Plastic bags have gotten a bad rap lately, with Whole Foods giving it up completely and San Francisco banning it outright. It's true, plastic bags take tons of petroleum per year to manufacture, plus they take a loooooong time to degrade and cause damage to marine life.
Yet an average paper grocery bag takes four times as much energy to produce (~2500 BTU vs. ~600 BTU per bag), and think of all those trees that are being cut down.
In the end, unfortunately, neither are really ideal. Many have argued that reusable bags are the way to go. They are . . . if you actually are diligent about reusing them. I've struggled with this issue a lot myself. I see a lot of these cheap, "reusable" bags that they sell in supermarkets these days, and I wonder whether they were ecologically made. I also wonder how often they are used versus how often they are thrown out, either due to their cheap quality or just because they are not being used. The solution doesn't seem nearly as simple as it might look.
But if there were another alternative to these little plastic bags, would I consider it?
When Lacey from A Greener Kitchen contacted me about trying out their organic cotton produce bags, I was definitely intrigued. Even though I had always tried to use reusable shopping bags for my groceries, it never occurred to me to avoid plastic with my fruits & vegetables in the produce aisle. I agreed to try them out for a week.
There were a few negatives. I didn't like how I couldn't see what was inside the bags anymore. It made it a bit harder to figure out what produce I had. I found myself opening up the cinched bags in the fridge to see what was inside each one. Plus, they aren't really waterproof, so keep that in mind. The bags got slightly wet from the damp vegetables that I put inside. I probably wouldn't ever use these bags for raw meat.
Lacey has generous agreed to give away a set of reusable organic produce bags (pictured above - value $14.95). There are three different sizes. The large one works well for large vegetables (I put Swiss chard in that one). The medium one works great for a bag of fruit or potatoes. The smaller one is good for something like nuts.
Disclaimer: Time to time I receive free products from vendors to review. I do not receive any payment for these posts/reviews. The views expressed in the posts are completely my own. For this post, I was given a chance to review a free set of reusable produce bags (pictured in the post).
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