What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Plastic Shopping Bags

The debate over whether to use paper or plastic shopping bags is almost over.  Few stores use paper shopping bags and those that do only give them to you if you have more than a few items.  The Ontario government put a mandatory 5¢ charge on all plastic shopping bags encouraging consumers to use re-usable cloth shopping bags.  Most stores have their own inexpensive version of these re-usable shopping bags complete with advertising.  We seldom have plastic shopping bags even at our vacation home because we simply don't shop the way many consumers do.  Those plastic bags we do get are recycled at the local Walmart.  Here are a few things we have done to reduce our use of plastic bags:

  • heavy plastic bins or totes - No Frills sold heavy plastic grocery bins for $5.  I think we have five of them.  They out perform cardboard in that they are reusable without breaking down or collapsing if they get wet.   They are stackable so we keep 2 or 3 in the vehicles for larger grocery purchases.  We have several larger totes for bulk purchases like meats.
  • reusable cloth shopping bags - We have tons of these!  They are used for anywhere we are shopping not just the grocery store.  At first some stores didn't like this but now they are catching on that plastic shopping bags are no longer in vogue.
  • nix shopping bags entirely - Quite often I walk to the grocery or hardware store.  If buying only a few items, I get just what will fit in my backpack.  If buying a bit more, a bring the collapsible tag-a-long shopping cart.  If running into a store for one or two items, I simply decline any bag and carry as is.  When we were getting ready for moving last year, I purposely used cardboard boxes from the grocery store for groceries that then could be recycled to pack our belongings for the move.
  • produce hampers - A Canadian produce hamper holds 5/8 of a bushel.  Most are made of heavy plastic.  We have several of these because we pick our own, frequent fruit and vegetable stands and get tomatoes in bulk from a relative.  These sturdy hard plastic hampers can double as smaller rubbish bins or a child's dirty clothes hamper and they can be used to cart groceries into the house.  We keep a couple in each vehicle. 

Garden Gnome