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#61 of 89 Old 01-22-2007, 10:27 AM
 
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How do you manage this when switching everything that was once paper to cloth? My DD is a very messy eater, and I will scrounge around for other stuff to wash just to get DD's laundry done, I can't stand the clothes with food all over them sitting around for days. I guess we don't have enough of cloth napkins etc either. I end up doing at least one load a week of napkins and towels/rags for the kitchen. Once the dipes start up again, that's 2-3 loads a week minimum as well.

I've been doing all cloth rags and napkins for awhile (**** working on the switch to hankies, and exploring family cloth, although not sure it is better or worse than 100% recycled TP.....any thoughts??) so that, coupled with my towels makes one load. I did get a bit of good advice from, someone on the green living tribe, and that was to refold and reuse the cloth napkins (as long as no company, they get fresh ) until they are dirty everywhere. We had been washing napkins that maybe had been used to wipe someones mouth and hands once. So, that has saved a bit of space. But, I think I'd have that load regardless simply cause you can only let dirty rags sit so long.

The thing that has saved me on the loads per week, that I have been working pretty diligently on, is saving my clothes to wear again. I still have some room for improvement as I'm putting my PJ's/workout clothes (one in the same) in the hamper each day. I'm figuring if I separate them and just have 1 pair of pants and shirt each week for exercising, Then I can also wear my Pjs for a few nights too. I think doing this would actually decrease the clothing used though I'm increasing outfits. (yes, it has become a bit of an obsession )

The boys also (I have 2 ages 6 and 2.5), though they do get kinda messy, have some clothing that was just going into the wash, that could have been worn a second or third time.....especially PJs. For whatever reason, I have 2 fashionistas for sons They change their clothes at least twice a day, maybe more!! So, making sure that all the clothes that went into the hamper actually needed to be there has made a big difference.

I think the big people are most important. Our clothes are just bigger and therefore take up more space. But, Dh is also a contractor, and rewears his clothes pretty much all week, unless he gets REALLY messy. He has always done this though with all clothing. So, he saves me tons already, but I really wasn't paying attention to the rest of us.

For the food stains, I pre-treat them with laundry soap, or at least keep them wet till I can get to them. They do usually come out....but I have also been known to resort to Stain Stick : Not very green (but the rest of my laundry regimine is ), but neither is getting rid of clothing cause it has a stain on it that could have been washed out with a little help, or washing things that don't really need washing to fill out a load, or worse, running an unfull load. I haven't found anything that works for us nearly as well (has gotten out things like grape juice) cause I can treat the stain right away but still let it sit for up to 7 days (I sound like a dang advertisement for them) till I have a full load to do with the very dirty piece(s) of clothing.

HTH, it has been really satisfying to not have so much laundry, and to know that I'm using less water and energy as well


ETA, and both my boys are out of diapers, so that isn't a factor in my total # of loads per week.
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#62 of 89 Old 01-22-2007, 04:31 PM
 
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Thanks for the tips, earth angel.

We use napkins several days, since right now it's just me and DH using them with any regularity. With houseguestguests, we find that we can't keep straight whose is whose and I use paper then. We don't have guests very often. With dinner guests I will use cloth because they'll only get used once anyway.

The clothing thing I guess I need to work on. I started yesterday and checked over DS's clothes and put the pants back in the drawer. If it hasn't been a rough play day or he hasn't had a major poo (TMI, but funny how his pants will smell even tho there's nothing actually on them) then we can reuse. DH's clothes I run 2 loads just of his every 2 weeks. He wears his pants twice, his shirts once, and his sleeping clothes for probably 5 days. I change my pjs every 2 nights because they get wet and drooled on while dd nurses. I also take a clean bra every day because it helps keep the yeasties away, and have to take a clean shirt daily too because the kids get me dirty. After we stop nursing and the kids are eating more normally I think it will be easier to wear clothes longer, like I used to.
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#63 of 89 Old 01-22-2007, 11:58 PM
 
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I'm adding one to my "after January" list: Write a Living Green article for the internal weekly newsletter at work. I'm excited!

Expecting #2 in May 2013!

