If I could make one change in the world, I would make single-use plastic shopping bags disappear. This would have little effect on daily life for most people, but it would have a significant impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of animals and marine birds that die due to plastic bags. It also would reduce litter in our streets and waterways.
Plastic bags wouldn’t be so useful if they were not readily available. They have been essential for us to navigate the last 200,000 years. Today’s busy world is all about convenience and we get a little too addicted to things we just use once and throw away the rest. We all know that single-use bags can be a wasteful use of resources and money. The trick is to get back in the habit of using them, not just having reusable shopping bags. Here are eight ways to make your life easier as an eco-champion bag-carrying tote.
- You have plenty of options for reusable bags (see below for the best bags).
- Keep them in your car. Also, keep them in your handbags and nappy bags.
- You can invest in small nylon bags with clips for your keys and handbags.
- After you remove your shopping PUT YOUR BAGS BACK. Sorry for the loud capitalizations, but this is an essential step!
- Take lots of bags with you when you are shopping for groceries. Keep them near your front door so they don’t get lost.
- Get even more by sourcing reusable produce bags.
- Be sure to start your shopping list with bags so you don’t forget to get them out of the car before you shop.
- After you have unpacked them, put your reusable bags, handbags, and car seats back on the shelves by your front door. Did I already say this?
Which are the best reusable bags?
There are so many options for reusable bags. The nylon shopping bags that fold up to the dimensions of a lipstick case, or a smartphone are my favorite reusable shopping bags.
There are many reusable bags that have different environmental impacts. The supermarkets’ “green” bags are made from polypropylene (a type of plastic) and sometimes lined with PVC. This is the most polluting kind of plastic. Natural fibers such as hessian and cotton are the best choices. Make sure you have thick straps, strong stitching, easy washability, and that they are sturdy.
So you forgot your bags…
It happens! You can ask for a box and put your items in your bag or with the children. As you stuff the lime in your back pocket, expect to get confused looks. Then, tuck your pasta under your chin. Ask nicely to either take the basket to the car and then return it (make sure that you do). Or, unload the trolley straight into the car so you have your bags when you get home. If you absolutely need to use a plastic bag, simply fill it up and recycle it at the nearest supermarket.