Eco Friendly Shopping Bags ~ Here’s Why You Should Use Them

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eco friendly shopping bags – Lately, it seems like “going green” is everywhere.

Companies, charitable organizations and even individuals are increasingly committed to saving the environment.

For the uninitiated, it’s overwhelming.

Is it truly necessary to give up your car, retrofit your house with solar panels and cultivate a vegetable garden to be more environmentally responsible?

Eco Friendly Shopping Bags is one of the easiest ways to start “going green”.

While all of these are great ideas, they are somewhat extreme for the person who is just beginning to take part in the environmentally friendly movement.

Why not begin the process by making one easy, convenient change?

Switching to eco friendly shopping bags is the ideal place to start.

eco friendly shopping bags

You’ve seen these reusable bags everywhere.

People carry them while commuting on the bus, and they also bring them to the grocery store, farmer’s market and the mall.

They are bigger and more durable than the average plastic grocery bag.

That means you can use them again and again without wearing them out.

In fact, most of these eco friendly shopping bags can stand up to years of continued use.

Making the switch to reusable bags from paper or plastic is a cinch.

They are available everywhere, and they come in an endless array of colors and styles.

A reusable shopping bag just might become your favorite accessory, and it’s the kind of fashion statement you can feel good about making.

That’s because environmentally friendly shopping bags don’t have the same drawbacks that paper and plastic bags do.

Despite the fact that paper bags are generally seen as more acceptable than plastic bags, they have a lot of the same detrimental features.

Manufacturing paper bags requires cutting down enormous numbers of trees each year, and the construction process releases harmful toxins into the air.

The process by which plastic bags are made is similarly hurtful to the atmosphere.

Moreover, plastic bags are petroleum based, putting undue strain on a limited and non-renewable resource.

Paper and plastic bags are recyclable.

Nonetheless, the overwhelming majority of them end up in the landfill.

Still others simply become litter.

In these circumstances, plastic bags are particularly harmful.

They clog drain pipes and sewers.

They also present a danger to marine life and other wild animals.

Clearly, eco friendly shopping bags are the smarter alternative to paper and plastic.

They’re made from biodegradable materials, and just one reusable bag prevents the circulation of literally thousands of plastic bags.

Make the switch today to ensure a greener tomorrow.

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Eco friendly shopping bags

Green shopping bags are popping up everywhere.

You see them at the grocery store, in farmers markets and even at the mall.

Some grocery stores give discounts to customers who bring their own bags.

Progressive cities, including Bellingham, WA, have even banned the use of plastic bags in an effort to persuade consumers to choose reusable bags.

If you’re like many people, you’re probably wondering where the push to use green shopping bags comes from.

Why is their use so desirable over plastic bags?

eco friendly shopping bags

The reasons for ditching plastic bags are many.

The manufacturing process that results in a finished plastic bag involves petroleum.

This non-renewable resource is in short supply, and when it must be diverted to factories that make plastic bags, consumers feel the pain in higher prices at the gas pump.

Plastic bag production has other hazards, such as the toxins that the process releases into the atmosphere.

The end of the life cycle for these bags isn’t much more attractive.

They aren’t biodegradable, and they can take as long as 1,000 years to fully decompose.

Reusable shopping bags, on the other hand, feature many distinct advantages.

On an aesthetic level, these bags are more attractive.

They come in incredible varieties of size, shape, color and pattern.

Some people have started seeing reusable bags as part of their daily fashion statement.

On a more functional note, many reusable bags have the equivalent capacity of three to four plastic bags.

They are more durable than their plastic counterparts, and their handles are much stronger, enabling you to load up the bag without fear of destroying it.

Many of these bags are able to stand on their own thanks to a stable base.

Unlike a plastic bag, you can set down a reusable bag without spilling the contents.

Best of all, reusable bags are made using environmentally friendly ingredients.

Some are even composed of recycled materials.

When the reusable bag has reached the end of its life, which typically lasts several years, it can easily be recycled.

Even the manufacturing process that creates these shopping bags is environmentally friendly.

No petroleum products are used, and no harmful toxins are released into the atmosphere.

There are so many ways to go green at home and while out and about.

With so many advantages to using green shopping bags, it’s no surprise that so many consumers are making the switch.

Take the proactive approach by seeking out a few stylish bags to use on your next shopping trip.

Going Green This Summer
Going Green This Summer

Choose a Reusable Bag for Green Travel and Shopping

How to Choose a Reusable Bag for Green Travel and Shopping – 5 trillion plastic bags are produced each year and the vast majority get thrown away according to World Watch Institute.

That’s a lot of plastic.

Luckily, more people are switching to reusable bags.

Given the unbelievable number of options when choosing a reusable bag, it’s not always easy to know which one to buy.

So we’ve put together this handy guide to help you choose a reusable bag.

Primary Use of Reusable Bag

The first question to ask yourself when looking for a green bag is:

What am I going to use my reusable bag for?

Grocery shopping?

Daily tote?

Random shopping spree?

Travel?

