One of the requests I got from the reader survey was to talk about eco friendly food/eco friendly grocery shopping. Honestly, it’s a massive topic to cover and I’m still working on writing a big long post about my thoughts and recommendations, but I thought I’d offer up a simple swap that you can use in the meantime!
SIMPLE SWAP: DITCH THE PLASTIC PRODUCE BAGS
An easy way you can be more eco friendly while grocery shopping is to stop using those filmy produce bags. This works no matter where you buy your food! I’ve seen the plastic produce bags everywhere, from Target to the Farmer’s Market. I promise this is a super easy change. Here are a few ways to move away from single use produce bags!
Have you ever asked yourself if you really need to put your produce in a produce bag? I hadn’t. I was using them because that’s how I learned to grocery shop when I was growing up. But once I asked myself the question I realized that no, I didn’t need to put my avocados or onions or carrots or zucchini in bags at all. They survived perfectly in my cart without them.
I just didn’t use any produce bags for a while. If I wanted to keep all my produce in one spot, I’d open up one of my totes in my cart and corral the veggies and fruits in there.
BUY REUSABLE PRODUCE BAGS
The obvious swap, right? I eventually bought some reusable cotton produce bags because I wanted to start using the bulk section at Raley’s, where I was doing the majority of my grocery shopping. They came in handy for my rice, pasta, bean, almond and occasional granola shopping.
I still use them for bulk shopping that we’ve moved to Sacramento. I also use them when I buy produce (or flowers) at the Farmer’s Market.
As far as I can tell, reusable produce bags come in mesh and solid styles. I bought the Simple Ecology muslin bags in the variety pack so they could double as produce and bulk bags, but I’ve got my eyes on the mesh version too. The thing I like about Simple Ecology is their bags are made of organic cotton without being crazy expensive. I found mine on Amazon.
I haven’t made a hardcore commitment to move towards organic cotton products in any part of my life, mostly because the price point of those products is usually out of budget. But for less than $20 I scored six bags in three sizes. They’ve been through the wash, they’ve traveled, they’ve stored kale in the fridge, and they’re still in great condition. Needless to say, I’m really happy with my purchase.
None of this is sponsored, by the way. This product has just worked really well for me so I’m passing on the info!
MAKE YOUR OWN
I’m still a baby DIY-er and can’t use a sewing machine so I had to buy my reusable produce bags. For those who are more talented than me, I pinned some bag and pouch making tutorials to my Eco Living Tips board on Pinterest! Which now has me considering trying out some no sew DIY bags. I’ll let you know how those work out!
There you have it! Two ways to go without plastic produce bags, one of which will cost you nothing even if you don’t know how to sew!
Which one are you gonna try first?
PS – I don’t think I did a good enough job of thanking you guys for completing the reader survey. It was helpful and maybe more importantly, it was just awesome to hear from you! So don’t be shy! Send me an email with any of your questions. My whole goal with this blog is to share my story transparently, so if you’re struggling to find a good product or a good idea for a swap, ask away and I’ll see how I can help!
To recap: thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!