Grocery Bags

Not realizing the size of my own carbon footprint, I have begun taking my own recyclable bags into the grocery store every week when I buy my groceries. This is a baby step towards a “greener me” but it’s an important one.

More and more stores are selling these recyclable canvas bags and usually they are reasonably priced. Stores like Fred Meyer, WinCo, and even Costco have their own bags that they sell which of course you can use at any other store. Sometimes the stores even give them away for free with a purchase of a certain amount of groceries. One of the best reasons to bring your own bags is because it takes an average of 15 to 1000 years for 1 plastic grocery bag go decompose. That is just 1 plastic grocery bag! Using paper bags really isn’t a step up either when it comes to being environmentally friendly. Also according to “plastic bags don’t biodegrade but are at risk for degradation” which is releasing toxic particles from the bags ( The website also claims that 10% of the waste that is found on the beaches are plastic bags.

When deciding on purchasing recyclable bags, watch out for bags that are not made from 100% recyclable products. Lots of the bags that are for sale may contain partial recyclable materials, but they aren’t 100%. This is a type of greenwashing since companies advertise their bags are “environmentally friendly” or “safe for the environment” but actually aren’t.

Not only do I earn $.06 for every bag I bring in the store, I also am carrying fewer bags into my house. I use an average of 5 bags every week for my family of four which is a savings of $0.30 off my grocery bill. Plus the bonus is the canvas bags hold a lot more than the plastic or paper bags so that means fewer trips for me!

~Melanie P.

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