The Mindful Merchant

Shop – Eat – Live – Mindfully

It’s all in the Bag November 26, 2009

Opeaongo farm 004 I have finally trained my brain to bring my own reusable bags when shopping. It only took about two years. Now that most grocery stores charge for bags, it is rare to see someone walk out the store with a cart full of plastic. Green thinkers and frugal shoppers are now on the same page. It’s a beautiful thing. 

Today I stood at the end of a long line at Loblaws. A woman at the front had full cart of groceries and forgot her bags. The cashier in a booming voice said, “Do you need to buy plastic?” The woman sheepishly whispered yes. I have been in her shoes feeling judgement ooze down the line.  Moments like that reinforce the need to bring my own bags… and why I own about 30+ of the suckers. Avoiding the dreaded plastic = no panic sweats and red flushes. (Oh…and it helps the planet.) It is not a good environmental story, but there is a bit of truth to that.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. throws away 100 billion plastic bags each year and less than 2% gets recycled.  Planet Green writes “The petroleum to make 14 plastic bags could drive a car 1 mile” and “Over 100,000 marine animals die every year because of plastic bags”.   Disturbing statistics.

It has always bothered me that I use plastic bags to buy loose produce like beans, mushrooms, and fruit. I discovered a store here in Ottawa called Nayla Natural Care that sells reusable produce bags and ordered a few to try. Turns out, they were an excellent purchase.

Steward Bags makes 100% organic cotton reusable produce bags in various sizes. Located in Cornwall Ontario, it is a growing Canadian company. Their strong mesh bags have an easy drawstring closure and are washable too. Steward Bags’ mission is to support fair trade labour, and help fund regional environmental projects.

You can find a retailer near you buy clicking here or order directly from the company. Ottawa residents can buy them this weekend at the Nayla Natural Care Open house Saturday Nov.28th from 10 am-2 pm. I will be going to pick up more to ‘wrap’ holiday gifts. (act surprised Mom) 

If you are concerned about reducing the amount of plastic in the landfills, I recommend trying this product.  Happy shopping!




6 Responses to “It’s all in the Bag”

  1. Jen Says:

    Thanks for the tip, Laura. I just ordered some bags. 🙂

  2. It took me forever to remember to take them into the store with me – but leaving them in the back of the van at least meant I could go back for them. Now the only challenge is remembering to put them back into the car after unpacking all the groceries. Also it gets a little embarrassing sometimes when I pull them out at the grocery store and they’re covered in dog hair from our labrador. Oh well, it’s organic;)

    You can buy insulated bags now too – great idea for summer!

  3. Great idea! I’ve been trying to think of a good alternative to all the ziploc bags we use for the kids agendas, homework duotangs, library books. We go through quite a few a year since the ziploc bags get ripped. I wonder if these produce bags would be a good alternative since you can see what’s inside them.

  4. Hmm…not sure. They would have to take a REAL beating in that case. My children use ziploc bags too for agendas/homework too. This is a good idea. I will experiment and get back to you. Stay tuned..

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