Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Your Plastic Bags

In honor of Earth Day, we are re-posting these great tips!

According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. uses roughly 100 billion plastic shopping bags every year. That is a ridiculous amount! As coupon shoppers, we go to the store. A lot. We use a lot of bags. And while my first inclination is to encourage only reusable grocery bags each time you head to the store, I know that is not a reality for many.  So I will encourage you to buy and use reusable grocery bags whenever possible, but for the times you cannot, here is a list of creative ways to reuse those plastics sacks.

1. RECYCLE THEM!! Even with a list of great way to reuse them, chances are you will become overrun by them at some point in your life. Don’t throw them out. Recycle them instead!

Bring the plastic bags you already have to the store to reuse them.

Use them as trash can liners.

4. Donate them to your local library, food pantries, used book stores or thrift stores.

Use them as packing material instead of Styrofoam packing peanuts or other expensive packing fillers.

6. Keep a few handy in a diaper bag for those extra messy diapers!!

7. Instead of buying bags to clean up behind your pet, use a plastic bag. You can also use them to scoop the cat’s litter box, or donate bags to your local dog park – there is usually a dispenser there for those who forgot to bring their own.

8. Use them for all sorts of crafting projects. From liners on paint trays for easy clean up, protecting your surfaces when attempting a messy craft or stuffing scarecrows with them at Halloween, plastic bags should be a craft room staple.

When traveling, keep a few in your suitcases for dirty clothes.

10. Wrap homemade bread in a clean bag. It will stay fresher but still be able to breathe.

11. Use them to protect Christmas decorations before packing them away into storage.

12. Place your wet swim suits or other wet clothing inside plastic bags to transport between the pool and home.

13. Put children’s sippy cups in a plastic bag to prevent accidental spills in the diaper bag (I’ve learned the hard way there is no such thing as a “spill proof” sippy cup!).
14. When defrosting meat, place a paper towel in a plastic bag and put the meat in the bag to prevent messy leaks and cleanups.

15. Place a plastic bag inside a bucket or pot next to your sink when you peel fruits or vegetables, or clean and de-bone chicken or other meat. Then simply transfer the bag to the trash for easy cleanup.

16. Before you send your kids out to play in heavy snow, put plastic bags over their snow boots to keep feet drier.

17. Use them to bag up unneeded food and hygiene supplies (that you got smokin’ deals on, right?) and donate to local charities or shelters.

And those are just a few ideas. Have any more to share?

What do you do with your plastic bags? How/where do you store them at your house?


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  • Candace

    You can also cut the bags into strips (or spiral cut it one long strip) and then crochet the strips into a purse or tote. They come out really cute, especially with some planning on using bags with interesting color print.

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