It’s Not Easy Being Green: Re-usable Grocery Bags

Kermit was right – it’s not easy being green!  But I’ve figured out one way that it’s *super* easy to be green!  Re-usable grocery bags!!  Yes, I have finally *finally* purchased re-usable grocery bags to cart my goodies home from the store and it’s as easy as….well….easier than being green!  I know, I know.  I’m a little late to this (hello….Louis Vuitton was creating couture re-usable canvas bags back in like 2005 – where have I been?!?!).  Honestly it was part laziness, part cheap-ness, and part convenience-ness (huh?).  So why now?  Basically I have had an “environmental epiphany” within the past few months and I’m out to do the “right” thing, which isn’t always easy, but I assure you this is as easy as it gets!  And hopefully it will help to prevent things like this from happening:

I’ve always tried to be a good person to my one and only home.  I recycle, I compost, I car-pool, and I think very seriously about the “stuff” I bring into my home and whether or not I truly need it.  I only buy things I truly need, love and cannot live without, or are necessities to living life (socks and underwear, you make the cut in good times and bad!!).  I’m not saving the world, one recyclable at a time, but I am doing my small part to make my home and my family a little bit greener and gentler to our surrounding environment!  I still have a long way to go, but I am working on it!

The problem, I admit, was that I had a drawer in my kitchen that was filled to the brim with plastic bags and they multiplied like bunnies since I wasn’t “re-using” them quickly enough to dispose of them (I use them a lot for bathroom canister liners and doggy-poop bags).  So they litterally turned into “litter” around my house and I was sick of it!  So I went through and emptied out about half of what I had and took them to the grocery store to recycle (most grocery stores will have large bins that you can dump these bags into, but if yours doesn’t, then here are a few helpful ideas to get rid of yours).   Then I took an empty Kleenex box and stuffed the extra bags in there so I can grab and go when I’m on my way out the door with the Magsters and then they are more organized and “contained” than they were before.  I also keep a few empty boxes under the bathroom sinks for fast access when I need it.

So now that one problem was tackled (organizing), I was ready to bring more “stuff” into my house.  But rather than jump at the bit and run out and purchase all new, I did the eco-friendly thing and “shopped my house” for perfectly usable (and re-usable) canvas bags and the like and here’s what I found:

All of these bags were sitting around my house and I wasn’t using them save for the occasional trip to Mt. Hood to corral miscellaneous ski gear or as a dirt collector stuffed in the corner of my kitchen.  I took about five minutes one afternoon searching down these bags and then stuffed them into a “super shopper” bag (which I got as a house-warming gift a few months back) and threw them in the back of my car.  So now whenever Dr. J and I are at the grocery, we just remember to go to the trunk and pull them out!  Couldn’t be simpler!  Not only that, but we only had to buy two extra bags and then every time we go to the grocery store, we get an extra ten cents off our purchase, which, depending upon the store, you can either add back to your tab or donate to a good cause!  Score!

In addition to getting rid of old, I also have made a concious effort to “reduce” the plastic bag clutter by abstaining from bringing any more home than I absolutely need to – i.e., cutting the Check-out person off at the pass by saying, “I can carry that in my purse, thanks!”  Most of the time I don’t need a bag and I appreciate some stores asking if I really need one to begin with.  You can tell the stores who are really conscious of their waste because the bag is an option as opposed to a hard and fast rule.  The best example I can think of is Ikea where they have *no* bags, so if you drop by, be sure to bring your super-shopper bag just in case you decide to buy a bunch of little things as opposed to the large flat-pack boxes that they love so much.

So there ya have it!  One step closer to living a little more green-ly in the Tell’er All About It household!  So You  Tell’Us!  What are you doing to green-i-fy your life?  Do you feel like choices like this make a difference or is it all hogwash?  Discuss!

Turtle photo above courtesy of


2 thoughts on “It’s Not Easy Being Green: Re-usable Grocery Bags

  1. I LOVE the bags-in-a-tissue box idea! Where did you learn that or did you come up with it yourself?


    • Hi, Kimberly –

      Isn’t that such a great idea? Feel free to steal it! I’m kind of fuzzy now on where I saw it, but it probably came from this website:

      She has really great ideas and has been known to re-use a tissue box (or four) for all kinds of things! Especially some of the cuter ones with fun patterns and the like!

      The nice thing about using a square tissue box is that it’s very cabinet friendly – you can fit it almost anywhere and stuff those bags in there so they don’t litter everything – sheesh, they multiply like bunnies, too!


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