With the green movement in full swing, we as consumers are surrounded by green alternatives to the things we have always used. Some examples of this are the new Starbucks splash sticks, green cleaning solutions and cloth grocery bags.
Personally I think this whole green movement is a bit of a buzzword filled farce to keep consumers interested in the same old products or companies but I digress..
Reusable grocery bags first started to appear in Walmart stores across the nation in late 2007. They cost $1 each and are meant to be brought back to the store each shopping trip and used instead of using the plastic grocery bags.
The benefits of reusable grocery bags are mostly environmental. The bags use less energy to produce and are meant to be reused. The bags are also made of canvas and therefore won’t rip in the event there is something heavy or sharp in them.
The immediate downside that I see to the reusable bags is that they are inconvenient. You have to remember to put them back into the car when you are heading to the grocery store. They are also smaller and less flexible than a plastic grocery bag and I would guess that sometimes you may buy something that is too oddly shaped to fit into the reusable bag.
Here are the reasons we don’t use them. They cost money. We are a frugal family and try to avoid unnecessary costs. Reusable bags are an unnecessary cost. When we go shopping, we fill at least 10 plastic grocery bags because we wait till we absolutely need to go shopping before going. That’s a $10 cost if we switched to reusable bags and were able to squeeze all our groceries into them.
The second reason is that I know myself. I know that I will forget to bring the reusable bags and will then have to use the plastic bags anyway. If I was devout in using the reusable bags, I might even purchase more if I forgot to bring those previously purchased. I know some people that thought they could handle the hassle and now have 30 reusable bags sitting in their garage. They have resorted back to plastic bags.
The main reason we prefer the plastic grocery bags is that we reuse them! Bags don’t have to be made of canvas or whatever for you to make good use of them. We have been saving and reusing plastic grocery bags since we first started shopping. We use them to store things in closets or pack things in when we travel. We also use them to organize some of our hobbies that come with baggage. We have dozens of other uses for the plastic bags we save!
My point being things don’t have to be made to be reusable for you to reuse them. Long before everything was greenwashed people reused stuff, believe it or not. Some people have and always will do things that are conservative and naturally protect the environment and others will ignore all the green hype and still throw their crap on the highway from their Hummer.
In your experience are reusable bags worth the cost and effort? br>