Grocery bags!

Recently I wrote about my interest in using fewer water bottles and plastic bags. The plastic bag issue seemed like the harder of the two, since both the grocery store and paperboy seem to provide them relentlessly into my home. I did find a recycling center for plastic bags, so at least I can recycle the ones I can’t avoid getting. I figured that the other half of the puzzle would be finding good reusable grocery bags that I could take to the store. I’d still get the plastic produce bags, but would avoid the grocery sacks themselves.

The problem is, where to find such a bag? As busy as I have been lately with work and travel, I decided the Universe would most likely have to help me out with this one if I was going to make any near-term progress on it. And, strangely or perhaps synchronistically enough, it did.


I was doing a public meeting in the new Vancouver WA Hilton, a very nice hotel across from a very pleasant park, surrounded on all sides by brand-new condos with store-fronts below them. Since it was a nice sunny day, I went for a walk in the park, and noticed that one of the storefronts was an actual farmer’s market – small, but with a good selection of veggies and flowers.

And there, lo and behold, they had these great grocery bags, called “One bag at a time”. The little tag on the bag gives the bad news about plastic bags and how they’re taking over the earth, and how paper bags have their own problems, which was quite eye-opening. The bag itself is made of polypropylene, is very sturdy and voluminous, feels nice in the hand, and is a dark green color. Best of all, it’s machine washable. Overall it seemed like it would stand up quite well over time and even retain its appearance if things got spilled in or on it.

So, the Universe came through – I bought four for myself, two for a friend, and convinced a co-worker to buy a couple. Next, a trip to the grocery store to see what the clerks think of using them instead of their own bags…


4 thoughts on “Grocery bags!

  1. judithornot says:

    It’s taken a while, but our local grocery stores (including a Safeway) are now happy to bag in our cloth (and even recycled paper) bags. In fact, Safeway will give you 3 cents credit for each bag used, and the local market gives us 5 cents credit each. The hard part for us is remembering to put the bags BACK in the car after we’ve used them (or to pick them up on the way out the door).

  2. Yes, I’m thinking about putting a hook by the door to the garage and hanging them on it, so it will be easier to remember!

  3. meowmansion says:

    Cool bag!!
    Now we give our plastic bags to the farmers market for reuse there, but I’d rather find something like you did – we have 2 or 3 little bags but it’s hard to remember to take them to the store – does this bag hold quite a bit? (thinking canned cat food here)
    You are inspiring – will search out my bags!

  4. Freesparrow says:

    In Australia most supermarkets now have alternative, strong, reusable and capacious bags for everyone to use. They are similar to the one you’ve pictured but you have to buy them at the store.

    Some stores now charge people if they have to use plastic bags. At a very local level, groups of traders band together, agreeing to ban the use of plastic bags in their shopping precincts but this is certainly not universal.

    Now, all we need to do is stop the use of the plastic by the bottled water companies!

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