Plastic shopping bags are a huge threat to our environment. Their impact is widespread- from the energy it takes to produce the plastic to the pollution they cause on land and sea. Yet they’re still one of the most used single-use convenience plastics. If these are items you’d like to eliminate (or cut back on), here are 22 Ways to Avoid Plastic Shopping Bags.
22 Ways to Avoid Plastic Shopping Bags:
- Own a lot of reusable bags: A lot of bags means you’ll be able to stash them in a lot of places. Then they’ll be a lot more accessible, and accessibility generally makes items easier to use. These are some of my favorite heavy-duty reusable bags for grocery shopping.
- Always keep 2 bags in your purse: When I only have 1 bag in my purse, I inevitably use it, take it into the house with the items in it and don’t put it back in my purse right away. Then I forget I didn’t put it back and I get stuck bagless.
- Use small foldable bags in your purse: Some reusable bags are small enough to fold up and stash in your purse or even your pocket. Check out this 5 pack of nylon, reusable bags on Amazon.
- Take more bags into the store than is necessary: We’ve all been there: we’re only running into the store for “a couple” of things so only 1 or 2 bags are on hand. We end up with way more items and are short on bags.
- Take a bag in the store even when getting a small item: I used to skip taking a bag in when I was picking up a prescription. I usually bought “a couple” more items than I intended. Now I bring a bag in.
- Take a bag in the store even when getting a big item: The other day I went into Big Lots to buy a couple large storage bins. I knew I didn’t need a bag for those—I’d just carry them out. Right? Wrong! I ended up buying a glass mixing bowl that I needed a bag for.
- Use mesh produce bags: not only is using canvas and paper bags in place of plastic great for the environment but you can also cut down on plastic bag use by skipping the plastic produce bags. Buy a few packs of these mesh bags for produce shopping.
Related: Make Your Food Last Longer
- Keep a set of bags in all your vehicles: You’ll have bags if you happen to be driving your spouse’s car the day.
- Store a few bags at your office: This goes back to accessibility.
- Keep a small bag in your car cup holder or door compartment: Even if I don’t use this bag, just the sight of it makes me remember to grab the bags from the back seat.
- Set a timer: Set the timer on your cell phone before leaving the house. When it goes off as you’re arriving at the store, it’ll remind you to bring in your bags.
- Keep bags on the doorknob of your front door: How can you miss them when leaving the house!
- Put a note on your car dashboard: A note at a strategic place is always a good idea.
- Write a note on your list: “Bring bags” can be the first item on the grocery list.
- Keep a bag on your keychain: There are all kinds of bags on the market these days. A bag on a keychain is a pretty sure bet you’ll always have a bag on hand.
Related:Eco-Friendly Shopping Tips
- Put an important item in your bags: If you put your keys, phone, purse, or another important item in your bags in the car, chances are you’ll remember to bring them inside the store.
- Go back home: If you’re doing a large shopping trip and you forget your bags, go back home and get them. A few times of doing this will go a long way in finally remembering them.
- Buy new bags: I’ve taken the opportunity to buy new bags when I’ve forgotten mine at home.
- Carry a big purse: I’ve often stuffed my purchases into my big purse instead of a bag.
- Carry stuff in your hands: Tell the cashier you’re going bagless and carry stuff out in your hands.
Related: 10 Ways to Reuse Newspaper
- Keep bags in the pantry at home: Seeing the bags as you go through the pantry to make a grocery list is a great reminder.
- Shop with your kids: If you forget bags in the car you can always send your child (who is old enough) outside to get the bags.The transition away from plastic shopping bag use isn’t always an easy one. It’s taken me a while to transition to complete avoidance of plastic bags. Avoiding them at the grocery store was actually easier than places like the drug store, department stores, and specialty stores. I’ve used all these 20 Ways to Avoid Plastic Shopping Bags at one time or another!
How do you keep from using plastic shopping bags? Let me know in the comments section!
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Lisa is a mother of three lovely young women and is a new grandmother to a baby boy! She has been married to her high school sweetheart for more than thirty years. Lisa is originally from Dearborn Heights, Michigan, but has lived in the Tampa Bay area since 1984. Running a small business for over 25 years and raising a family has made for a busy, busy life with many ups and downs; it’s definitely been an adventure.
Lisa’s always involved in one project or another whether it’s work related or serving her community. She also recently went back to school to finish her bachelor’s degree in American Studies. Lisa tries to make every day a good day—that means learning something new, practicing kindness, and enjoying the present moment.