Congratulations to Daisy of Compost Happens! You’ve won the Official Eco Women Canvas Tote Bag!
While drawing the lucky winner, Enviro Girl got to thinking about how much she loves reusable shopping bags. She quit accepting paper OR plastic years ago, opting to BHOB (that’s “Bring Her Own Bag”). Reusable shopping bags never, ever break open, spewing groceries all over the driveway or parking lot. Reusable shopping bags earn Enviro Girl 5 cents’ credit each time she uses them at most stores. Reusable shopping bags hold 2-3 times as much as paper or plastic shopping bags, which means fewer trips from Momvan to kitchen. Reusable shopping bags are easier to carry–the handles are generally wider and often long enough to get slung over a shoulder. Plastic and paper bags can easily get too heavy and uncomfortable to carry–the handles dig into your palm and are too short to hold any other way.
Enviro Girl faithfully repurposes the remaining plastic and paper shopping bags from the Days of Yore when she used them. (She’s part Dutch, so she never throws away things that might be useful.) When she makes donations to the local thrift shop or leaves a stack of books and a loaf of banana bread on her neighbor’s back porch, those old bags get a second use. Plastic bags stashed in overnight bags are a great way to segregate dirty laundry while traveling and keep wet towels and swimsuits from dripping everywhere. But Enviro Girl finds herself using her reusable totes more and more–they don’t tear or rip! They hold more volume!
Enviro Girl’s Top 10 Uses for Reusable Bags:
10. Groceries–duh. She keeps 4-5 bags in a plastic crate alongside the empty milk bottles beside the door from the house to her garage. When she goes shopping, she grabs the crate, putting it first in the back of her Momvan, then beneath her shopping car, then onto the check out counter, then back onto the garage shelf when she’s home and her groceries are put away.
9. Library books–they’re kept dry and the tall stacks don’t slide all over the place when held together in a canvas tote!
8. Sunday School Supplies–Enviro Girl teaches preschool kids at her church, so she keeps her binder, Bible, story supplies and contact info. in a canvas bag. Her sons’ Bibles, workbooks and Sunday School projects/papers get stowed in there, too, to get shuffled to and fro every week.
7. Car Trips–Snacks, magic markers, pads of papers, comic books, audio books–all the goodies for a long car trip are in one spot for easy access in a canvas tote.
6. Purse–Enviro Girl actually uses a few favorite cloth shopping bags as a purse! She gets so many complements on this one (second from the left) by Green Girl World:
5. Swimming–towels, suits, goggles, and sunscreen for a family of 4 can travel to pool or beach without muss or fuss in one reusable shopping bag!
4. Errands–one day Enviro Girl stashed a soil sample, a prescription pick-up, lightbulbs from the hardware store, letters to post and her sons’ report cards in one bag before making her rounds. The bag carried necessary paperwork and served honorably as a shopping bag when called upon.
3. Craft supplies/projects–knitters, scrappers, stampers, beaders, bedazzlers–use one to stash your supplies in a closet for easy access or bring them to a party or workshop.
2. Gear–whether schlepping camping supplies, sports gear, games or garden tools, a reusable shopping bag can keep your act together. Last month Enviro Girl visited her sister in the Twin Cities–she brought a swimming bag, a car trip bag, an activities bag and a gifts/miscellaneous bag along–all reusable shopping bags keeping her and her 3 sons organized and efficient all weekend.
1. Gift Wrap. That’s right! Enviro Girl wraps gifts in reusable shopping bags because she thinks they’re so handy. Tied off with a bow, a reusable shopping bag becomes a pretty and practical way to wrap a present. A hostess gift of homemade bread and jam, a birthday gift of a good books and tea, a new parent gift of a hot meal looks especially nice when presented in a cute reusable shopping bag!