Make a Difference with Reusable Bags – By Actually Using Them


Image: pixabay under creative commons


Sometimes I feel like I’m addicted to bags.  Probably related to my affinity for all things storage (that I never use), but I love to collect reusable bags.  Something about the possibility it holds is enamoring.  Bags, which I stash in the closet, and never see the light of day.  This is a problem.

Unfortunately, if I really stop to think about all those bags, the environmental impact of each one is much higher than a simple plastic sack.  The manufacturing, the shipping…  yikes!  Studies have shown that reusable bag has a higher — much higher — footprint than those flimsy grocery sacks.


Image: pixabay via creative commons

The idea of reusable bags is that they actually get reused.  But the number of times they must be reused can be quite high before the carbon footprint actually equals out.  And at least for me, it never fails that when I need them (grocery shopping is the biggest culprit!) I do not have one handy.  I am absent minded.  And sometimes you just don’t know when you’re going to need a bag.

My solution: this bag from Ikea (neither an affiliate link nor an endorsement).  My parents surprised me with two of them about a year ago and I am pleased to report that my success rate with using reusable has improved dramatically.  They cost 99¢, are very lightweight, and have their own stuff-pouches that let them pack down where I can fit them easily in my small-ish purse and have them handy at all times.  I’ve used them at Wal-Mart.  I’ve used them at work.  I’ve used them so much we’ve actually run out of plastic bags at our house a few times.  I don’t know about you, but around here that is an amazing feat.

I’m sure there are more eco-friendly options out there.  I don’t know about the bags’ carbon footprint, or Ikea’s, or whether they were made with slave labor or unethical sourcing practices.  Please leave your alternate suggestions in the comments!  I do know sometimes I let not having the “perfect” solution keep me from finding a better solution.  These little bags are my better solution for the moment.

What about you?  Do you have a growing collection of reusable bags you don’t use?  How do you remember to take and use your reusable bags?  What is your go-to bag?




One Reply to “Make a Difference with Reusable Bags – By Actually Using Them”

  1. I reuse ALL of my bags! I save every one – walmart bags, crest bags, braums bags and any other bags I come across! I do about 80% of my grocery shopping at Aldi where you have to pack your own groceries so they all get used until they tear apart. The walmart style bags are what Nick uses to take his lunches in to work and they also are what we use in all the small trashcans throughout our house. My favorite bag is a large canvas bag that I got from the rainforest cafe for purchasing a build-a-bear animal there. It’s fun on the outside and big enough on the inside to hold all the other bags (less the walmart ones) that I keep so they’re handy in the car anytime I need to go grocery shopping.

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