Reusable shopping bags

Going Bagless for Earth Day!

Monday, April 22nd is Earth Day, and in honor of this fine holiday, we’re going bagless! The day will serve as a great reminder that there are many ways to bag your groceries, so why not choose the GREEN way? Please bring your baskets, reusable bags, repurposed cardboard boxes, or any grocery tote you prefer. If you forget, no problem; we’ll be giving away free reusable bags while supplies last, and we’ll also have repurposed cardboard boxes available.

Stop by the Co-op on 4/22 and enter our Raffle to win the earth friendly “Reusables Rejoice” prize pictured above!

Why bother with reusable grocery totes? Here are some interesting facts about disposable shopping bags:

While disposable paper and plastic bags seem awfully convenient, their cost to the environment can be hefty.

Plastic Bags

It is estimated that 5 trillion plastic bags are produced each year. Each plastic bag is used, on average, for about 20 minutes, though it takes a single bag over 1,000 years to completely decompose in a landfill. As it decomposes, it releases greenhouse gases into our atmosphere and releases harmful toxins into our soil and groundwater. Bags that don’t make it to the landfill litter the landscape and pose a significant threat to animal health and well-being; particularly for birds and aquatic life.

Plastic bags are quite commonly mistaken for food by animals, especially when the bags carry food residues, are brightly colored or are animated by the movement of water. A great variety of animals, land and especially marine, can choke to death on bags. If swallowed whole, animals may not be able to digest real food and die a slow death from starvation or infection. Plastic bags are responsible for the death of over a million seabirds and an estimated 100,000 whales, dolphins, turtles, and seals each year.

Americans throw away about 100 billion plastic bags annually. That is equivalent to dumping nearly 12 billion barrels of oil. But, what if you recycle them? That seems like a more environmentally-friendly way to go, right? Unfortunately, it takes 85 times more energy to recycle a plastic bag than it does to create it.

Paper Bags

Perhaps you opt for paper bags, instead of plastic. Those are better for the environment, right? Believe it or not, paper production creates 70% more pollution during production than plastic bags. One must also consider that paper bags are made from trees that could instead be absorbing carbon dioxide from our atmosphere if they weren’t busy becoming bags. The paper bag making process also results in 50 times more water pollutants than making plastic bags and uses more water during production.

While it’s true that plastic bags are made from crude oil, making a paper bag consumes four times as much energy as making a plastic bag, so the process of making paper bags consumes a good deal of oil as fuel for production, making both paper and plastic bags very oil-intensive products.

You can certainly recycle paper bags, though much like plastic bags, the process for recycling paper bags can be inefficient – often consuming more fuel than it would take to make a brand new bag.

In short, when it comes to the battle over which is greener, neither paper nor plastic has it in the bag.

Here are some great tips for remembering your reusable shopping bags:

  • Keep your bags in your car or purse so you have them every time you go out.
  • Make a note on your grocery list to grab the bags before you leave the house.
  • Get the kids in on it! Have them be the ones to get excited and bring the bags with them when you take them along shopping.
  • If you only have a couple of easy-to-carry items and are asked if you would like a bag,  say ” no, thank you”  If you are not asked if you would like a bag,  say “I don’t need a bag, thank you.” Simple.
  • If you do forget your reusable bags, check out the hallway area near the customer restroom. This area is often stocked with cardboard boxes from our deliveries, which are handy repurposed grocery totes.
  • Keep in mind, however, that to get the full greenhouse gas benefit from a reusable bag, it must be reused over 100 times. Reusable bags are energy-intensive to produce, but if you reuse them often over the years, the benefits really add up!
Bags to give away
Earth Balls Outside

Tips For Remembering Your Shopping Bags

We’ve all been there. You’re patiently waiting in the check-out line, hoping you’ve managed to remember to pick up everything you need to make meals for the next few days, and then it hits you – your reusable bags are back at home hanging on the hook in the mudroom. Or maybe they’re balled up in the trunk of your car. Or they’re stuffed in the cargo basket on your bike. Either way, they’re not where you need them to be in this critical moment. What’s an eco-conscious consumer to do? We felt inspired by these handy tips from the folks at Best Market:

Have a Large Selection

It’s easiest to remember your bags if there are a number to choose from! More bags mean more areas to strategically place them so you don’t forget. Which brings us to our next point-

Strategic Placement

 Some favorite places include a cupboard in the kitchen, a hook or basket near the front door, tucked between your center console and seat in the car, stashed away in your purse, and anywhere else you could grab them on the go.

Make it a Habit

They say it takes 21 days to make a habit of something – let’s apply this to shopping with reusable bags. With a little determination, remembering your bags when you go shopping will become second nature. You can’t expect for it to become part of your routine overnight, but with persistence, you’ll soon have a system in place that works for you.

Make it Convenient

With the push for major change in our environmental impact, reducing, reusing, and recycling have become businesses of their own. This has given way to all-new ways to make remembering your bags even easier, including bags small enough to attach to your keychain and bags small enough to fit in your purse or pocket.

