Thursday, January 2, 2014

Reusable Produce Bags

I love to poke around the internet for things that I think will contribute to a greener and more sustainable lifestyle. Recently, while on a trip to Washington state, I found that they have outlawed the use of plastic grocery bags. As a result, everyone either brings their own reusable bags or they must pay a fee for old school brown bags. As I wandered up and down the aisles of the market, I was struck by all the unique reusable bags folks carried. After returning home to Arizona, I started researching reusable bag ideas. I found that there are lots of options with regards to grocery sacks. I also discovered there are many kinds of reusable produce bags.

"Reusable produce bags?" you ask. Yes, reusable bags to both shop with and to store your fruits and veggies in when you return home.

After carefully considering all the options that I found, I decided to go with Flip & Tumble produce bags. I like Flip & Tumble bags for several reasons. First, the bags are a convenient size measuring  12" x 14" each. The fine polyester mesh will prevent even the smallest of seeds or vegetables from slipping through, but allows you to run the bag under water to rinse the bounty contained within. You can even shop for bulk items such as rice and quinoa without dropping a grain. I especially like the color tabs on each bag. There are five separate colors that allow you to assign colors to a particular type of fruit or vegetable. The poly mesh bags can be washed in a washing machine as well, which makes them easy to keep clean and fresh. The mesh dries quickly when hung after washing.

You may be asking by now, "How much already?" Well, how's $11 for five of them? I looked at fabric at my local craft store, priced it by the yard, figured time and effort along with aesthetic end-result, and decided sewing these myself really would not save me anymore money and the time to do so could be better spent on other projects. I plan to order two more sets for a total of 15 of these great bags to allow for me to shop when some are still in use.

The bags compact easily and are super lightweight. Considering the ease of cleaning them, it will be no problem to take them along with my reusable grocery sacks even if I only end up using a couple on that particular trip.

Being green starts in baby steps and this baby step is an easy one. I will improve these bags by adding a toggle to each one. I can buy them very inexpensively and they will secure the drawstrings for when the clerk is ringing up the contents without risk of them getting loosened or some of the contents potentially spilling on my trip back home.

Interested in a set of your own? Check them out here at my Amazon store: Flip & Tumble Reusable Produce Bags

What do you think about eliminating out the plastic produce bags that markets offer for produce? Do you think this should be mandatory, as in Washington state, or shopper's choice?