Good Riddance, You Darn Plastic Bag You!
There are a couple chores in my life that seem to be never ending: laundry and grocery shopping. It seems like every time I think I’m caught up with either task, it’s time to start over.
I love to eat, so grocery shopping can be incredibly fun, knowing that during dinner time, it was well worth the trip to the market. I also am a list making maniac so making my weekly meal plan, writing a list & then checking off the list is so gratifying. The part that is most daunting however is after: unpacking. I feel similarly about unpacking after a great trip; the best part is over and now it’s just work, a massive pile of STUFF to be organized and no more adventure.
My problem with grocery shopping, is finding a way to fit all the food into our tiny little fridge and then figuring out what to do with the massive amount of plastic bags I am left with. I feel so guilty throwing those little bags away, so I used to have a “OPEN AT YOUR OWN RISK” cupboard full of them. Like a volcano with an impending eruption, my plastic bag collection was constantly waiting to explode.
Unfortunately, the groceries are not going to walk themselves into the fridge, but in the last few years, I have come up with a way to reduce the amount of plastic bags that I need to find a place for, and to reduce the looming danger in that cupboard. It’s not a new solution to this problem but I still love it: Re-usable Grocery Bags!
Re-usable grocery bags are such a godsend, and though there are times that I just can’t avoid getting plastic (meat, seafood and some produce), coming home with 2 plastics is so much better than 10 every time!
Aside from reducing the amount of plastic bags I have to find a place for, I really feel great about using my bags knowing that in a small way, I am doing something to reduce the amount of waste I am producing, and that will end up in a landfill. While cotton may only take 6 months to 1 year to decompose (Science Learning), liberal estimates for the decomposition plastic bags are around 10-20 years with more conservative estimates at 500 years (New Hampshire Department of Environmental Science).
In addition, with the growing Great Pacific Garbage Patch, our marine life is in great danger because of our waste (Smithsonian Ocean Portal). Obviously, plastic grocery bags aren’t the ONLY waste we find in our oceans but if we all reduce how many bags we use can create a significant impact in preserving our oceans.
Plus, carrying around a pretty, printed Canvas bag is oh, so much more chic, that those noisy, flimsy little things.
Just a word of advice, make sure you take disinfect your bags every now and then to stay germ free. A wipe down with a wet rag and a few drops of tea tree oil will do the trick.
Now, isn’t this so much better?
P.S. If you have any suggestion to make the laundry less painful, my ears are open!
Photography by Urip