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#64 of 89 Old 01-23-2007, 06:53 AM
 
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I'm joining in here. Most of what we are working on has been mentioned. I have to say that we used to live in Germany, and it was a great influence on me. I learned a lot about how to be more eco-friendly when we lived there. For the record... I'm often dismayed that the US seriously impedes us when it comes to being green... there needs to be an overhaul of the infrastructure to make it easier for people to be economical.

I've enjoyed reading the thread. Thanks for the ideas.

Our biggies that we need to work on:

- using cloth for cleaning

- using line drying in winter instead of dryer

- composting
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#65 of 89 Old 01-23-2007, 07:30 PM
 
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- Switching to cloth grocery bags. (Bought them already, just waiting to arrive.)

- FINALLY taking my 3 boxes to Goodwill?!!

- Switching to mama cloth and cloth napkins. (Actually, we already switched the napkins.)

- Always reminding dd to not open the fridge and turn lights off when not in use.

- Looking into areators.

- BUYING ALL ORGANIC. (We've kinda been struggling with this since our biggest HFS is a bit over priced but, we've decided to just 'bite the bullet' and make ourselves afford it all. Which, I'm soo happy about.)

- Taking less baths. (Dd usually takes baths but we're stopping that for a few reasons. A) because I think it's making her skin really dry --city water--and B) it wastes more water. SO, quick showers it is and maybe once a month she can have a bath or something.

- Eating more raw! (This is one of our main resolutions)

- Walking more, driving less.


OK- I think that's my list....for now.
ok, ive acheived everything so far except areators and goodwill. goodwill trip is tomorrow. yay! now i need to make my feb. list...
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#66 of 89 Old 01-24-2007, 01:15 AM
 
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Good job, EcoMama!

Expecting #2 in May 2013!

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#67 of 89 Old 01-26-2007, 12:50 AM
 
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I'm signing up!

For January, I'm going to...
-switch to cloth wipes for my babe... I've been trying to use up the disposable kind, and I have one left! I'm making the solution tonight!
-switch to cloth mama pads (I ordered some, but if they don't get here in another week or so, I'm breaking out the sewing machine... yikes...)
-switch to family cloth (or, rather, anne cloth, since dh says, "ick." I'm gonna try it out and see if he'll join me after he sees how great it is)
-declutter 200 items from my way-too-big home (I'm 47 items in! hoorah!)

So glad we're journeying together!
My update, with one week to go...

I have switched to cloth wipes. I lovelovelove it. Love. Soooo much better!

My mama pads are still not here, so this weekend I'm going to try to venture into making my own. I have a waterproof baby pad and some flannel receiving blankets I'm planning to convert. We'll see how it goes...

I switched officially to family/anne cloth today! I finally got a receptacle for the used ones. That was my last step. It seems to be a good thing, but I need to give it a few days.

I have 19 more items to declutter to get to my goal.

Thanks, ladies. I would've never done these things without this thread as motiviation. I'm starting to think of February's challenge now...
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#68 of 89 Old 01-26-2007, 05:39 PM
 
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Hi mamas,,,I would love to challenge myself to be more green.

I am going to~

use cloth wipes and cut way down on T.P usage

pick up more recyclables I see on the ground

find new ways to reuse what we have and declutter more

be more mindful of the amount of water I am using

air dry laundry as much as possible.


blessings~

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#69 of 89 Old 01-28-2007, 02:35 PM
 
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#70 of 89 Old 01-28-2007, 04:27 PM
 
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For this month we've:

Started the switch to cloth tp - well, dd and I, don't think I can get DH to!
Changing over to CF bulbs as old ones burn out
Going around and shutting down electronics at night
Working on making sure those lights are off when the room is empty! (dd!!!!!)
Getting better about remember to use the cloth bags!
Eating more raw and, when possible, organic foods
Using more natural cleaning products - household and personal!
Oh yeah - I'm trying to declutter - not even counting items, just the space I can free up!!

I have such lofty long term goals, but these little step-by-step things are making it easier to work in that direction!

Update - dd and I are strictly on family cloth now! yipee!

We've changed out a few bulb to CF, waiting for the rest to burn out

I have a routine for going around and shutting everything down at night now!

Still working on dd turning off lights when she leaves a room, or if she just finds one randomly left on (DH....)

I've gotten good about the cloth bags at the grocery store - need to remember to take them other places too..

