Nifty tricks to make your shopping trips plastic-free

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If you can humor me for 1 minute, can I convince you to carry reusable bags on your person at all times so when you do need to purchase something, you’ve got a bag handy for it?

If there’s one thing I absolutely abhor in life (apart from that short list in my iced tea latte post), it’s plastic or paper bags. I keep about three reusable shopping bags in my purse at all times so I don’t have to use plastic or paper bags. I hate the sight of them, I hate receiving them, I just hate them!

Why so much hate? It’s actually an act of love (ye-hes!). Just as with my logic for not eating animals and animal products, if our lives don’t depend on plastic bags, we should avoid them.

You’ve heard the song-and-dance about why plastic bags are evil – they clutter landfills and ecosystems, wildlife mistakes them for food, they take 1,000 years to decompose, etc. Essentially the spawn of the devil, right? But it’s so much more convenient to not think of the bigger picture (i.e. wildlife getting strangled by those bags) when you’re at the grocery store buying your stash of fruit and veggies or when you’re on shopping-spree mode.

I love living in Muntinlupa City because the city council has already banned the use of plastic bags in business establishments. Nothing brings more warmth to my heart than to see plastic bag-less shoppers. Second thing that brings more warmth to my heart? Seeing the business establishments that don’t follow this law caught and forced to close shop for a few days as penalty. I know, I’m wicked!

The band-aid solution is the switch to paper bags – still unfortunate, but a baby step to the right direction. But for those who want to kick it up an eco-friendly notch, the real solution to going plastic and paper bag-less is to BRING YOUR OWN BAG.

Yes, reusable bags come in leopard print.

I know the trials and tribulations shoppers go through when it comes to reusable bags. It’s so much more convenient to leave the house without having to remember to tote one of these along for possible shopping trips. But let’s think of the bigger picture. Say you use 4 plastic bags per grocery trip per week. That’s 16 plastic bags a month and 192 bags a year. That number doesn’t include bags used in non-grocery shopping – like when you buy  batteries that are sheathed in those tiny plastic bags, office supplies, clothes, shoes, medicine…

NIFTY TRICKS TO PLASTIC AND PAPER BAG-FREE AWESOMNESS

(1) Some reusable bags come in tiny pouches you can keep them in so they stay nice and out of the way in your purse. Some don’t. Here is a trick to fold up reusable bags so they are easier to bring along next time you head out of the house.

Lay it flat on a surface

Fold it in half

Fold it in thirds

Roll it up

Tie the handles around it

Tie a ribbon!

(2)Sometimes plastic bags are unavoidable, like when you purchase fruit and vegetables by weight. Here’s another trick to be independent of those pesky plastic bags…

Have your weighed fruit and veggies put in reusable bags themselves. Ask the weighing scale guy to affix the price tag on the bag.

I’ve done this multiple times with no problem. To save on the number of bags used, often times I have multiple fruit and veggies placed in the bags with their corresponding prices affixed on the bag.

Here’s another trick:

(3) Keep a basket of reusable bags in your car trunk. Not only do I have 3 reusable bags in my purse, I keep about 12 in my car. I am seriously bathing in reusable bags. Plastic-free power, baby!

Other nifty tricks:

(4) Don’t bag your bananas! It’s not necessary. See first photo above.

(5) Bulky items such as sacks of laundry detergent and bottles of fabric softener, oil, vinegar, etc. don’t need to be bagged either.

(6) If you find yourself reusable bag-less at the grocery store, ask the cash registrar to place your purchases in boxes.

(7) As for those batteries, trips to the drugstore, and other small purchases – if they’re small enough to fit in your purse, then stick them in your purse.

These are all fairly simple tricks that make a big impact on the environment, wildlife, and future generations. Imagine if each one of us can decrease 192 plastic or paper bags from landfills each year! So much love for Mother Earth, we’ll have.

Reusable bags - a great way for declarations of true love

Do you have tips to plastic and paper-bag free awesomeness? Do share below!

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