Ever wonder why so many cities and countries are banning plastic bags? All you need to do is look at these images of plastic bags polluting our earth to understand what a problem they are.
My wife and I recycle the plastic bags we get from the grocery store and other places, but the plastic bags are still a problem.
Last weekend I took my first small step in eliminating plastic bags from my life – I purchased reusable shopping bags for my wife and I from our local grocery store. I bought 10 in all, 5 for each of our cars, which should cover us for most shopping trips (The bags hold 2-3 times as much as regular plastic grocery bags).
Benefits of reusable bags
I wish I would have bought these bags a long time ago – they are great! The reusable bags I bought at Kroger (pictured here) are made of a heavy duty, light weight material and are able to hold 2-3 plastic bags worth of groceries. That means I have fewer bags to carry and I don’t have to worry about the milk or other heavy items breaking through the thin plastic.
Another benefit is that the bags have a hard insert in the bottom of the bag that makes them more stable and allows them to stand upright in the trunk of my car. No more sliding around and chasing after groceries when I get home!
The cost is minimal. There are two types at our grocery store – an insulated bag with a zipper top ($3) and a normal bag ($1). Kroger, and many other stores, also give you a $0.03 discount for bringing your own bags because it saves them the cost of providing bags. I’m sure it will take me a long time to recoup the cost of the bags, but I’m not concerned about that. The bags are better for the environment and more functional than plastic bags, and that is enough for me. Now the only thing I need to remember is to bring them into the store with me!
Disposable is the wrong way to think
The older I get, the more I realize that our resources, both on a personal and collective level, are limited. That is why I try to conserve as much as possible – conservation and frugality often go hand in hand. Along with reducing the number of plastic bags I use, I have virtually eliminated using plastic water bottles. A few months ago my wife and I purchased two stainless steel Kleen Kanteen water bottles. Not only do we not take in the harmful chemicals from the plastic water bottles, but we save money and the environment. What can be better than that?
Photo credit: Personal finance tips.