Still working on the food thing - baby steps - I have a lot stocked up in my house to use up first...

I'm down to all natural body care, ds is set, and will have dd and DH on organically produced stuff as soon as the rest of their supplies run out

I'm still working on the declutter - I think I need a U-Haul....

Gotta start getting geared up for new projects in February!!
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#71 of 89 Old 01-29-2007, 10:43 AM
 
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Yay us!

btw, would y'all mind if I created the February thread on Wednesday morning? I'm leaving for vacation that day and I've really enjoyed keeping our running list so I don't want to miss out for February. :

My January update:
  • Use cloth napkins--We're almost out of paper napkins but we haven't bought our cloth napkins yet! Is there a good place to get them, maybe even organic cotton?
  • Get rid of particleboard furniture in the house--We ordered some unfinished furniture for our home office and we should receive it in a couple weeks. Then we can Craigslist our particleboard office furniture.
  • Compost--We started researching composters but haven't taken the plunge yet. We're thinking about the EnviroCycler but I want to confirm that it's a safe plastic.

Expecting #2 in May 2013!

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#72 of 89 Old 01-29-2007, 01:53 PM
 
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Yay us!

btw, would y'all mind if I created the February thread on Wednesday morning? I'm leaving for vacation that day and I've really enjoyed keeping our running list so I don't want to miss out for February. :

My January update:
  • Use cloth napkins--We're almost out of paper napkins but we haven't bought our cloth napkins yet! Is there a good place to get them, maybe even organic cotton?
  • Get rid of particleboard furniture in the house--We ordered some unfinished furniture for our home office and we should receive it in a couple weeks. Then we can Craigslist our particleboard office furniture.
  • Compost--We started researching composters but haven't taken the plunge yet. We're thinking about the EnviroCycler but I want to confirm that it's a safe plastic.
Yay! Definitely create the Feb thread, this has been really fun and motivational!

Also, re: the cloth napkins, some folks on here have had good luck with local Goodwills and Thrift shops, that may be a good place to start...

Callie, mom to Nora (12/7/05)
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#73 of 89 Old 01-29-2007, 02:53 PM
 
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What a great thread!!! I'm in.

You all have inspired me to get busy and stop making excuses. Today I went out and hung all the laundry that would fit on my line. I had a couple things left I had to throw in the dryer but every little bit helps right!?!?

Can someone tell me about the indoor drying racks?? Which kind works best and anything else I need to know. I'm thinking about looking for one.

We are doing a major declutter and selling tons of stuff this weekend.

The other things we already do are:
cloth for everything
gentle cleansers
organic as much as we can afford
local shopping as much as we can afford
composting and gardening and hopefully canning our bounty in the spring and summer!!!

We need to work on:
the amount of trash we have
turning off lights
hanging the clothes to dry more often
budgeting our money better so we can afford more organic stuff
stop buying pizza and make our own!!!
ETA: get back in the habit of handwashing dishes and recycling grey water (we've slacked since the Holidays)
sweeping the floor daily so I don't have to vacuum as often

Keep inspiring me to change, I love it!!!

Lori, mom to Elise 6/06, Ivy 4/08 and pos.gif 12/11
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#74 of 89 Old 01-29-2007, 04:01 PM
 
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My update:

Family cloth is going okay, though my set-up is much better in one bathroom over the other. I find I'm not doing as well when I use the other bathroom. Still working on that system.

I just put my composter together last night, and will have it outside hopefully by tomorrow. It needs to get done soon, because my kitchen compost canister is full and I know I'll start to get lazy if I don't have a place to empty it.

Junk mail appears to have slowed down, though I still have some things to do (places to call to get off their lists, placing a sign on my mailbox requesting no bulk mailings, etc.).

I've managed to bring my canvas bags to the grocery store since I made the goal! And our stack of plastic bags is dwindling, which is more of a clutter victory.......

Finally got my library card, which has saved me from buying a couple of books already.
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#75 of 89 Old 01-29-2007, 04:09 PM
 
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My update...

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Originally Posted by scbegonias View Post
Joining in (thanks Rainbowmoon!).

