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Jun 22, 2008

The new B.Y.O.B.

Welcome to my latest installment of "just a little green!" 

I'd like to thank "chelle" who is the one that came up with that title for my new Sunday feature. Can you believe it was the first suggested title and it ended up being my favorite?   Not only does it tie nicely into my blog name, but also, I love that it reinforces that even the smallest little things that you can do make a difference.  It also was important to me to let you all know that I never want to be preachy about this, just talk a little about what we're doing here at our house!  Chelle please send me an email at when you have a moment! Thanks!

That being said, I'd like to thank each and every one of you that came up with a title suggestion, and for all of your support on this new adventure for my family.  I hope that you'll continue to tune in, let me know if you're joining in on what we're doing, or have any advice to lend on this subject!  


So the new BYOB?? Well, its for Bring Your Own Bags!  I know I spoke a little last week about my love for my reusable bags last week, but I'd just like to share with you just WHY they're so great.

Of course, I think its fabulous that every time I bring my own bags, its one less that ends up in a landfill somewhere! That IS the point right?

However, I also love that I can carry a whole weeks worth of groceries in only SIX reusable bags. No more crummy plastic bags ripping and letting my groceries fall to the ground.  No more having to make fifteen trips in and out of my garage, over the stairs with those junky trashy bags that hold if you're lucky, three items.   

In the event that something does spill in my bag, I just throw it in the wash!  

We recently picked up some mesh produce bags and they're excellent too!  Especially not having to fiddle with that bag contraption in the produce department, or fight with the bag to see which end is the side that opens.  

I'm not sure what your store's policy is, but where I shop, I get a credit off my bill for every bag that I bring of my own.  In fact, my husband tells me that when he shops at the market in Germany, there is a surcharge for every bag that you have to take form the store, because they just expect you to bring your own.  

One day, with a great "a ha!" I walked back out of Target to pick up my bags realizing that they weren't just for groceries after all.  By the way, if you've seen a Target bag lately, you'll see a big list on the side of all the things you can do to reuse the bag. about just not taking one in the first place??  Giggle

The first ten times you shop with them, you'll forget them in the car and go back out for them. But then suddenly, it will become habit and you'll wonder why we haven't always had them.

On a recent trip to the supermarket, my son's friend came along.  As we got out of the car and reached into the trunk for the bags the friend said "Um? What are THOSE?" and I explained that they were our own reusable grocery bags.  My eldest chirped up (happy to repeat the family mantra) "For every bag we don't take from the store, its one less in the garbage."  We did get a look from this boy like we were completely nuts, but then as my son slung a bag over his shoulder to help shop his friend pitched in with "Um, can I please have my own bag too??"  

Last month, at Whole Foods, I was thrilled to see a sign that noted that in the previous week, at that location, customers used over SIX THOUSAND reusable bags in the store, in just one week. Oh was I so happy!  Figure six thousand bags from just that store, from just one week avoided landfills.  I called the store today to see if they had the latest update on bags saved this week, I can apparently get that figure on Monday morning.  

So, if you don't already own a few reusable totes, you can pick some up at the store on your next shop, or pick some up online.  My husband found ours on ebay, but I just googled reusable bags, and found this great site. Trust me, you'll love them.  The planet will too!

Next Sunday, I'll be here to tell you how my husband was able to commute to work for only ten dollars of gasoline for two full weeks!  

12 Comments    Post a Comment:

Dani said...

I looove this feature of your blog! Thanks for sharing so many great ideas! I did the same exact thing you did... left my bags in the car and had to run out and get them... multiple times! :) And I, too, have started using them at Target! I dunno why I didn't think of that sooner, huh? :) Target even sells their own reusable bags, although by now I have so many other ones I don't need them!

Jackie said...

I totally agree with you about the bags, I try to use them as much as I can. They are sturdier and easier to carry, and so inexpensive! I keep mine in the front seat and still forget them sometimes but I am getting better at remembering. Thanks so much for sharing your "green" ideas and I look forward to hearing about that gas savings!

Pegg S said...

I love that you are sharing your green tips! I realized that shopping for clothes too - I should bring my own bag. At least with plastic bags (if I forget my own) I reuse them for garbage bags .. but with the paper bags from the mall - those are just useless for anything else!

MelissaS said...

Thanks for this post! When we lived in Ireland a couple of years ago, we got into the habit of bring our bags out of necessity. There, they also charge you for each bag you use at the store. Back home in the States, we now get a discout for each bag we reuse at the grocery, and they are so much easier to pack!! I have not had to purchase any bags - I use what I get at work conferences and places like that :)

Allison said...

I love this feature about your blog! We too try to do a lot to try to abe "green." We don't use reusable bags, but we use the green bins that you can buy at Superstore here in Canada. Takes only 3 to hold all of our groceries. They cost $5 each to originally purchase but are well worth it to save the environment - plus to discourage plastic bags, they charge $0.11 for every one you need to bag your groceries.
We use them when we go elsewhere as well, or just say no bag. It amazes me that people get a bag just for small things like a CD that you can easily carry in your hand or purse!

Eveline said...

Good for you, going green, if they started charging money for grocery bags in the US, everybody would have re-usable bags wihtin a week. I use collapsable crates, you can put a lot of groceries in them and in Holland you get charged too when you want a store bag. When we lived in Tucson I always asked for paper bags and I re-used those for lots of thing.
Keep up the good work and if you want advice, ask me, we are pretty green over here.

Amanda said...

I love the name for your sunday feature and I'm totally excited that you're doing this!! I have always believed that every little thing makes a difference and it's often hard to get others to see that. We can't change the world all at once but if everyone does just a little, all those little things add up!!! All my little things have snowballed into LOTS of things and I normally drive my husband insane about all the things that I recycle or reuse (like bringing all the stuff from work to recycle) but over our 12 year relationship, he as followed me down this "save the earth" road. I have gone from "I can't change the world, but I can change the world in me" to "if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem!!" So, you can see, I've become quite obsessed and opinionated about being green!!! :) Keep up the good work!! I love checking your blog everyday!!

Chelle said...

Wheeeeeee! Glad you liked my suggestion!

I try to remember the reusable bags, but I keep forgetting to put them back in the car. Hopefully I'll start remembering to use them more often :) Looking forward to your next green post!

Lisa_in_AR said...

Here's another tip. Next time you forget your reusable bags in the car, ask the cashier to just place all your items unbagged back into the grocery cart. Then you bag them up at the car. If you have to do this just once, I bet you'll remember the next time. It's a little extreme, but you won't forget again.
I've had a few occasions recently where people have seen me going in or out of the grocery store with my bags and that reminded them to go back and get theirs.

audra k said...

Jo--love the new blog. Thanks for all the inspiration! I am loving the reusable bags. Can't say how many times I still get quizzical looks from store employees (tjmaxx and target) when I ask for no bag or bring my own. It'll just take a while to catch on, I guess. This week was my first week composting. I decreased the trash by half! Even my skeptical DH was surprised. ;-)audra

Donna said...

I love your new feature (in case I hadn't said it yet) I totally LOVE the reusable bags! I keep several in my car at all times so I can use them WHEREVER I shop. I smile everytime I see someone bring theirs in. I noticed Costco has theirs too (much bigger & sturdier) that I will get on my next trip (but for now the grocery ones worked just fine) cute story with your son's friend

Jana Weaver said...

Hey Jo...I love the name and the logo. Verz cute!! I like my reusable bags here, and will be excited to go back to Trader Joe's when back in CA using them. Now that I'm used to it, I can't imagine not having them!!
I hope you are can see the latest on me over at my blog..but I'm typing on a german keyboard which is quite tricky.


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