Put it on Your List

Until your habit is formed, make BAGS the first item you write on your grocery list.

Remind Yourself

Leave yourself notes schedule alerts or reminders on your phone around the time you are planning to leave.

Make it Personal

Try sewing or knitting or crocheting your own bags. You can even put some of those old t-shirts to good use with this helpful how-to!

 

 

Involve Your Family

If your kids go shopping with you, explain why you want to take your special bags, and ask them to be in charge of helping you remember to bring them along. It gives them a job and gives you an opportunity to teach them about minimizing waste and caring for the planet.

Put Them Back

Almost the trickiest part! The groceries are away and it’s dinner time – don’t forget to put your bags back in their strategic place.

 

Of course, if you forget your shopping bags, another handy option at the Co-op is to grab a box. While unpacking orders, we stockpile a supply of boxes that we invite you to repurpose for carrying home your groceries. You’ll find them along the wall near the first register.

 

 

 

Going Bagless for Earth Day!

Sunday, April 22nd is Earth Day, and in honor of this fine holiday, we’re going bagless! The day will serve as a great reminder that there are many ways to bag your groceries, so why not choose the GREEN way? Please bring your baskets, reusable bags, repurposed cardboard boxes, or any grocery tote you prefer. If you forget, no problem; we’ll be giving away free reusable bags while supplies last, and we’ll also have repurposed cardboard boxes available.

Why bother with reusable grocery totes? Here are some interesting facts about disposable shopping bags:

While disposable paper and plastic bags seem awfully convenient, their cost to the environment can be hefty.

Plastic Bags

It is estimated that 5 trillion plastic bags are produced each year. Each plastic bag is used, on average, for about 20 minutes, though it takes a single bag over 1,000 years to completely decompose in a landfill. As it decomposes, it releases greenhouse gases into our atmosphere and releases harmful toxins into our soil and groundwater. Bags that don’t make it to the landfill litter the landscape and pose a significant threat to animal health and well-being; particularly for birds and aquatic life.

Plastic bags are quite commonly mistaken for food by animals, especially when the bags carry food residues, are brightly colored or are animated by the movement of water. A great variety of animals, land and especially marine, can choke to death on bags. If swallowed whole, animals may not be able to digest real food and die a slow death from starvation or infection. Plastic bags are responsible for the death of over a million seabirds and an estimated 100,000 whales, dolphins, turtles, and seals each year.

Americans throw away about 100 billion plastic bags annually. That is equivalent to dumping nearly 12 billion barrels of oil. But, what if you recycle them? That seems like a more environmentally-friendly way to go, right? Unfortunately, it takes 85 times more energy to recycle a plastic bag than it does to create it.

Paper Bags

Perhaps you opt for paper bags, instead of plastic. Those are better for the environment, right? Believe it or not, paper production creates 70% more pollution during production than plastic bags. One must also consider that paper bags are made from trees that could instead be absorbing carbon dioxide from our atmosphere if they weren’t busy becoming bags. The paper bag making process also results in 50 times more water pollutants than making plastic bags and uses more water during production.

While it’s true that plastic bags are made from crude oil, making a paper bag consumes four times as much energy as making a plastic bag, so the process of making paper bags consumes a good deal of oil as fuel for production, making both paper and plastic bags very oil-intensive products.

You can certainly recycle paper bags, though much like plastic bags, the process for recycling paper bags can be inefficient – often consuming more fuel than it would take to make a brand new bag.

In short, when it comes to the battle over which is greener, neither paper nor plastic has it in the bag.

 

Here are some great tips for remembering your reusable shopping bags:

 

  • Keep your bags in your car or purse so you have them every time you go out.
  • Make a note on your grocery list to grab the bags before you leave the house.
  • Get the kids in on it! Have them be the ones to get excited and bring the bags with them when you take them along shopping.
  • If you only have a couple of easy-to-carry items and are asked if you would like a bag,  say ” no, thank you”  If you are not asked if you would like a bag,  say “I don’t need a bag, thank you.” Simple.
  • If you do forget your reusable bags, check out the hallway area near the customer restroom. This area is often stocked with cardboard boxes from our deliveries, which are handy repurposed grocery totes.
  • Keep in mind, however, that to get the full greenhouse gas benefit from a reusable bag, it must be reused over 100 times. Reusable bags are energy-intensive to produce, but if you reuse them often over the years, the benefits really add up!
Bags to give away
Earth Balls Outside

Earth Day 2017!

Mark your calendars, folks! Saturday, April 22nd is Earth Day! We hope you’ll drop by the Co-op to join the celebration. We’ll have demos from earth-friendly organizations, we’ll raffle off an exciting prize package containing some of our favorite local earth-friendly products, and the deli will be sharing free samples of their famous “Dirt & Worms” while supplies last!

