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Green Your Life: It’s in the Bag

| 2/23/2009 4:33:39 PM

A lot can happen if you don’t pay close attention to your shopping habits. You could end up with a wardrobe consisting of the same two colors. You could blow your rent money on a new digital camera.

You could also eventually build up an arsenal of plastic bags and not have any idea what to do with them.

Photo by The BrassPotato/Courtesy flickr

I have fallen victim to all of these pitfalls, and while I have taken measures to rectify the first two, I find myself constantly swimming in plastic bags, shoving them into cabinets just to keep them out of sight. Well, I will shove no more! It’s time to use plastic bag alternatives, and to make as much use of the bags I’ve accidentally collected.

• The best way to cut down on plastic bag buildup is to avoid plastic bags all together. Switching to more sustainable options, like canvas or burlap, is easy and stylish. Many grocery stores sell some sort of tote bag, usually made of canvas or recycled plastic, with their logo on it. You can also buy bags from other stores, such as Baggy Shirts, which makes bags out of recycled clothing.

• While buying the canvas bag is the first step, you have to actually use it for it to be effective. I’ve bought so many bags for grocery shopping, but I have yet to ever really use them. I either forget them at home or end up buying more than can fit in the ones I did bring. To combat this problem, I’m going to start keeping them in my trunk so I am never without at least a few.

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