If you want to do your bit to save our planet and make the environment better for everyone, then a good place to start is by using reusable grocery bags.
Single use bags are a huge part of the plastic waste problem that is really hurting the world and you can make a difference.
Are Tote Bags Really Good for the Environment?
Here’s an interesting article from The Atlantic that makes an interesting argument.
Before you start loading up on reusable bags, you’ll want to consider a few things.
Homemade Reusable Grocery Bags Are Best
If you can sew, and not all of us can, the most environmentally friendly reusable bags are those you make at home.
You’ll find they often last longer than the store-bought ones too.
However, if you don’t have a sewing machine or sewing talent, you’re probably not going to learn just to make some bags. So, in that case, you’ll want to buy a reusable bag.
Some purchasable reusable bags are made out of secondhand fabrics, we like this idea as it offers you a chance to cut down on making new fabric.
However, it’s worth noting that you need to be careful about the origins of the materials used even if they are second hand.
One thing we urge you to be very careful with is secondhand mosquito netting. It’s fine to make mesh bags from this but never use it for food as most netting is covered in unremovable pesticide which will contaminate food.
New Fabrics – Your Four Main Choices
When it comes to new fabrics you have four main options for reusable grocery bags.
Repurposed/Recycled Fabric Bags
Fabric bags are great. We prefer recycled or repurposed fabric whenever possible and one of the key things to ensure when buying a fabric bag is that it’s easy to wash.
These bags typically last a long time as long as they can be cleaned. Without cleaning, however, they can get moldy or develop an unpleasant aroma.
Recycled PET Plastic Mesh Bags
A long as the plastic in these bags is recycled, you’re not contributing to the plastic problem. PET is a plastic which is made from old water bottles and it is incredibly hard wearing. If you buy a PET plastic mesh bag you can expect it to last for a long time.
These bags also have a much lower carbon footprint than new bags because recycled material requires much less manufacturing.
Cotton Produce Bags
Cotton bags are the fall back for when you need to store flour or powder. You can’t normally find recycled cotton and it might not be ideal for storing food in if you could.
So, we recommend that you instead look for organic cotton bags and ensure that you are being as eco-conscious as possible when you source your cotton produce bags.
Bulk Reusable Grocery Bags
Bulk bags are a new idea. They’re designed for storing food instead of using glass or plastic jars.
They tend to be made from recycled PET but have a very different appearance to a more traditional grocery bag.
They seal well and we’ve moved nearly 2/3rds of our kitchen contents over to these bags as we regularly bulk buy products that have a long shelf life.
Final Thoughts on Reusable Grocery Bags
We strongly recommend that everyone switch over to reusable grocery bags as soon as possible.
For even more tips to improve your eco-friendly rating check out our guide to natural living.
It is very easy to make this change and it has a clear and definite impact on the environment.
It can also save you money in the long-term as reusable kit tends to be more cost-effective than single use products.
If you’d like to check the prices of the best reusable grocery bags, then you can do so online.
PRO-TIP: You can find many kinds of larger fashion bags for deep discounts on one of the online thrift stores that will double as a grocery bag!