Thursday, August 16, 2007

eco-friendly grocery bags

Ben mentioned the other day that we should start looking on line for some alternative to those horrible plastic shopping bags we get by the dozens at the grocery store. We don't litter, so none of ours are festooning trees and power lines across the country, but they do pile up in the cupboards and drawers until we give up and throw a bunch of them away.

I thought Ben had a good idea, so I hopped on line to see what I could find. I think I googled something like "eco-friendly grocery bags." I got over 350 hits, and started to check them out. As you might imagine, what I found ran the gamut from nylon bags to string bags to " Eco-friendly hemp / organic cotton blend" bags. At the low end of the price spectrum, the nylon bags retailed for $4.95 plus S&H. The high end, was, well, just ridiculously high. The average price was about $15.00. I do want to be a friend to the earth and all that, but I am unemployed.

When Julie and I were at the mall a couple of days ago, we saw a rack of sale merchandise in front of a store called "icing by claire's," which looked exactly like a "claire's" to me, if you know what those are. We had noticed some really cute lightweight cotton back-to-school book bags. Normally $12.00, they were on sale for $5.00. I particularly liked the bags with a small repeating apple pattern that came in several different color combinations, while Julie favored the owl pattern. We hadn't bought them at the time, but after doing my homework on line, I decided to go back and get some. I ended up buying nine bags (three in each of the three color combos) and Julie bought a couple of owl bags.

I went to the grocery store later in the day, and brought them along, and I am well-pleased with my purchase. Now I just hope we can remember to bring them when we go grocery shopping. That might be the trickiest part.


Kristy said...

My Gramma told me the other day that she's going green too and has a bunch of totes she takes to the grocery store. She gets really frustrated though because more often than not, even after she instructs the baggers to use her tote bags, they just put her food into the plastic bags and then put those bags into the tote bags.

Also - eco grocery bags are really popular among knitters, especially those (like me) who like to knit with really interesting fibers, bamboo, soy, hemp, corn, etc. I've got a really good pattern for some, so let me know if those claires bags don't work out for you.

anne mancine said...

I may take you up on that offer. Ben thinks the bags I bought are a little too small, and that our whole shopping load won't fit in them. So perhaps I will need to supplement the ones I have.

Wait, so do you knit the totes? I have never heard of that, I have to say.

Ben said...

I'm very excited to begin using these new bags. Thanks for doing the research and buying them!

My Ecology professor taught us 30 years ago that we should forget about conservation efforts and preserving the ecosystem and saving the planet and all that because we were already too late and everything was already completely fucked. But we have to live with ourselves just the same, and if there is something I can do today to help make my children and grandchildren's lives better, I'm going to do it. It just takes a little effort, really.

Kristy said...

Well, I guess you could crochet them too, but I'm mostly a knitter :) Here is the one that I've seen most recently but there are many others. The nice thing about these handmade bags is that you can make them as big or small as you want them with whatever handles you want.

Something else that I've seen are the market bags that fold up into their own little pouch. When you take them out of the pouch, they turn inside out and the pouch turns into a pocket or something like that. Neat idea anyway and definitely handy to put in one's purse or car.

Ben said...

The new tote bags were a complete success on shopping day! Everything fit comfortably (OK, I over-stuffed a couple of them) and we did not run out of bags. The store was selling some cheapo nylon bags, but we were still happy with our renewable resource (cotton) washable bags in colorful patterns. The oversize handles made transporting groceries very easy too. Like I said, a complete success!

Julie said...

my little owl ones fit nicely in my purse folded up, and when i'm not carrying a purse (most of the time) they fit in my cargo pockets.

i'm absolutely terrible about remembering to use them though...

but they came in handy on my field trip--i was carrying a purse, an umbrella, a water bottle, and some brochures, and was getting a little frustrated till i remembered the bag in my purse. made the field trip much easier!