Do you want to know what I dislike more than grocery shopping? Coming home with more grocery bags. Plastic or paper, it doesn’t matter. I just don’t reuse all those bags, and the piles keep stacking up. So I started searching for some clever reusable and recycling grocery bag ideas, and I’m passing this information on to you. Who knows, with all these ideas, one of us might just become the worlds best “bag lady”
- Most stores will sell canvas or mesh bags for ecologically friendly advertising purposes. You can also find plain bags, or bags with silk-screened designs at other retail outlets (music stores come to mind.)
- Some specialty shops (like our neighborhood BBQ lover’s store) use handled paper bags. Save them up and take them to the grocery on shopping day.
Reusable and Recycling:
- I love to knit. I dislike plastic bags. So, I knit my plastic bags. I got the idea off DIY’s show Knitty Gritty Cut a stack of plastic bags into strips, tie them together (makes and interesting touch on the final product), wind into a ball and knit a handbag. It’s amazing how simple and fun this is, but be forewarned plastic does not give like yarn, so if you’re out of practice, it will be quite a workout to your hands. The bags are also surprisingly sturdy and strong, and it’s really cool to tell your friends you have made your grocery bag out of grocery bags.
- Old t-shirts make pretty good shopping bags. Cut out the arms on the sleeve side of the seam (t shirts are knit and can unravel), fold the t-shirt in half sideways (so the arms line up) and sew a strong seam on the bottom. Double up the shirts with some batting in between and they can serve to keep some cold stuff cool.
- If you fold an old kitchen or hand towel in half, pound grommets into the two corners where they meet, or securely sew buttons there, old guitar, camera, or duffel bag straps, or even a belt, can be fastened like a handle. This bag will hold your bread, bananas, cake mixes and the like. I wouldn’t suggest transporting apples, cans, or yogurt unless you sew up the sides.
Reusable, Recycling, and Money Saving:
- My grocery store offers a nickel off of each bag you brought from home and used in your order. They don’t advertise it much, but I saw the signs saying “BYOB.” I now keep a paper towel roll in my car stuffed with bags to take in when I go.
Recycling Paper Bags:
- Make some leaf rubbings on your paper bags, or cut out a jack-o-lantern face. Line your walk with these filled with leaves for fall festivity.
- Show your kids how to wrap their school books with paper bag. In all my years of book wrapping, brown paper bag worked the absolute best.
- Paint with crumpled paper bag for texture.
- Links to other ideas: costumes, piñatas, around the home
Recycling Plastic Bags:
- Plastic is infinitely handy as dirty (cloth) diaper/ dirty clothes transport. Double bag if smell is a danger, and tie secure knots. Then, tear them open and dump the contents in the wash when you get home.
- Line your small trash cans around the house with grocery sacks. Tie off and toss on trash day.
- Paint with crumpled plastic bag for texture.
- When using plastic bags as stuffing, be absolutely sure the stuffed-thing will not be used for sleeping on or has other suffocation dangers.
- Links to other ideas: apron, around the house, 10 more ideas
Just Plain Recycle
Image courtesy of Mrs. Maze (Chronicity)