Using reuseable tote bags in place of plastic shopping bags is becoming all the rage. I read about so many different vendors of these bags that it really does make me want to rush out and buy some. Envirosax seems to be a universally approved one, as they are cute and sturdy and hold quite a bit.
However, I resuse all my grocery bags. We usually get paper bags and put them around the house to throw recycling in, which then gets tossed into the big recycling bin. The plastic sleeves from the newspaper (I remember when they only used these in rainy weather) I use when picking up the yard – you know, because of the dogs. I guess I could use a Doggie Dooley system. But then what would I do with the plastic sleeves? Can you recycle them at the grocery store like you can with plastic grocery bags? updated: It seems that retail site reviews (PetCo, Amazon.com, etc) give good reviews but forums tend not to. I think I will hold off on spending the $50 for a while.
Now, plastic grocery bags get used for both the cat litter box and the little kitchen countertop trash can. I keep a small container by the sink so when I’m cooking I can just toss scraps and whatnot into it and not have to travel across the kitchen, flip open the trash can, and then get rid of it. When the little container is full, the trash gets tied up and tossed into the big trash can. Okay, I guess that’s more convenience than recycling. I have been reading about these BioBags, which you can order from drugstore.com. Apparently, they decompose in about a week, which is good for composting and the landfill, but maybe not so good if you forget to put the trash bin by the curb one week? I’m a little wary about using it for the kitchen trashcan, although I’ve been considering it for the countertop container.
Now, the cat litter I dump into a plastic grocery bag and toss into the trash. Some people say that the biodegradable bags are better because it doesn’t add plastic to the landfills. But, I’ve also been reading that cat litter can kill sea otters if it makes it into the ocean. Granted, flushing cat litter and letting it decompose in the landfill is different, but what if some runoff makes it into a storm drain and then into the ocean? Sea World has been nursing a newborn abandoned otter – what if its mom died from cat litter (I know, there are so many ways the mom could have died)?
You know, I started writing all this to try and justify my use of grocery bags. The paper ones I’m still okay with, but I think the plastic ones we’ll just have to give up. At least I’ve been using my blue Ikea bag for both Ikea purchases and bringing my CSA stuff home!