Unfortunately, I have yet to find the perfect bag for every occasion (if you’ve seen it, let me know) so I have several types of bags that I use depending on the circumstance.

Reusable Grocery Shopping Bags

For planned trips to the grocery store, I find that short and deep bags made out of durable material work best.

Reusable Grocery Shopping Bags Size and Shape:

The bags that are about 6-8 inches deep, 12+ inches tall, and 12+ inches wide work especially well for carrying cartons of milk, juice, and other heavy products.

Look for grocery bags that have sturdy bottoms that don’t bend when heavy products are placed at the bottom.

Reusable Grocery Shopping Bags Weight and Material:

Because I don’t carry grocery bags with me on a daily basis, the weight/bulkiness of bags doesn’t matter too much.

However, insulated bags are particularly handy.

As are compartmentalized reusable bags with spaces for wine bottles.

Reusable Grocery Shopping Bags Design:

Frankly, if my grocery bag is ugly, it doesn’t really matter.

Good thing too, because few reusable grocery bags have fun patterns on them.

Reusable Grocery Shopping Bags What to Buy:

Free reusable grocery bags tend to work just as well as any you’ll buy.

I got mine from a Discovery Channel booth at a Green Expo.

Most grocery stores also sell their own brand of reusable bags.

Online you can find numerous options for reusable grocery shopping bags in sets, combos with insulated and wine bags set, or just single decorated grocery bag.

Reusable grocery bags tend to be the cheapest of all reusable bags with most bags costing under $2.

Reusable Shopping Bags and Travel Bags

Whether wandering the streets of Tokyo or browsing the aisles of a hometown boutique, you need a reusable travel bag tucked away for unplanned purchases.

Reusable Shopping Bags and Travel Bags Size and Shape:

Small and compact.

There is no way around this one — unlike reusable grocery shopping bags which are fine if they’re fairly bulky, a reusable shopping bag for shopping or travel needs to be very small and very compact so you can shove it away in the depths of your purse or backpack.

I like bags that crumple into a small self-contained storage compartment.

Reusable Shopping Bags and Travel Bags Weight and Material:

The lighter the better.

Again, because you’re carrying this bag with you all the time, you want the lightest and thinnest material possible.

Reusable Shopping Bags and Travel Bags Design:

Reusable shopping bags come is a wide variety of patterns and colors.

Shop around and you’ll find a design you like.

Reusable Shopping Bags and Travel Bags What to Buy:

Look for bags that tuck into themselves like the Flip and Tumble or cinch into a small pouch.

We own several Baggu bags and they work really well.

Several Twitterers (see below) suggested Envirosax bags.

Daily Tote Bag

If transporting your lunch to work, carrying extra work home, or bringing a change of clothes for the after work work-out, daily totes are indispensable.

Daily Tote Bag Size and Shape:

For daily totes the size and shape of the bag is completely up to you.

I prefer fairly flat bags with less depth, but figure out what you’re transporting and what you need to fit in it.

Daily Tote Bag Weight and Material:

For a daily tote you want a bag that’s durable and washable.

We own several organic cotton bags that are sturdy enough for a stack of library books and can be thrown in the wash when the leftover curry from lunch spills.

Daily Tote Bag Design:

Whether hopping on the subway or sneaking into work a few minutes late people are going to notice your daily tote.

Find a design that says something about you or the issues you care about.

Daily Tote Bag What to Buy:

Like reusable grocery shopping bags, daily totes are often giveaways.

But remember, just because something is free don’t take it if you don’t need it.

If you don’t get one for free, buy one from a cause you support — such as NPR — or get one free with a donation to a cause — like Pet Charities (through PetSmart).

Reusable Bags Who Likes What

We asked folks on Twitter for their reusable bag recommendations and here are the answers we received:

@katonahgreen love plain bag from ecolution from organic cotton. use for shopping, and washing dedicates in!

and have one from chico bag- works great, wish it were more eco-friendly material

@ghtravelblog I’ve got plenty, tops are canvas bags from TJ’s or the heavy plastic ones from Whole Foods.

@jclynes envirosax bags! They’re totes that fold and snap up to fit in your purse. Cute designs too! Www.envirosax.com

@EKricfalusi ChicoBag! Love them. Light but strong, Roll up into compact form. Loop and carabiner for storage/carrying. www.chicobag.com

@cartmanmacduff The ones I don’t have to buy, I don’t mind advertising for companies that give away their reusable shopping bags. Its fair deal

@chrisjoeytotes www.joeytotes.com but I am a little biased

@IsabellesTravel If you mean a reusable shopping bag, I like the ones from Envirosax!

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Eco Bags and Green Bags: Sustainable Materials

If you’re looking for the greenest of reusable bags you’ll want to carefully consider the type of material the bag is made from.

Options include bags made from recycled plastic bottles, organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, and more.

But, before you immediately opt for the more sustainable material, realize that what is greenest isn’t always apparent.

For example, Treehugger points out that canvas bags require a lot of energy and water to produce and have more of an impact than polyester or polypropylene.

What’s your favorite reusable bag?