One of the first major changes our family made was related to how we shopped and brought home our purchases. We decided to invest in some reusable shopping bags. Before I talk about that, I need to get on my soapbox and talk about how using reusable bags is received in the marketplace. Many times, I can see the irritation, disdain and even panic (yes, panic) on the face of the cashier who realizes I have these bags. To deal with this, I have learned to pack them the best that I can and then offer (sometimes insist) to pack my items myself. I know it embarrasses my husband sometimes but I don’t care – I’m not going to take plastic bags just because they don’t know how to deal with my reusable ones. I find it especially unacceptable in stores that sell the bags. Is there no training or meeting about them? Alternately, in places like Wal-Mart that offer “self check-out” I do the whole thing myself just to avoid the whole thing.
Anyway, let’s talk about the bags. The green one (pictured above) is from Sobey’s/IGA. These are my favorite bags. I do have some from Calgary Co-Op and Safeway but they do not measure up to the Sobey’s ones. These bags are large, easy to pack and can stand on their own. Because they aren’t fabric, they do not leak. The disadvantage is that they cannot be washed like the others can, so you have to decide what your needs are. They are also guaranteed for life. To learn more about the bags, click here.
If you need or prefer a fabric bag, I would have to suggest the ones made by President’s Choice (the black one pictured to the right). They are made with 85% post-consumer recycled plastic which I find incredible. The bags are very roomy but they can be more difficult to pack since they do not stand alone. Still, being able to wash the bag is a major perk. We have a good number of these bags and I really like them. To learn more, click here.
Once we started using the bags, we realized that we needed something else. We buy a lot of melons and they took up too much space in our bags. Plus, there are items that are too large for the bags so we knew we needed something else. What did we get? These fabulous green bins! We do a lot of our shopping at places like M&M Meat Shops and Costco and our items fit very nicely into these bins. They are also made by President’s Choice and they can be purchased from retailers that carry PC products, such as Superstore and Loblaws. They are very versatile and if you buy more than one, they stack nicely in the trunk (we even store our reusable bags inside of them). To learn more, click here.
We are very committed to eliminating plastic bags and I cannot even begin to explain how good it feels to make this change. I feel proud when I notice the curious looks I get from other shoppers at the checkout counter. I feel like I’m sending a message without having to say a single word!