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.