My January goals from my blog...
1. Declutter 400 items (mostly donate)
Done!
2. Switch to cloth tp
Done...for me and DD!
3. Change out lightbulbs to cf (we already have them)
Done!
4. Use cloth bags for shopping
Done!
5. Use paper bags (from work) for trashing kitty litter
When we've got them...flushing more in the meantime (with a mellow-yellowed toilet).
6. Switch cats to Innova Evo catfood (from Trader Joe's small bags and Science Diet C/D...not great in terms of waste and what's going into their bodies)
Done!
7. Make more purchases locally,from small stores
Done...and we're having fun doing it!
8. Ride bike to work more often
Done!
Great thread...can't wait for my next challenge!
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#76 of 89 Old 01-30-2007, 02:24 AM
 
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I went ahead and created our February thread! Please jump over whenever you want!

Expecting #2 in May 2013!

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#77 of 89 Old 01-30-2007, 02:27 AM
 
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So what do you all use to line your garbage cans with? We typically use plastic grocery bags, but with a switch to canvas I don't know what we'll do then... DH does the trash around here and he wants some sort of bag. I do not want to rock the boat to the point where garbage becomes my job!
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#78 of 89 Old 01-30-2007, 02:40 AM
 
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So what do you all use to line your garbage cans with? We typically use plastic grocery bags, but with a switch to canvas I don't know what we'll do then... DH does the trash around here and he wants some sort of bag. I do not want to rock the boat to the point where garbage becomes my job!
Do your local grocery stores have plastic bag recycling bins up front? When we're low on doggy doo bags, we grab a few from the recycling bin at our local grocery store.

Expecting #2 in May 2013!

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#79 of 89 Old 01-30-2007, 02:51 AM
 
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I haven't read all of the posts yet, but I wanted to join in! I just discovered the Green Living tribe, and I really hope that we get a forum soon!

Anyway, since Jan. is about over I won't post any of my goals until the feb. thread starts. I'm very excited about finding these threads and about doing more to live a green lifestyle.

btw, i edited my siggy to include a link to the tribe! I hope many more will join!

eta: I just saw that a feb. thread was started, so I guess I'll go post there now!
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#80 of 89 Old 01-30-2007, 03:31 AM
 
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Do your local grocery stores have plastic bag recycling bins up front? When we're low on doggy doo bags, we grab a few from the recycling bin at our local grocery store.
Hmmm or maybe I should just accept plastic bags at the store when we are running low, and use canvas the rest of the time.

Any other suggestions welcome.
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#81 of 89 Old 01-30-2007, 09:37 AM
 
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Hmmm or maybe I should just accept plastic bags at the store when we are running low, and use canvas the rest of the time.
That would work. Somehow, it would feel better to me to not accept new bags but to reuse bags that someone else was already going to use anyway. That way I wouldn't be supporting new bag production in any way. But I don't know if that's logical that's just my gut feeling!

Expecting #2 in May 2013!

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#82 of 89 Old 01-31-2007, 12:50 AM
 
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Hey girls - what is your best source for CF bulbs? Anyone have any luck finding some that give a "softer" light?

Proud Catholic, homeschooling, RN-student mama of
DS 10 reading.gif  DS 8 fencing.gif DS 5, DD 3 energy.gif and a new DS  belly.gif 3/2011
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#83 of 89 Old 01-31-2007, 03:23 AM
 
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That would work. Somehow, it would feel better to me to not accept new bags but to reuse bags that someone else was already going to use anyway. That way I wouldn't be supporting new bag production in any way. But I don't know if that's logical that's just my gut feeling!
That's a very good point. We grab a bag from the drawer sometimes tho to wrap vegies or whatever in, so I wonder how clean the ones in the bins are. Have you found them to be pretty clean generally?
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#84 of 89 Old 01-31-2007, 10:51 AM
 
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I did pretty well for January:

- Bought some canvas bags at the thrift store and remembered to use them at the grocery store every time.

- Drove 50 miles less than my monthly average for next year.

Off to think about February!
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#85 of 89 Old 02-01-2007, 03:00 AM
 
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Here's a re-cap of my January goals and what I accomplished:

Get cloth napkins and stop using so many paper napkins and towels. - We didn't get cloth napkins, yet. However, I did buy some handi-wipes (I'm cheap) and have been using them for cleaning in place of paper towels.

CD ds more frequently. - Yep! We've been CD'ing him more. Even my dh (Snappi's make him cry ) is starting to get the hang of it.

