Thursday, August 14, 2008

Shopping Green: Product Review

I wonder how many plastic grocery bags there are in the world? I wonder if I could even count the number in my ever bulging "bag cabinet"? I swear they're like Tribbles in there - proliferating exponentially - until they one day burst forth from their dark prison and drown me alive. Yikes. Scary.

Happily, I think I've found a way to prevent such a coup.

I started to feel badly about the excess of plastic in my life while watching the Live Earth concert last summer and decided to do something about it. I immediately went online and did a search for reusable shopping bags ... and wouldn't you know there's a site with just that name? I'm sure there are plenty of other such vendors out there in cyberland, but Reusable Bags was the first one I found and my search began and ended there.

I purchased a set of the Acme Workhorse compact bags, and they really are a wonder to behold. They fold up into nice, neat, compact squares and can easily fit in your purse or pockets. Once opened they can hold a stunning amount of groceries - even the heavy stuff like milk and juice. I can't say enough good things about them. Sure, at first it felt a little funny to have to stop the bagger and tell them I've brought my own bag. But, fortunately, this is becoming more of a common occurrence and the baggers no longer look at me like I'm a kook. The only downside is that I have to remember to refold them and put them back in my purse.

I'd like to say I've converted 100%, but the truth is I'm running fifty - fifty at best. I am trying though and that's the important thing! Even 50% is better than no percent and I feel that I have tamed the bag beast to some degree. (At least I no longer fear their eventual take-over.)

My Acme bags also came with a package of Evert-Fresh Green Bags which I promptly threw in a drawer and forgot about for year. Big Mistake. I saw a commercial the other day for another brand of green bags and suddenly realized that I had a package of these things lying around somewhere and went off to unearth them. Surprisingly, I knew just where they were and decided to give them a whirl. Wow, what an amazing product!

The green bags work exactly as advertised: they extend the life of fresh produce by miles! Since I'm cooking for two here, it is often the case that we have trouble using all of the fresh produce before it goes bad. Radishes are especially prone to refrigerator-death here in Divaland. I love them, but I only eat one a day in my salad and they come in great bunches. Its so sad to see their shriveled little carcases wasting away in the vegetable bin. Well, no more! I put them in a green bag last week and they are as crisp as the day they were picked ... 7 days later. Color me green with happiness!

Now, I don't know if its counter-productive for me to be endorsing one kind of plastic, while urging a move away from another ... but a quick browse of the Evert-Fresh details on that link seems to suggest that they *are* a green product; not simply in color but in effect as well.

Here's what I do know: last week I paid $8.00 for two organic bell peppers - if the Evert-Fresh Green Bags are able to preserve my investment (and they are), then viva la green plastic! This is one plastic product that's welcome in my kitchen.

Which brings us to the question of the day: how have you gone green? Shout it out in the comments.


Sass said...

Hats off to you! I've been wondering about the Green Fresh bag things.

I actually am asking my Brownie troop to bring me their plastic bags and we're going to make reusable beach bags out of them, to recycle them. It's a really cute idea I saw in Family Fun. I'm sure I'll manage to make some sort of mistake, but it'll help us reuse something like 15 plastic bags per beach bag.

Wish me luck! :-)

The Diva on a Diet said...

What a great idea for a troop project. Will you weave them into a larger bag or something? I think it sounds like fun. Let us know how they turn out!

Deb said...

We bring all our plastic bags back to the store and place in the recycle bin there. We also recycle our egg cartons and our municipal trash service collect plastic, glass, cans and paper which we dutifully put in our recycle bins for weekly pickup. WE try very hard to be responsible with water usage via the wet yourself, wash your hair, rinse and then wash the body while turning the shower off and on. We also turn off lights unless we're in a room. I guess we could try the reusable bag thing also. I'm off to check out the web site!



Ah, I have a massive shopping bag made out of 100% biodegradable materials and is also fairtrade that can ALSO put ALL of my shopping inside - and it's really cool. Oh, I'll never need a plastic bag again hopefully.

Scarlet x

The Diva on a Diet said...

Deb, how cool that your grocery store recycles the plastic bags. I think they all should offer and encourage that option. I'm very good about turning off lights, but the husband is a disaster ... and I have yet to break him of the habit!

Scarlet, WTG on your green shopping bag. I have one of those too that I like to leave in the car for unexpected shopping trips. Very cool indeed!

Frugal Wench said...

I'm so glad you're getting into reusable bags. I'm trying, but like a lot of people, I forget and leave them at home. I got some patterns to crochet some of those cool net bags, so I'll be starting on those soon, and trying to sell a few.

The Diva on a Diet said...

Great idea about crocheting the net bags, frugal wench. Let me know when you've got some made and I'll put up a link for you!