8.31.2007

Do you want 100 billion?

Every year Americans throw away approximately 100 billion plastic bags. Less than 1% of plastic bags ever get recycled. It's a scary thought to know that so much of our garbage is made up of things that don't need to be there.

Of course we should be using less of these plastic bags for groceries and such. I know some grocery stores are staring to charge for use of their plastic bags and others will give you a credit if you bring in your own to use. I've saved a bunch to take with me next time we shop, but somehow I keep forgetting to take them with us. Hopefully tomorrow it will happen.

And the other alternative is to forget the plastic bags completely and go with reusable canvas tote bags. I would like to eventually do this, but right now I only have about 3 canvas bags and since we only shop once every 2 weeks or so, that wouldn't even be close to enough. So we're working towards finding several more tote bags.

So right now, like many of you, we are stuck using plastic bags even though they are terrible for the planet. To cut down on the waste that the bags create, I try to think of other ways to atleast reuse the bags once I have them. I've come up with several, which you may or may not already do, but I thought I'd share them with you.

Reuse plastic bags to:
  • Scoop up dog poo
  • Wrap up diapers
  • Keep one in your car to collect garbage
  • Line small garbage cans
  • Use them as packaging material when mailing items
  • Stuff out of season purses to keep their shape when packed away
  • Hold wet clothes/towels after a trip to the pool or beach
  • Transport items
  • Pretend shopping for kids (My daughter loves to pack & unpack bags... with supervision, of course!)
  • Wrap up old (hazardous) materials from your fridge
  • Hold dirty clothes when traveling
  • Use as puke bag
  • Take lunch to school or work
  • Carry books to and from the library
  • Scoop up cat litter
  • Make a boo boo ice pack
  • Hold home-made ice in a cooler for a picnic so you don't have to buy ice

Do you have any ideas of your own? Leave them in the comments so we can all benefit.