Reusable Bag Savings Add Up

Reusable Bag Savings Add UpMany businesses have learned that they can earn community respect and help their customers save money when they take steps to keep the planet healthy. All it takes is a little eco ingenuity and shopper participation.

For example, in California, customers now need to either bring their own bags or pay for a store supplied bag at about 10 cents each.

To combat the problem of forgotten reusable bags, many stores have begun to offer attractive bags, which sometimes show the store’s name on it, for about $1 or $2. Because you can use them multiple times, it doesn’t take long to recoup the expenditure. Stores are proud to sell them, and buyers are proud to carry them.

Transporting Your Treasures

You can help keep plastic bags from littering streets, waterways and out of landfills by using reusable bags at all stores whenever you shop.

However, should you forget to bring your bags, consider buying a new bag from the store and packing your new reusable bag tightly for this one outing. That way you won’t have to buy too many bags.

Depending on the cost of your bag, you should be able to recoup the cost of buying the bag by using each bag after about 4 to 8 times.

After you get home and have unpacked your purchase, immediately place your empty reusable bags by the front door.  That way you’ll remember to take them to your car for your next shopping trip.

Don’t Need a New Reusable Bag? Use The Reusable Bag As A Gift Bag!

If you really don’t need the bag, you can use it as gift wrapping for your presents at Christmas, for birthdays, or any other time you are giving a present to your family and friends!  A reusable bag is much better for gift wrapping when compared to disposable paper gift wrapping, since torn paper usually just ends up in the landfill.

When you give a gift in a reusable gift bag, the reusable bag is not only practical since the handles are usually stronger than plastic or paper shopping bags, but they are oftentimes colorful and look better than typical gift wrapping.  Plus, since these days since gift wrapping is very expensive, it also may save you a bit of money to use reusable bags for wrapping your gifts.


Plastic Water Bottles a Bust

Whenever you drink water from a plastic bottle, you could be swallowing more than water. Along with thirst-quenching gulps of water (ahh!) you may be consuming harmful chemicals (ugh!) leached from the plastic bottle.

Single-use bottled water manufacturers often use #1 polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE) to package their water. Although these bottles are considered the safest single-use plastic bottle choice, are they good for your health?

A definitive…not really. The term “safe for single use” just means that the plastic containers shouldn’t melt, crack or fall apart after one use. This safety term is not related to health or to the amount of harmful chemicals that can migrate from the plastic bottles into your water.

Single-use plastic water bottles can leach these chemicals into your drinking water:

  • benzyl butyl phthalate, a potential hormone disrupter
  • antimony, an elemental metal that can irritate eyes, skin and lungs

Also, because PET plastic is porous and the shapes of the these bottles make them difficult to clean, harmful bacteria can be consumed with repeated use.

Good Green Habits for Water Bottles

Why needlessly risk your good health for the convenience of a plastic bottle? The following eco-friendly options can help protect your health and keep water bottles from piling up in landfills:

  • Fill a stainless steel bottle with tap water* for out-and-about use.
  • Rely on glass or ceramic containers when at home.
  • Recycle plastic bottles if you occasionally use them so the plastic can be made into new products.

*TAP WATER ECO FACT: Most local drinking water supplies are rigorously tested to meet federal and state drinking water regulations. To learn about your area’s water quality, contact your local water department. When your tap water is safe but you don’t like the taste, you can purchase easy-to-install water filters, such as those made by Brita, or find other types of water purification systems that suit your needs.