Shopping Bags to the Store

Reusable bags might seem like a fad since cloth grocery totes are popping up everywhere, but trendy or not, cloth totes are much more than a fashion accessory.

1. Good for animals and the environment. Using your own bags means that more plastic bags won’t end up in a landfill or other places where wildlife can become entangled in them or eat them.

2. Save money. Many grocery stores offer a discount when you take your own bags. When checking out, ask your cashier if the store offers bag discounts. Typically you can get around five cents per bag. On average, if you shop each week and use about five bags, you could save about $13 per year. Hey, every little bit helps!

3. Easy activism. If you choose totes with a message, you can be a walking billboard for your cause. Check out PETA’s grocery totes.

4. Sturdy transport for your precious cargo. Cloth totes are much sturdier and less likely to cave under pressure than plastic or paper bags. So no more panicking that your plastic bag might split and shatter your organic marmalade in the parking lot.

5. Help keep clutter down. Back when I used to use plastic bags, I always tended to have this storage dilemma for them. They would pile up under my sink or in the pantry and would sort of squeeze out onto the floor when the storage bin became too full.

If you’re planning on making the switch to reusable bags and still have a plethora of plastic bags filling up your cupboards—recycle them! Many grocery stores have recycling bins specifically for plastic bags. For a listing of stores in your area that accept plastic bags, visit plasticbagrecycling.org.

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  • Alicia N. says:

    CONGRATS to californians !!!!! hopefully one day all states will be doing this. I use my reusable at all times, it’s easier, fastes and happy grocery expirience, way to go people, let’s do the right thing.

  • Richard Fitzpatrick says:

    I find that many of the recycle bags hold much more than regular plastic bags. My family has 6 or 7 of them that we use for each shopping excursion. We rarely bring home the plastic kind now. But when we do, we just make sure to recycle them.

    Thank You

  • ANNA G. says:

    I just recently starting using the recyclable tote bags their great. Their’s plently of room, don’t tear, good for the environment, they look great, great advertising, etc….

    I have been a vegetarian since junior high school…

  • Jyothi Lakshmi says:

    Hi,

    I am a vegetarian, (always have been) from Bangalore, India. We are now slowly waking up to the plastic MENACE here in Bangalore. Our beautiful lakes are choking to death because of these NASTY plastic bags!

    I have started taking my cloth/jute bags where ever I go. I think these green totes are really cute and will help in spreading the message of vegetarianism and eco-conservation and protection.

  • Beverly says:

    REUSABLE BAGS ARE THE BEST!!!
    :D

  • Christine says:

    Hi I love the reusable bags ~ At first it was hard to remember but now I make it a point to bring them with me when I am going shopping or thinking of going shopping. I recently just purchased these bags (One is insulated ~ for the cold/frozen items)

    http://www.qvc.com/qic/qvcapp.aspx/view.2/app.detail/params.tpl.csweb.cm_scid.cswb.item.K27383.cc.850

  • viki says:

    These are cute :)
    Ive been using cloth bags for quite some time now, before it was popular I remember the weird looks the cashiers would give me when id bring my own bags in. :)

  • Kathryn Thompson says:

    I keep trying to keep my cloth bags in the car so that I have them when I get to the store. Sadly, when I get to the store I sometimes find that I have forgotten to put them back in the car. I need to get a few more cloth bags so that I’ll always have some on hand when I shop.

  • jasmine says:

    do you know what is really sad? there was something on the news that said there actually not cruelty-free and do contain animal fur and animal stuff :( they said its a scam to try and get money WHY IS THE WORLD SO CRUEL!?!?!? (IT WAS THE ONES FROM…… WOOLWORTHS >;(

  • Ted says:

    You are so right. Cloth totes are much more than a fashion statement. Plastic bags are a permanent thing for a temporary use. Plastic bags are simply a habit of convenience. Cloth totes can and will become a habit just like any other habits. Just make the effort!

  • wendy hammond says:

    I love having my bags and I always say fill them,stuff them,pack them to the top.They can carry alot of pounds.It took some time to remember to bring them but now it is easy ti bring my bags.

  • Ms Mur says:

    great idea about throwing your keys in the bags! eco-bags are so much easier to handle if you are walking or using the bus to grocery shop. you do not have to worry about them ripping or shredding. love my eco bags!

  • Allyson Villegas says:

    Another place that has really cute ones is Toys ‘R Us. (I have a two-year old, which entails birthday parties and other trips there!) When I buy a gift for a child, I use those as gift bags instead of buying paper bags. They have REALLY cute ones and a large variety! Even if you have no reason to go there, I suggest taking a trip to stock up on bags there! I’ve gotten many compliments on them when I take them to the grocery store or other places.

  • mahgoub says:

    greeeeaaaat idea i no1 would eva use dat unless u brought it up

  • yungdrung says:

    when you empty your cloth bag, put your keys and/or purse into it…you won’t get out of the house without taking your cloth bag with you.

