Using reusable bags. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 81 Old 04-22-2008, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you take your cloth bags to places like Target, Khols, Walmart? Anywhere that uses a plastic bag? why do somepeople only think they have to be used at the grocery store? Is this the "trend" part of it speaking?
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#2 of 81 Old 04-22-2008, 09:59 AM
 
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I use my cloth bags in every store I go to. I still get odd looks/comments from the cashiers, but I don't mind.

I've only ever had trouble once, at Kohls. The cashier told me that it was store policy that everything had to leave the store "in a bag". I told her that I would just tuck it into my bag. She then backpeddled and said "oh, in a KOHLS bag". I didn't want to hold up the lengthy line so I just accepted the darn bag. I should have tossed it back inside the door when I left

I think that more and more people are catching on to bringing their own bags. The more often others see me use mine the more likely they'll start as well!

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#3 of 81 Old 04-22-2008, 10:00 AM
 
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*double post

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#4 of 81 Old 04-22-2008, 10:07 AM
 
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I bring my bags anywhere I need bags. I think they get used at the grocery store most of the time b/c that is where many people use the most bags. Target and Walmart both sell reusable bags for $.99 now.

I hope that the "trend" continues and everyone stops using papaer and plastic shopping bags. It is better for the enviornemnt and the economy.

Mom to Iris and Henry
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#5 of 81 Old 04-22-2008, 10:15 AM
 
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I take 'em everywhere I might need a bag. Grocery shopping, book store, target, malls, thrift store, the lirbrary. I try to avoid plastic bags like the plague. I find I have to be really outspoken and vigilant to make sure they don't put my stuff in a bag, and if they start to use a bag and I correct them, that they don't then throw that bag away. It's a good idea to get one that can fold up real small and keep it in your purse.
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#6 of 81 Old 04-22-2008, 11:58 AM
 
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I'm very happy to say that, after years of being an oddball with my own bags in every store in town, I'm starting to see people with their own bags everywhere I go. Used to be, the only place I saw reusable bags besides my own was at the natural grocery or the co-op. Now I see them at the regular grocery, Target, Costco, etc. Yay!

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#7 of 81 Old 04-22-2008, 04:40 PM
 
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I've brought them into Target occasionally, but honestly I forget most of the time. In Ikea, they actually charge you for bags- you can buy a reusable bag for 60 cents or so, or pay 10 cents for a plastic "disposable" bag. The last time I was in there, we'd been to the mall (and I'd stupidly forgotten my cloth bags in the car) but we were able to fit the Ikea merchandise into my other plastic bags from the mall and didn't need to purchase any more bags.

The fact remains that I do "non grocery" shopping so rarely that I'm just not in the habit of bringing my bags with me, like I do when grocery shopping. And when I'm at the thrift store, they use ordinary garbage bags (clean and new of course!) that I reuse at home, so I don't feel bad about taking those bags at all.

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#8 of 81 Old 04-22-2008, 04:54 PM
 
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I take my bags to the grocery pretty regularly, but I rarely take them to other types of stores. Mostly I just plain don't remember to do so. Or I am going to buy just one thing, and end up buying more than I expected (Target!!). Or I just go to browse and end up buying someting (bookstores!).

It's on my mental to-do (things in life to feel guilty about) list, but that list just keeps getting longer.

I did start volunteering at Meals on Wheels, and we actully use the plastic bags to bag up the hot meals with the mik, bread and fruit as we carry them up to the houses - so I do have a good way to reuse those plastic bags I do end up with.

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#9 of 81 Old 04-22-2008, 07:05 PM
 
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If you have trouble remembering your bags, I find it helpful to keep one bag in the car at all times. That way, if I make an unexpected stop, I have it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lunar forest View Post
I find I have to be really outspoken and vigilant to make sure they don't put my stuff in a bag, and if they start to use a bag and I correct them, that they don't then throw that bag away.
Ooh, that drives me CRAZY! Luckily, it's only happened twice. But still. In both cases, I said "If you're just going to throw it away, give it to me and I'll recycle it for you." They were pretty flustered, but I don't care.

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#10 of 81 Old 04-22-2008, 07:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Teensy View Post
It's on my mental to-do (things in life to feel guilty about) list, but that list just keeps getting longer.
Oh, and I wanted to say...don't feel guilty! We all do the best we can with the information and energy and resources we have at the time.

Expecting #2 in May 2013!

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#11 of 81 Old 04-22-2008, 10:46 PM
 
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I keep my bags in the back of my car. I have not been in the habit of bringing my bags into other stores, but I now have some bags that fold up and I keep in my purse. Now I always have them with me! I feel so much better using them.
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#12 of 81 Old 04-22-2008, 11:21 PM
 
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It's interesting how habits are created - and uncreated.
In Europe, we never went shopping without a bag (they charge you for it). Now, after 9 years in America and getting used to the "paper or plastic" question, I have to make a mental note each time I enter a store to take my bags with me. More than once, I forgot. So I asked the cashier to just put the groceries back into the shopping cart, which so far all of them did. Then I put the groceries in my bags in the car.
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#13 of 81 Old 04-23-2008, 08:46 AM
 
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and I don't usually forget them because I need to bring several.

