Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Green Challenge is back.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

I’ve tried a couple products and have some more on the way. (I SO heart you, Internet Shopping!) So the upcoming weeks will be filled with eco-friendly product reviews.

I’ve also still been trying to change my unfriendly habits. The area I have been really trying to improve on lately is grocery shopping.

Normally, I go to Cub Foods for my dairy, meat and produce. Then I go to Wal-Mart for the non-perishables (So Much Cheaper!). This usually leaves me with about 20 plastic bags that I have absolutely no use for (because I already have so many). I recycle the bags, but it’s always better to Reduce before Reusing and Recycling. So when Cub Foods offered their Cub canvas tote bags 2/$7, I managed to get the last one.

It has been wonderful! I never imagined it would save so many bags. I can fit almost everything from one trip into the bag and have used it at least five times. It makes me feel really good to walk out of the store using it.

I still need to find a solution to Wal-Mart’s excess baggage. Since they started recycling their bags, the bags have been weaker. The cashiers solve this by using two. I think my only solution is going to be to buy another tote (or do you think it would be okay to use my Cub bag there??) and make them let me bag my own stuff. Knowing how many bags I save at Cub makes it hurt that much more when I walk out of Wally’s with three times that.

I’ve also been trying to cut out the extra packaging. The kids take sack lunches to school so this isn’t very easy. I’ve been on the lookout for those little single serve holders for Pringles – something I saw EVERY time I went shopping before and now that I want them can’t find them for the life of me. Chips are not even the worst of it, though. They usually take a cereal bar and juice box as well. Thankfully, school is almost out and I won’t have to worry about that until next year. And then hopefully next year, I’ll be able to get them all kinds of reusable containers during School Shopping Season.

We’ve also been working on our meat consumption but that’s a whole different post!

Want to get your hands on a canvas tote? I did some searching and found these:

Amazon.com has a wide variety. But these are my favorite.

These are from ECOBAGS. What I loved most was reading the reviews and seeing that both people had the same comment about feeling good walking out of the store.
I also found ECOBAGS’ website, where they are slightly cheaper (and you get a deal when you buy more) – I didn’t, however, check shipping costs, which could make it a toss up on who is cheaper.

Uncommon Goods has a cute Cowgirls bag for $20.

Then there is the Eco-Friendly bag Superstore, Reusablebags.com, where you can not only find a wide variety of reusable bags, but you can also get the activist’s kit for $3 (plus shipping).

For more information on using plastic shopping bags, check out this website or Ideal Bite.

As you may have already guessed, this weeks’ Green Challenge is to look at your own shopping and find one way to make it more eco-friendly. Maybe pick up a tote, or buy something in bulk and put it in your own individual containers at home. Or, if you don’t already recycle your plastic bags, you can start doing that! ;)


Sugar Kane said...

2 weeks ago I bought my very first tote! Great minds think a like!!

I hadn't thought about the waste that comes from the 'convenient' snack packs I send in Magoo's lunch. You always give me something new to think about.

Oh, and I think it's perfectly fine to carry your Cubs Food bag in Walmart.

Brillig said...

Yay for Green Challenge Tuesday!!! I've missed it!!

I agree with Sugar Kane, that it's perfectly acceptable to use your Cubs Food bag at Walmart.

And I suppose I really ought to look into a tote or two. I try to remember to recycle my plastic bags, but I agree that it's better to reduce than to recycle. I'll get right on that...

Worker Mommy said...

I love the idea of buying in bulk and using my own packaging/containers at home. So simple and efficient yet its something I've really failed to do to date.
Aah, and like Brillig I need to get right on the reducing and the recycling of the plastic bags! I have way too many in the cabinet under the sink...tote bags here I come!

Kelly said...

Walmart here has self-checkouts, so I think it would be easy to use my own bag. Great idea!

Shauna said...

I totally agree with the bags being made flimsier - so they use two! I need to get some of those reusable bags. Thanks for the links!

Cherann said...

I like the bags I bought at Albertsons. They're really nice, roomy and so far they've been durable. (I'm not sure what Albertsons is called in other states thought)

Casmee said...

I don't use any special bag. I have lots of canvas totes mainly promotianal items nothing fancy and i tend to use those a lot. It doesn't have to be a cute bag but it helps if it is. I use my very cute Whole Foods one a lot. makes me feel virtuous.

Casmee said...

I don't use any special bag. I have lots of canvas totes mainly promotianal items nothing fancy and i tend to use those a lot. It doesn't have to be a cute bag but it helps if it is. I use my very cute Whole Foods one a lot. makes me feel virtuous.