Bring Your Own Tote

bring your own totes when you shop to make less waste!

This post is the first in a series on low waste living experiments! My hope is to inspire you to take a step (not a plunge) towards a life that is tinted green by sharing which changes I've incorporated into my life.

Cool, let's talk about totes!

experiments in zero waste living: bring your own tote
bring your own tote bag when you shop anywhere to reduce waste!

Reusable tote bags are pretty much everywhere. You can buy them at your favorite stores (grocery or retail) and local maker’s markets. There are even ways to score them for free, like at local events! I got the one pictured above from church!

I have quite a few totes, but the ones that get the most use are my canvas bags. They’re super easy to clean (I toss them in the wash and let them air dry) and bonus! I also really like the way they look.

Bringing your own totes keeps plastic bags from being ending up in a landfill or worse, polluting our cities, waterways and oceans. I’ll bet you’ve seen plastic bags flailing around the side of the road regardless of whether you live in an urban core, the suburbs, or in a rural area, right?

An estimated 380,000,000 (that’s billion) plastic bags are used in the US each year. That’s an insane amount of resources (read: fossil fuels) being used to create and transport this thing that we use once — maybe twice if we use some as trash can liners — before throwing them away.

The best thing we can do is bring our own bags. Buy them, make our own, or score free ones at an event, that part doesn’t matter.

Once we have reusable totes, it’s equally important to use them. Bring them to the grocery store, to the mall, thrifting, to the farmer’s market or on a Target run. I keep one or two in the car and park them at the front door when I get home so I always remember to bring them on my next shopping trip! 

Eco-friendly living takes just a little intention and awareness. The more we practice, the easier these habits become!

I hope you’re inspired to start bringing your own bags when you shop!

If you're looking for a starter pack, these bags from Simple Ecology would be my pick.