BYOB – Bring Your Own Bags

We’d also like to remind you to please bring your reusable shopping bags because we’re going bagless! The day will serve as a great reminder that there many ways to bag your groceries, so why not choose the GREEN way? Please bring your baskets, reusable bags, repurposed cardboard boxes, or any grocery tote you prefer. If you forget, no problem; we’ll be giving away free reusable bags while supplies last, and we’ll also have repurposed cardboard boxes available.

BYOC – Bring Your Own Container

Aside from bringing your reusable grocery totes, we also encourage you to bring your own containers for certain items in the store. Opting to bring your own container helps save pesky packaging waste and, in many cases, helps you save money. It’s a win-win! Bring your own container to the Co-op for purchasing:

  • items from bulk bins
  • Aqua Vitea kombucha
  • honey (ask any bulk staffer to fill your jar)
  • maple syrup (ask any bulk staffer to fill your jar)
  • peanut butter (visit the peanut grinder in the bulk department)
  • bulk tea
  • bulk herbs
  • bulk spices
  • coffee beans
  • hot coffee
  • hot tea
  • salad bar
  • hot soup
  • castile soap
  • bath salts
  • echinacea
  • beeswax
  • lotion

Just be sure to first visit the scale located in the bulk department to weigh your container. This is known as the tare weight. Marking this weight on your container ensures that you will not be paying for the weight of your container when the cashier rings up your purchase. If you’d like some assistance weighing your containers, just ask any staff member and we’d be more than happy to assist you!

Here’s a look at the environmental impact of bringing your own container for a handful of common products:

 

 

Going Bagless for Earth Day!

Friday, April 22nd is Earth Day, and in honor of this fine holiday, we’re going bagless! The day will serve as a great reminder that there many ways to bag your groceries, so why not choose the GREEN way? Please bring your baskets, reusable bags, repurposed cardboard boxes, or any grocery tote you prefer. If you forget, no problem; we’ll be giving away free reusable bags while supplies last, and we’ll also have repurposed cardboard boxes available.

Why bother with reusable grocery totes? Here are some interesting facts about disposable shopping bags:

While disposable paper and plastic bags seem awfully convenient, their cost to the environment can be hefty.

Plastic Bags

It is estimated that 5 trillion plastic bags are produced each year. Each plastic bag is used, on average, for about 20 minutes, though it takes a single bag over 1,000 years to completely decompose in a landfill. As it decomposes, it releases greenhouse gases into our atmosphere and releases harmful toxins into our soil and groundwater. Bags that don’t make it to the landfill litter the landscape and pose a significant threat to animal health and well-being; particularly for birds and aquatic life.

Plastic bags are quite commonly mistaken for food by animals, especially when the bags carry food residues, are brightly colored or are animated by the movement of water. A great variety of animals, land and especially marine, can choke to death on bags. If swallowed whole, animals may not be able to digest real food and die a slow death from starvation or infection. Plastic bags are responsible for the death of over a million sea birds and an estimated 100,000 whales, dolphins, turtles, and seals each year.

Americans throw away about 100 billion plastic bags annually. That is equivalent to dumping nearly 12 billion barrels of oil. But, what if you recycle them? That seems like a more environmentally-friendly way to go, right? Unfortunately, it takes 85 times more energy to recycle a plastic bag than it does to create it.

Paper Bags

Perhaps you opt for paper bags, instead of plastic. Those are better for the environment, right? Believe it or not, paper production creates 70% more pollution during production than plastic bags. One must also consider that paper bags are made from trees that could instead be absorbing carbon dioxide from our atmosphere if they weren’t busy becoming bags. The paper bag making process also results in 50 times more water pollutants than making plastic bags, and uses more water during production.

While it’s true that plastic bags are made from crude oil, making a paper bag consumes four times as much energy as making a plastic bag, so the process of making paper bags consumes a good deal of oil as fuel for production, making both paper and plastic bags very oil-intensive products.

You can certainly recycle paper bags, though much like plastic bags, the process for recycling paper bags can be inefficient – often consuming more fuel than it would take to make a brand new bag.

In short, when it comes to the battle over which is greener, neither paper nor plastic have it in the bag.

 

Here are some great tips for remembering your reusable shopping bags:

 

  • Keep your bags in your car or purse so you have them every time you go out.
  • Make a note on your grocery list to grab the bags before you leave the house.
  • Get the kids in on it! Have them be the ones to get excited and bring the bags with them when you take them along shopping.
  • If you only have a couple of easy-to-carry items, and are asked if you would like a bag say ” no, thank you”  If you are not asked if you would like a bag say “I don’t need a bag, thank you.” Simple.
  • If you do forget your reusable bags, check out the hallway area near the customer restroom. This area is often stocked with cardboard boxes from our deliveries, which are handy repurposed grocery totes.
  • Keep in mind, however, that to get the full greenhouse gas benefit from a reusable bag, it must be reused over 100 times. Reusable bags are energy-intensive to produce, but if your reuse them often over the years, the benefits really add up!
Bags to give away
Earth Balls Outside

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