Monday, July 30, 2007

Paper or Plastic? .... Neither perhaps?

As you get ready to pay for your groceries, you often get one of several questions
Which do you choose? On one hand, plastic will end up in landfills, but it takes more water and energy to produce the paper bag. But it can be reused more easily for other things, and finally recycled to make new paper. The grocery store has largely answered the question for you, the plastic bag is far cheaper, and has captured 80 % of the market. But where we live there isn't a good recycling option for plastic bags, and you can only use so many to line trash bins.

But there is another option: bring your own bags. Even though we don't experience the rush of paying $15 for a bag that you can't get a hold of anyway, we can still participate. We have at least at two local grocery stores, and the brilliant part is that the store gives $.05 rebate per bag - not a lot, but it all adds up (8 bags per week, for 50 weeks is $20). If you bring sturdy canvas bags you can reuse them hundreds of times. Keep them in the car between grocery trips so they're always available.

We also keep a small cooler in the trunk of the car to hold the most delicate frozen items on hot days.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Periodically I get to attend conferences where many of the vendors provide cloth bags for toting around all of their literature. When I get home I put these free bags to use hauling my groceries, and save 5 cents per bag each time I shop!