Find a much better alternative to the special diet my cat needs to be on. - We're getting there. I haven't had a ton of time to do thorough research. I've talked with a veterinarian that I work with about starting accupuncture. Also, I'm starting him (and my other cats) on Cosequin, which helps maintain bladder health, in addition to joint health.

Get mama cloths. - I haven't done this, yet, but we haven't had a ton of money to spare.

Declutter and give things to St. Vincent De Paul/other charities. - yup. We got rid of a few bags of clothes. We're still working on this and will for the next few months.

Off to the February challenge!

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#86 of 89 Old 02-01-2007, 11:11 AM
 
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So what do you all use to line your garbage cans with? We typically use plastic grocery bags, but with a switch to canvas I don't know what we'll do then... DH does the trash around here and he wants some sort of bag. I do not want to rock the boat to the point where garbage becomes my job!
This reminds me--

When we moved in to our old house(11 years ago) there was a trash can there that used plastic shopping bags. It attached to the cabinet door under the sink. It was sort of a rectangular wire hoop that had spots to hook the bag handles on and there was a lid. We had gotten rid of it because it was too small and we were "too busy" to recycle. When we moved into our new house we got a larger can and right now I find it goes 3-4 days before getting changed and we have to buy larger bags to use in it. To make a long story short--I would love to locate something similar to the plastic bag can.

Any ideas?
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#87 of 89 Old 02-01-2007, 11:13 AM
 
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Hey girls - what is your best source for CF bulbs? Anyone have any luck finding some that give a "softer" light?
Home Depot has CF's sometimes at 5/$10 or so. I have gotten 3-way there and have seen dimmables there.
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#88 of 89 Old 02-01-2007, 11:35 AM
 
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This reminds me--

When we moved in to our old house(11 years ago) there was a trash can there that used plastic shopping bags. It attached to the cabinet door under the sink. It was sort of a rectangular wire hoop that had spots to hook the bag handles on and there was a lid. We had gotten rid of it because it was too small and we were "too busy" to recycle. When we moved into our new house we got a larger can and right now I find it goes 3-4 days before getting changed and we have to buy larger bags to use in it. To make a long story short--I would love to locate something similar to the plastic bag can.

Any ideas?
My inlaws had these at their home in Singapore... We tried to get one, but we just did not have enough time to find the little store they bought it at... the store was called Howards. My fil thought Ikea had something similar. I will let you know if I find any online, and if you do, please share your source.
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#89 of 89 Old 02-01-2007, 12:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by melissa17s View Post
My inlaws had these at their home in Singapore... We tried to get one, but we just did not have enough time to find the little store they bought it at... the store was called Howards. My fil thought Ikea had something similar. I will let you know if I find any online, and if you do, please share your source.

I have one, although it's currently not in use because our cupboard doors in this house are too thin to support the hardware needed for mounting.

I bought mine in Canada, either at Zellers (Target analogue) or K-Mart. Probably Zellers. It was in the late 1990s when I got it, and it wasn't the first one I had (I left the old one with my ex). They weren't hard to find up there.

Being unable to use it here sucks. I tried double-sided-taping it to the inside of the undersink door but it kept falling off. So instead, right now we use a small plastic bin like you can find at any Target-like store, and we put used grocery bags in that. I have never purchased kitchen garbage bags in my entire life.

In re-using grocery bags, check the bottoms for holes, especially at the seams. You don't have to discard ones with holes, though...you can use them as doublers inside of ones that don't look like they have holes, because sometimes you'll find they actually do and leaks are a pain.

Wild Oats has the best bags in our area. We alternate between paper and plastic, so we can re-use the plastic for garbage (and it's what they need to wrap meat in anyway) and we re-use the paper to hold recycling, or to wrap postal packages when re-using Amazon and other corporate boxes for mailing. Trader Joe paper bags are also good for this, but their plastic bags aren't very good and almost always have holes, so we always get paper from them.

And Vons of course doesn't even have a paper option. So we re-use their bags in garbage bins that don't hold much wet stuff, such as bathrooms where it's mostly tissues and hairballs (we're long-haired hippie freaks and make good use of a hair trap over the shower drain!). Or we triple them up in the kitchen if needed.

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