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  1. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    78
    As soon as I read the first post, reusablebags.com popped into my head. It's a great site with lots of info and some cool bags and other thigns for sale. I'm pretty good about taking my own bags to the grocery store, but not so good about taking them to other stores like Target ot the mall or something. I am, however, quick to say "I don't need a bag" whenever I can.* I often feel like some sort of weirdo for carrying my cloth bags, especially my reusable mesh produce bags. I usually don't have a problem at the grocery store that I frequent the most, but I usually do have a problem anywhere else. I even once had a clerk tell me that I could put my stuff into my bags myself. Um, what's hard about putting my items into a sturdy canvas bag (that stands up by itself) instead of into a wimpy plastic one?

    The only thing I don't like about my bags is that most of them are not very attractive. I have dreams of making my own color coordinated set, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

    *Sometimes, I run into a salesclerk who insists that I take a bag "for my own good". I can only guess that they mean so that I won't be accused of shoplifting, but isn't that what my receipt is for? Once, when I declined a bag for the second time, the clerk made a clucking noise and muttered under her breath about how *her* mother always taught her to take a bag. The implication, of course, being that my upbringing was somehow lacking.

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  3. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    HNL
    Posts
    212
    Mesh bags and string bags are also very handy. String bags take up very little space, so it's easy to keep one in the glove box of the car or in a handbag. They expand like you would not believe! I also keep a small insulated lunch bag in the car, handy for perishables.

    Denim is good for bags too - I buy remnants at the fabric store.

    The co-op I work at takes used plastic shopping bags and offers them to customers for bagging. We have customers who bring in and reuse the same plastic shopping bags over and over too.

  4. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    330
    Here's another option I've been doing. I've been taking the plastic bags at the grocery store lately to use them as trashbags for my small little trash cans in the kitchen and bathroom. They fit perfectly and I haven't bought trash bags in three months!

  5. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    astoria, NY
    Posts
    65

    just use the bags!

    I live in NYC and no, we are NOT good examples of not using bags. Everything I get is double bagged, even if it is a package of toiletpaper.

    When I go to the grocery store, I bring a large canvas bag. Sometimes not everything fits in there, but usually it does (annd it's a good guage of how-much-is-my-weak-self-capable-of-carrying). I don't mind getting a couple bags if not everything fits because I use them for trash. I got a lot of double takes when I first started using the canvas bags, people asking me if I was from Europe or California, etc. Just brush it off.

    And if the bagger isn't bagging to your standards, just do it yourself. Think about it. The poor kid works for 6 bucks an hour and the last thing he wants is an old lady bitching to him when her bag splits on the way out the door, so of course he is going to play it safe. I have been bagging or helping bag my own groceries since I was a kid. It's not that hard, and you're being helpful, even if it is their job. Most cashiers aren't sure how to pack a canvas bag (I like to line up the boxes, etc, since I am actually walking it home -- that way they don't jab me in the side) so I like doing it myself anyway.

    I don't know why everyone doesn't use canvas bags, especially people with cars who can leave them in their trunks. So I say, start a movement. Use canvas bags unapologetically, and exercise your right to say "I don't need a bag!" (Although usually you have to graaaab the item before they bag it absentmindedly. Hehe.)

  6. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    155
    Tee hee. A supermarket in Australia brought out these non-woven spun-polyester 'greenbags' that they sell for $1 and Australia (or at least Melbourne where I live) have gone crazy over them. Everywhere you see people using them as tote bags. The things aren't even nice-looking! They're big green ugly things! But I use them too!

    Some of the fashion stores have cottoned onto the idea that if they bag their merchandise in pretty printed totes people will carry them around and essentially it's free advertising for the store.

  7. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    35
    I think that the Woolworths reusable bags are an not just an aus. thing because they are also being pushed here in NZ. Once woolworths started doing it a few of the other grocery chains took it up. I think originally woolworths was offering a few different designs of bags on the theory that if there was more choice in design there would be more chance that people would find one they liked and then use it.

  8. #17
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    berlin germany europe
    Posts
    15
    yeah, this is one of the things that shock us guys in europe when we come other - excessive bagging.
    here, everybody brings their own or has to pay for bags, between 30 cent and a dollar..so you bring your own.

  9. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    282

    Ancient One

    As probably the most ancient member of gc, and one with mortgage, spouse, kids, dogs, etc. I need to s-t-r-e-t-c-h my dollars as far as possible. We shop at Aldi for about 60% of our grocery items. There, you have to rent a cart/carriage for .25, which is refunded when you safely return the cart to it's stall. You must bring your own bags or purchase their's. Aldi has some awesome reusable very heavy plastic bags with nylon handles for .10 each. They also have nifty insulated bags for .99 each. You have to bag your own stuff, so I have no complaints.;)

    I bunch my Aldi bags up and keep them inside the cooler bag..in the back of my (gasp!) minivan..hey! we're making zebra printed seat covers for the minivan! Our Aldi bags are used for all sorts of carrying/hauling/lugging and because we knowingly pay for them, we do not "pitch" them. Bags which spring holes in them are used for beach toys, gardening bulbs, etc. BTW, new Aldi bags have really cool close up zoom photos of produce on them.

    I really need to make some canvas bags for use in non-Aldi stores. Might be a cool mini-business in my college town.....Our co-op/farmer's market had canvas bags for sale a few years ago. I bought some, but they all shrank to purse size after the first washing! Cute, but not useful.

  10. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Far away
    Posts
    462
    I think it's funny that the people working in the supermarket actually bag your groceries when you shop in the USA... :-) I work part time in a grocery store and I just scan the items and the person who shops has to pack her/his own stuff.

    Over here a lot of people bring their own bags - canvas ones (a lot of supermarkets actually sell canvas bags with their logo on them) or just re-use the shop's plastic bags. (We have to pay for the plastic bags but they're pretty sturdy and hold up well as garbage bags, so I sometimes buy one or two to use in my trash can. Or buy a paper bag if I have a lot of groceries, because I can re-use it to store papers for recycling) The store I work in saves the sturdy boxes some of the groceries (like bananas or bread) come in and put them by the cash register so that people can use those instead of bags if they have bought a lot of stuff. That's better for us who work there, too, because we don't have to tear all the boxes apart and carry them all to the recycling centre.

    I almost always put my groceries in my backpack; I just have a normal Eastpak but if you live alone you don't need a lot of groceries, so the backpack is usually enough for me. Much easier to carry too.

  11. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    NoVa
    Posts
    117
    I use nylon bags, canvas backs and backpacks (backpacks are wonderful for canned items which can get really heavy really quick)

    I hate shopping so if I go in for one item (like shampoo) I leave with one item and I dont take a bag. I grocery shop for the week and I ususally remember my canvas and nylon bags. I dont feel much like and odd duck, but then again this is probably the least eccentric thing I do to prevent waste.

    at the store I shop at alot there is a receptical for used plastic bags to be recycled. I have seen people drop off a load of bags then go into the store and load up brand new ones. talk about odd ducks!

    reusing bags helps me keep my budget too. If I only have 2 bags, I can only buy to bags worth of groceries.

    I also dont use produce bags unless the item is delicate (ie lettuce) or messy (ie raw chicken). I live alone so I ususally only need 1 cucumber or 1 head of cabbage at a time. Im sure you could stash some used plastic produce bags in with your canvas bags for produce.


 
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