The 3 R's- reduce, reuse, recycle have changed into the 5 R's. Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Raise Awareness. I'm feeling proud of my BYOB journey. BYOB is "bring your own bag". Lots and lots of folks BYOB for their big grocery trips. That's the start of the BYOB journey.
I realized that once I'm in the store there is a whole lot of plastic in packaging. Even if you tend to buy fresh produce you have a bit of a quandary- do you put your veg right on the checkout counter? Is that icky and full of germs? Or do I use the plastic produce bags? But I want to reduce my plastic. Hmmmmmm
EcoBags to the rescue. I decided to purchase produce bags because I noticed when I used my larger shopping bags for loose veggies, they added weight to the price per pound. Or I held up the line as I rummaged through everything jumbled together in my basket. It reminded me a bit of looking for my keys or phone in my purse. It was getting to be awkward. I'm completely satisfied with my EcoBags purchase. It's recommended that you prewash before using- this is a good idea. First, there's a whole bunch of sizing in the fabric and also they shrink a lot. Even the largest bag seems a bit small after washing for a really big head of lettuce.
When you start your plastic free journey you not only become aware of how prevalent plastic is but you have to make some economic decisions. Plastic is so popular because it is cheap. The price of plastic is hidden in environmental damage and loss of habitat. Living on a budget means you need to take small steps. Think of plastic free as a marathon not a sprint. Each month you can go a bit further. The good news is once you make a purchase you're done. My produce bags are reusable for years and years.
Of course if you are handy and have some time you can make your own. I've seen lots of creative reuses including those mesh bags fruits come in, old T-shirts- just remember the fabric needs to be light because what's inside gets weighed. If you don't feel like making a casing at the top close it up with a wooden clothes pin. Homemade produce bags make nice gifts.
If you don't have time to sew but still want a bit of personality, after all you will have these bags for years there are lots of ways to dress up your bags. Fabric stamping, embroidery or applique are some quick and fun ways to add your unique personality.