I use Chico bags with the carabiner on them to remember to bring bags other places like the Flowers Bakery Thrift store, my local Farmer's Market, the library, Wal-Greens where I get my son's prescription filled, etc.

Each of my children picked out a favorite color of Chico bag so they carry one too which I may borrow if I forget my own bag or if mine is already full!

Sincerely,
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#14 of 81 Old 04-23-2008, 10:17 AM
 
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I take my bags. For me, I started doing it because the plastic ones were a PITA as they always seemed to rip and tear. (We formerly reused the plastics for trash bags) My grocery store purchased reusables stand up nicely and I end up with few bags to carry. No push back yet.

I purchased the reusables as soon as my local store offered them. They sold out immediately and have restocked may times. I am shocked how they have taken off like wildfire in my area.

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#15 of 81 Old 04-23-2008, 12:31 PM
 
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I do most of my grocery shopping at a store that is used to seeing cloth bags so I ALWAYS remember them there. When I go to a regular grocery store they give met he hardest time about it! Some of the cashiers have even acted personally offended if I didn't want their "free" plastic bag! So I tend to not even bother with reusable bags at typical grocery stores, isn't that sad? When I lived in MD I used to always bring my bags to the normal grocery store and they were great about it.

I do try to use them at other stores too. I'm never questioned about it at a bookstore (new or used). Target is hit or miss. They're usually pretty good with me using my own, but I went there with a friend, who bought their cloth bags and the cashier refused to put her stuff in them!! She insisted that everything had to be in a target bag. Ugh. After explaining it to her three times we finally gave up and accepted their plastic bags.
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#16 of 81 Old 04-23-2008, 02:36 PM
 
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I take my bags everywhere, even to the mall. I've had a couple of run-ins with cashiers, but no biggies. I have the green and black grocery bags and I also have canvas totes. And I keep one or two mesh ones in my purse at all times.

As soon as I'm done unloading groceries, I hang the bags on the door and put them right into the trunk for the next time.

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#17 of 81 Old 04-24-2008, 01:23 PM
 
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I take my sturdy bags everywhere

I've also got two small canvas bags that I keep in my purse for those unexpected quick trips.
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#18 of 81 Old 04-24-2008, 01:30 PM
 
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Our local wal mart gave away one free cloth bag per person last weekend. I added it to my Wild Oats and Kroger bags. Every store I go in I bring a bag, and I don't get weird looks anymore. Even Petsmart!
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#19 of 81 Old 04-24-2008, 01:49 PM
 
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I use reusable bags or bins in almost all the stores that we shop at. I don't often shop besides grocery/market stuff, but they work anywhere. Reusable cloth bags are so much stronger and more useful than the plastic ones! It really does help to try to keep at least one in the car for unexpected trips. I have also occasionally forgotten, and just put the things in the trunk (we live rural, so always drive in for purchases) and unpacked them at home. That is not a great option, though...groceries rolling around!

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#20 of 81 Old 04-28-2008, 02:01 PM
 
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How do you all deal with the bagging at places like WalMart where they have the carousel thing? I have some greenbags and some chicobags.

Everywhere else is easy, but when we do big grocery shopping it seems hard to deal with cloth when we have a over-flowing cart of groceries.

Mom of 3 sons and one daughter
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#21 of 81 Old 04-28-2008, 07:25 PM
 
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Canvas bags with longer straps can be hung over a bag carousel. Or you can just skip using the carousel altogether.

I made a resolution to improve my cloth bag use in Jan 2007 and did a great job of going from seldom using them anywhere to using them almost every single time. It was a matter of just plain deciding to get into the habit and working to identify the reasons I would forget (stuff like not putting bags back into the car, or not having one in my purse) and solving those problems. I bought 2 string bags (the ecobags kind, they were available in my local natural foods store) to tuck into my purse. They're very compact and can hold a lot. When I forget to bring a bag, I try to go bagless or just skip the purchase if possible.

I've never had a clerk tell me that I'm not *allowed* to use my bags, although I've met plenty who got confused about the bags or wanted to bag things in their plastic bag and THEN my cloth bag. I see myself as a missionary for the cause in those cases - if enough people like me keep using the cloth, the clerks will get used to it. If somebody told me I wasn't allowed, I'd tell them that my receipt was sufficient for proving that I had made a purchase. If they insisted, I'd probably ask to see a manager. I'm not usually confrontational but I'm not willing to let their ignorance bully me into taking a plastic bag home.

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#22 of 81 Old 04-29-2008, 08:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaffNowCryLater View Post
How do you all deal with the bagging at places like WalMart where they have the carousel thing? I have some greenbags and some chicobags.

Everywhere else is easy, but when we do big grocery shopping it seems hard to deal with cloth when we have a over-flowing cart of groceries.
For example have the Chico bags unstuffed from their little bag.

