Wednesday, January 26, 2011


"Yes, I see the little hypocrites are wearing leather sandals."
-Murphy Brown

Green Bag
One of the eco-driven changes I happen to like is the cloth grocery bag. Its always seemed wasteful to me to use up all those paper bags and the plastic ones, while more reusable, were not biodegradable. Reusable cloth bags for shopping feels very old fashioned and responsible to me, even though they have a plastic liner at the bottom - and most are made of nylon.

The problem is that you have to wash these bags or they start to develop bacteria like Salmonella and other, more lethal varieties. And, thanks to their likely Chinese origin, there are other problems. Gary Chittim at King 5 news reports:
The Washington, D.C-based Center for Consumer Freedom tested bags at 44 major retailers. Of those, it says 16 were selling bags containing lead in excess of safety standards.
The CCF team is actually trying to prevent plastic bags from being banned, so there's some reason to think they may not be entirely unbiased, but finding lead in Chinese products is not exactly shocking.

Just something to consider when you look at the alternatives for shopping. Most stores will give you a discount for using any bag you bring, even if its not their product, so you can probably come up with safer (and more durable) alternatives.


Eric said...

I have always liked this idea too, and wish it would catch on here. If you were to walk into one of our little rural grocery stores and start stuffing items in a bag you brought with you, you very well might wind up mistaken for a shoplifter.

Tina said...

In the old brown-paper-bag days of the 1960s and 1970s (and before but I wasn't around earlier), we always saved them and reused them. In addition to using them to carry other things: many were cut up and used to drain fried foods on (brown paper absorbs grease like nobody's business), others were used to wrap packages for mailing, we carried lunches in the small ones, and finally, with their tops neatly folded down toward the outside, they were "the" waste-bin liner in every kitchen. While they were not water-tight, they were absorbent, and protected the container, which was rinsed out after emptying.

Many neighborhood stores back then appreciated customers who folded their bags and returned them for the store to use again. And if not the original store, then some other store, like the local book store, hardware store, and thrift shop, were always happy to have sacks.

Deborah M. said...

Make your own out of cotton - easy to throw in the wash.

Hannele Laiho said...

I agree that is the bad side of cloth bad but for me cloth bag is really a great idea to avoid plastic.