Monday, May 4, 2009

Reuse Your Plastic Bags

I often refer to the cost-saving benefits of buying dry goods in bulk rather than pre-packaged.

You'll always pay extra for packaging, but when you buy in bulk you can control the weight and thus the price of what you're buying.

Choosing to buy bulk isn't only about saving money; it's also an opportunity to reuse your plastic bags. And when you reuse bags to buy bulk food, and fresh produce for that matter, you reduce the amount of garbage going into landfills.

Did you know that the average American creates four pounds of garbage every day? And most of this is food packaging!

So the next time you reach for a packet of cereal, think "bulk corn flakes!" Or the next time you reach for a plastic container of salad, think "lose lettuce!"

A couple of weeks ago, I went shopping with two single girls; they wanted to learn how to grocery shop on a budget. Lisa and Julie bought their own plastic bags and purchased a number of things in the bulk aisle.

Lisa had large plastic bags, though I suggested she reuse her Ziploc bags next time -- I'd noticed the girls had a stash in one of their kitchen draws.

Ziploc has come out with an eco-friendly version of their original bag. If you're a fan of Ziploc, you might consider trying Ziploc Evolve. For more information read this review.

I don't buy plastic bags, ever, but if I want a small plastic bag while shopping at Whole Foods, I help myself to WF's supply of Ziploc in the bulk herb and spice section. And I reuse those small bags again and again, in fact until they're falling apart.

FYI: It might be wise to get used to reusing your plastic bags, particularly if you are on a budget. The Plastic Bag Reduction Act will apply a 5 cent tax on single-use plastic bags as of January 1, 2010.

I'm not fan of keeping my food in plastic bags once home. I usually decant my bulk items into recycled glass jars. There's a small online article in Mother Earth News about the hazardous chemicals that leach from plastic into food -- the healthy alternative: store bulk and leftovers in glass!

Earth day was April 22nd, almost a couple of weeks ago now, but it's worth taking all that you were made aware of on that day into your Everyday.

And if you're struggling to figure out how you might do that, consider something as simple as creating less garbage by buying bulk, and reusing your plastic bags.

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