I've been to a Wal-Mart grocery store before and it would be a little tricky for the cashier to bag your groceries but if more people bring their own bags they may redesign the space.

At Publix or Whole Foods where I go I open up my Green bag or Whole Foods bag and set it at the end of the space where the food is directed to. Either the store bagger or my children start bagging. I don't like my Chico bags as much because they don't stand up but I think the nylon bags are going to last longer than the other fabric like on a Green bag.

When I'm at Wal-Greens getting a prescription or somewhere else like Sears for underwear I just lay the bag down with my purchases or else I hold it open if I'm only getting a few things this way the cashier understands I don't want a bag. At Office Max the cashier put my things in a plastic bag ignoring my bag so I just removed them from the plastic bag and put them in my own bag!
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#23 of 81 Old 04-29-2008, 08:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alysmommy2004 View Post
I do most of my grocery shopping at a store that is used to seeing cloth bags so I ALWAYS remember them there. When I go to a regular grocery store they give met he hardest time about it! Some of the cashiers have even acted personally offended if I didn't want their "free" plastic bag! So I tend to not even bother with reusable bags at typical grocery stores, isn't that sad? When I lived in MD I used to always bring my bags to the normal grocery store and they were great about it.

I do try to use them at other stores too. I'm never questioned about it at a bookstore (new or used). Target is hit or miss. They're usually pretty good with me using my own, but I went there with a friend, who bought their cloth bags and the cashier refused to put her stuff in them!! She insisted that everything had to be in a target bag. Ugh. After explaining it to her three times we finally gave up and accepted their plastic bags.
My mom told me they are peach colored or something like that and kind of pretty!
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#24 of 81 Old 04-29-2008, 10:13 AM
 
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My mom told me they are peach colored or something like that and kind of pretty!
I got one of each size from Target, they are red with a white tree design. I would have bought more but they only had those 2 left! They are made by greenbags and cheaper than buying greenbags anywhere else (that I know of). The small one was $.99 and the bigger one was $1.49.

Here is what they look like:

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...%3D1%26hl%3Den

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#25 of 81 Old 04-29-2008, 10:17 AM
 
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The only reusable bag I've seen at target lately is ugly, it has a bunch of their plastic bags sewn onto it. I can hardly ever remember mine either, but sunday I used the new bags I just bought at Macy's $3.95, no tax and a dollar goes to natnl parks. I got kudos from three different people for using them, talk about exciting.

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#26 of 81 Old 04-29-2008, 10:27 AM
 
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ok...so i have plenty of canvas bags, and i desire to use them...but there is a dilemma...

i use them when i go to clothing stores or to the pet store er whatever...whenever I might get a huge giant bag that I don't need...

but the smaller grocery store bags are the bags we use as trash bags!

i know this sounds horrible, because in the end they end up in a landfill..but we don't buy trashbags as a result! and we only use like 1-2 of those little bags per week for trash (it's only me and dh).

So how do I reconcile not using grocery bags as garbage bags. we honestly do use canvas bags, or more often than not, no bag for all of our other purchases...but grocery bags are part of our household "thing". sometimes i'll get paper instead of plastic, cause i reuse the paper as gift wrap and stuff, but it doesn't hold up for trash use well.

i know there are "green" trash bags, but i can't justify buying plastic to throw it away, even if its recycled and whatever.

does anyone else do this? just get the plastic bags and use them for trash bags?

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#27 of 81 Old 04-29-2008, 11:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by OceansEve View Post
The only reusable bag I've seen at target lately is ugly, it has a bunch of their plastic bags sewn onto it. I can hardly ever remember mine either, but sunday I used the new bags I just bought at Macy's $3.95, no tax and a dollar goes to natnl parks. I got kudos from three different people for using them, talk about exciting.

I've seen those too. Not only are they ugly, they are almost $6 a bag.

Mom of 3 sons and one daughter
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#28 of 81 Old 04-29-2008, 11:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by chirp View Post

does anyone else do this? just get the plastic bags and use them for trash bags?

We do too, so my goal is to use cloth at all stores, and at the grocery store get the majority of our stuff in cloth and maybe take home a few things in plastic so I can recycle them for the trash. To be honest I don't even have enough bags to fit all my groceries anyways so I always will have some that will need to be put in plastic.

Mom of 3 sons and one daughter
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#29 of 81 Old 04-29-2008, 11:56 AM
 
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i know there are "green" trash bags, but i can't justify buying plastic to throw it away, even if its recycled and whatever.
But those bags you're using don't biodegrade. You'd be much better off buying the biodegradable (not the recycled, I agree with you on that point) trash bags to give your trash some hope of potentially breaking down at some point, no?


oh yeah - nak
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#30 of 81 Old 04-29-2008, 12:56 PM
 
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Another thing that I do in the hot phoenix summers, is I bring a cooler into the store and put my cold/frozen foods into it. They get scanned at the checkout and put right back into the cooler for the trip home. Milk can literally spoil on the way home here!

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