Shown above: Baggu reusable bag in grid print.
Years ago I purchased my first reusable bag for groceries. Shortly thereafter plastic bags were banned in my area, and now they’re banned in all of California. It really got me thinking about the type of waste I create, and for a long time now I’ve become more focused on my efforts to reduce the waste I create and bring home with my groceries. Today I’m sharing my favorite and the easiest way to create less waste, by using reusable bags for shopping. I’m sharing some of my favorites for buying different items (you’d be amazed at what you can find in bulk), as well as a few other common wasteful items to replace.
Zero Waste Reusable Favorites
Standard Reusable Bags
A word of warning, collect these slowly because it can be quite fun to grow your collection. These bags not only 2-3 standard grocery bags worth of food, they are strong enough to hold 50 pounds and are machine washable. A word to the wise when ordering online, those neons will stop traffic.
|FLIP & TUMBLE
Flip & Tumble Reusable Produce Bags
I have 2 sets of these for shopping and use them both for produce and for many of my bulk item buys. They are made from a very fine mesh so I would not recommend them for finer items like flour, but they work very well for rolled oats, produce, nuts, snacks, etc.
Korken Glass Jars
Once you bring home all of your bulk purchases, you’re going to need somewhere to put them, right? Cue the Ikea Korken jars. I keep everything from trail mixes to even homemade pickles and leftovers in mine. They are dishwasher safe and you can buy new gaskets for them if you need to. While they are clear, you can even use a chalk pen to write what is inside in case it’s easily confused (powdered sugar / flour anyone?).
Food Storage Wrap
Ahh, plastic wrap. I haven’t used it in years and usually lean toward glass storage with lids (see jars above), but if you’re going somewhere this is the way to go. This Bee’s Wrap is coated fabric and will function the same as plastic wrap would and can be reused time after time again.
Years and years ago I was introduced to goodbyn. When I worked away from home I packed my lunch in one of these, and when Aiden started school he started using one of these. He still uses one to this day! These leak-proof lunchboxes are BPA and phthalate free, recyclable, and can be used for years and years. They come with the main container, plus 2 smaller ones and offer more than enough space to hold a delicious lunch.
For years (like 8) we’ve been using these coffee cups when we take our coffee in the morning. To work, on trips, etc. They’re dishwasher safe and not hideous. The cup can hold up to 16oz and is insulated to keep your drink warmer longer. I originally found them at Paper Source but have included a link to buy them online. If the other link sells out, you can get them at Big Cat Coffee here.
Clear Reusable Bags
I use these in place of any other normal gallon plastic bag. We don’t have an ice-maker so I keep one in our freezer filled with ready-to-go cubes of ice. I keep one in my son’s backpack for school with his extra clothes. For travel the quart size comes in handy for liquids. The one drawback I’d say is that I wouldn’t trust them with liquids, and if you do make a sticky mess in them cleaning them out isn’t fun.
Large Net Bag
Don’t be fooled by the produce in the bag on the left, it really works great for carrying towels, sand toys, and other items around the beach. I know they have holes in them, but hear me out. Because they have holes in them, all you need to do is give them a really good shake to get the sand out. No more finding sand in your bag and all over your carpet or the rest of your house a week later.
Shop Reusable Favorites:
Do you use reusable bags? Which are your favorites?