  • michelle says:

    Cat Litter – we use Swheat Scoop, a clumping, totally biodegradable litter. I clean the box daily, flushing poop and clumps. then every weekend I totally empty the box in to a Bio Bag, a brand of biodegradable plastic bag. So the bag degrades at the dump and then the litter and waste degrade as well. If I lived somewhere with land/a yard, i probably could include this in compost. But i live in an apartment, and am doing the best I can! Clay litters, btw – are bad for your kitty’s respiratory and can cause UTIs. They are are also crappy for the environment.

  • Nastay Eremenko says:

    I love using my own bags.

  • Grocery Tote Bags says:

    I am an avid collector of these eco-friendly bags! I think it’s great, and these bags are cheap!

  • florencia says:

    I also want to add another reason to use this bags. We save energy using always the same bags, the energy that is not spent when producing the plastic bags that we use only once. And also we reduce the amount of garbish that we daily produce. It is very interesting the plastic recicling programs that it is shown in plasticbagrecycling.org. I am from Argentina and I am not sure if there is any kind of program like this in my country, it would be very interesting to learn about something like this here.

  • Rachel Willis says:

    My problem is forgetting my cloth bags, but I feel so much better when I bring it along! I definitely need to make sure I keep it in my car.

    As for the kitty litter–I also used to use plastic bags to scoop it up. Now, I’ve switched to the pine litter (Feline Pine), which I collect in a reusable plastic bin (one of my old left-over Tidy Cats containers) and throw it in my flower bed. The pine litter works great as a fertilizer.

  • Vicky says:

    I would be happy to use cloth bags for the animals and environment’s sake, but it’s more wasteful and expensive having to buy plastic bags for the garbage, considering I reuse the market bags as garbage bags (the place where I live requires bagging any garbage).

  • Sharon says:

    I really do love my reuseable bags! They hold so much more and are much easier to carry. I can have 5 or 6 reusuable bags filled at the grocery store, and if I had used plastic bags it would have been 10 or more. Yes, it did take a little time to remember them, but keeping them in the back seat where I can see them made the difference. I also just fold them up and keep all of them inside one bag, so I can just grab the bag full of bags and go into the store.

  • Teresa says:

    I’ve been using nothing but cloth/ reusable bags for over a decade now, long before they became the hip thing to do. We own around forty of them, I’m not sure of the exact count as once in while one will become too worn to use any more and I’m always picking up a new one that catches my eye. And I know that may seem like a lot but you’d be surprised at how fast they fill up when you only go shopping every two weeks. And just a little tip, stuffing them inside of each other takes up no room at all.

    We recycle every piece of plastic that comes into the house, for example produce bags and cereal bags that come out of the boxes. Of course the boxes get recycled too in fact we put more recyclables on the curb than we do garbage once a week, at least twice as much.

    There’s no reason what so ever to ever use a plastic bag for anything other than solid waste, and then all grocery stores sell recycled garbage bags that fit all standard kitchen garbage cans so there’s no excuse not to buy anything other than recycled plastic as well.

    One poster asked about an alternative to getting rid of litter box waste, first you buy the washable litter and the cat genie but I’m not a cat parent so perhaps I don’t know what I’m talking about. Another option if the self cleaning machine isn’t an option would be to simply get a seperate garbage can for nothing but cat waste, dump the waste into the can and once a week after pick up clean it out with a garden hose and some eco friendly cleaner. My favorite is Ecover floor soap, I know floor soap but the thing is it’s super concentrated, smells amazing and you don’t have to worry about it around your four legged friends because it’s 100% plant based and completely safe. I use it every where around the house. Anyway those are just a few suggestions.

    There’s no excuse nor reason to ever use a plastic bag that isn’t made from recycled sources in my opinion, ever. To think about it lying around for the rest of time until this planet dies off as well. That every drop of water on this planet contains a piece of plastic that we have put there. There’s no excuse, no excuse.

  • Jill says:

    CHICO BAGS!

    http://www.chicobag.com/p-16-chicobag-original-series.aspx

    I have a bunch of these in my purse so I never ever forget my parashoot like material bags. I use them at the grocery store, the drug store, to the mall (for my clothing shopping!), to Farmers Markets, for everythign that I’ll need a bag for. They are awesome and easy to tuck back inside itself for easy storage. I also give them away to people who ask me about them making them promise me that they will use this instead of any other bags! (of course we can only hope they do as they promise)

    Check them out!

  • Maryam says:

    We have been using cloth bags for several years now. Initially, we had a hard time remembering to bring them shopping, so I decided to just keep them in my trunk. Now they are always there… we just have to remember to bring them into the store which has become a habit. The only time we get plastic anymore is when we need some bags to scoop our cat litter into for disposal. It bothers me to do this but I’m not sure of an alternate solution and some plastic bags are now more biodegradable.

    Any one else out there scooping cat litter with a more eco friendly solution?

  • Brie says:

    I also find that many of them hold SO much more than regular plastic bags.
    My family has 9 or 10 that we use, and I rarely bring home the plastic kind now. When I do, I just make sure to recycle it.

  • Sandra says:

    I love using my own bags. They have really cute ones at Target with a tree and birds on them for like .99 cents. I got 3 and use them for groceries, lunch, even a purse soemtimes.

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