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EXERTIGER's Photo EXERTIGER Posts: 965
1/10/12 10:55 P

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I vote for cloth just because I don't like the mess of plastic while they wait for me to drop them at the recycle spot.

Yes, you can!


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1/8/12 8:36 A

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I try to use my cloth bags all the time, but sometimes I forget or it just doesn't work out and than I make sure that I recycle the plastic bags that I do get. emoticon

"The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible."
Arthur C. Clarke

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit."
Aristotle


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HIPPIECHIC68's Photo HIPPIECHIC68 SparkPoints: (17,932)
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1/2/12 1:00 P

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I know right...I would be afraid to count how many bags I have...my faves are the ones I crocheted...they get nice comments wherever I use them!

Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.

Love begins within.

Namaste

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


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FRENCHIFAL's Photo FRENCHIFAL SparkPoints: (99,550)
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1/2/12 11:05 A

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I have a mix; most of my totes are the recycled plastic versions I get at environmental events for free, I have a couple of nice canvas totes from the Nature Conservancy and such, and one my friend made for me. I have enough now that I have to say NO to free bag giveaways!!

Falon
Madison, WI ~ Central

Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.

~Mahatma Gandhi


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JUSTBIRDY's Photo JUSTBIRDY SparkPoints: (72,518)
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12/28/11 11:40 P

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thanks for the great links. I have mostly cloth bags that I have rescued or made myself.

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FRENCHIFAL's Photo FRENCHIFAL SparkPoints: (99,550)
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11/30/11 2:47 P

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Definitely cloth! You do have to actually remember them to reap the benefits, but for most people that's not hard. I keep them in a clip on the refrigerator, right next to my grocery list. I'd have to be blind to miss them.

Admittedly, they do have a higher carbon footprint to produce. Totes that look like they're made from plastic have to be used 11 times if they are to have a lower carbon impact than single-use bags, while cotton bags have to be used at least 131 times for a lower carbon footprint.

That seems high, but I can tell you right now that I usually buy food once a week (even if it's just a few vegetables, eating healthy means more frequent shopping) -- and on average I walk out with 2-3 cloth totes of food....one year, and I had already crossed that 131 times threshold. It seems like a high number, but it's not that high for healthy eaters, especially healthy eaters who have a big family!

Of course, plastic bags have a huge impact on the environment – just like plastic water bottles. The U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. An estimated 12 million barrels of oil are required to make that many plastic bags. And 1 kg of CO2 is emitted for every 5 bags produced. The waste stream is enormous -- on average, only 20% of all plastics are recycled, the rest end up in landfills and the ocean. And because plastic bags are less sturdy and smaller than cloth bags, it will take 3-4 plastic bags to carry the same amount of stuff as one cloth tote.

Making your own cloth bag from old jeans or another sturdy fabric carries a miniscule carbon footprint, so that would be the best option. Totes are just about the easiest thing in the world to sew, but if you usually carry heavy loads I would recommend double-stitching!

For your discussion, here is some information on recyclable, one-use bags v. totes:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/
2003/09/0902_030902_plasticbags.html
http://www.projectgreenbag.com/
http://www.reuseit.com/learn-more
http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/202
8024/plastic-bag-analysis-confirms-bag
s-life-carbon-savings


Falon
Madison, WI ~ Central

Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.

~Mahatma Gandhi


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BROOKLYNROSE's Photo BROOKLYNROSE Posts: 685
11/29/11 11:05 A

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cloth for sure!

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SKUTRGAL's Photo SKUTRGAL SparkPoints: (12,640)
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2/8/11 1:35 A

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Cloth 99% of the time. Our recycle bin in kitchen is perfect size for paper bag, so when it gets really nasty I will get groceries in paper.

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, ... , body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"


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SLM0305's Photo SLM0305 Posts: 4,138
2/6/11 7:08 P

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I'm definitely loving my supply of cloth bags and when I don't carry in enough, I ask for paper to put the breads & cereals in. That way I have more recycling stations for inside my house. emoticon emoticon

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ALCYON's Photo ALCYON SparkPoints: (10,374)
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1/30/11 9:04 P

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Cloth, definitely. Plastic may be recyclable but it's still petroleum!

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1/17/11 11:27 A

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I do have photos somewhere. I'll have to see if I can dig one out.
I got the idea at a farmer's market. There were these ladies that had been doing this but they were charging like $9-$12 a bag! Way more than I could afford. I decided to learn how to use my sewing machine and make my own. I then started making some crib toys for my son out of his old clothing. Some of the clothes were too stained up to donate, so I would clip out the parts that were clean and made these little peekaboo cubes for him. I don't know how to copy a picture here though.

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CONTENTANDFIT's Photo CONTENTANDFIT SparkPoints: (9,461)
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1/17/11 11:21 A

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That is a "Wow!". Where did you get the idea? Do you have any photos of them you could post?

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1/17/11 10:48 A

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I use about half and half in my house. I keep some plastic around for the cat poo and for when my daughter forgets her lunch bag at school. I usually don't use the plastic until I am out of them at home. I skimmed through and read that someone gets one from different stores while on vacation. I thought that was a great idea!

We make ours at home from old t-shirts that my kids have grown out of or that my fiance and I have worn out. I just cut and the collar and the sleeves and sew a hem, then I sew the bottom shut. It's prefect and my daughter's shirts (she's 5) are a perfect size for produce.

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1/17/11 10:26 A

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Maybe it's something in the water (that leads folks in your area to collect them).

eco-friendly sparkers co-leader sanantoniosustainableliving.blogspot
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HIPPIECHIC68's Photo HIPPIECHIC68 SparkPoints: (17,932)
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1/17/11 8:10 A

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LOL...It's funny because this lady is from the next big town from where I live.

Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.

Love begins within.

Namaste

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


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1/16/11 6:16 P

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HippieChic68 maybe some day your collection will make it into the Smithsonian like this lady's.

siris-archives.si.edu/ipac20/ipac.js
p?
uri=full=3100001~!140635!0


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1/16/11 9:59 A

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I love bags in general so I use the cloth or ones made of recycled plastic. While we were on vacation I had to get a new one from a different grocery store that was really cute. When I do get plastic bags from a store, we re-use them and then take them to wal-mart for recycling when they get holes.

Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.

Love begins within.

Namaste

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


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SUNNY1432's Photo SUNNY1432 SparkPoints: (131,436)
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1/16/11 9:14 A

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I use my cloth bags as much as possible!

"The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible."
Arthur C. Clarke

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit."
Aristotle


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CONTENTANDFIT's Photo CONTENTANDFIT SparkPoints: (9,461)
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11/30/10 12:12 P

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We have individual baggus* by the front door and my wife carries a pack of 3 slightly bigger baggus in the car. Together we have cut our use of plastic bags way down. I've also begun to just take things out of bags at the counter when I am given one and don't need it. I hope those aren't just trashed.

* baggubag.com/#Shop

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NEELIXNKES's Photo NEELIXNKES Posts: 6,738
11/30/10 10:52 A

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I bought some small nylon drawstring bags (laundry utility bags) to use for produce a few weeks ago. We've been much better about using our bags since we have put them in the trunk of each of our cars.

~Deb

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SEDONACAT's Photo SEDONACAT SparkPoints: (66,662)
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11/29/10 12:41 P

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I have so many reusable bags. I just forget to take them into the stores with me. BIG DUH. My DH is is really good about using them and I just have to do better.

emoticon

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11/19/10 7:35 P

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This one has been sticky for a while but no action on it. So it won't be sticky much longer.

I'm like Angrimike. I carry contractor bags with me in the mini-van and reuse them for hauling paper to the recycling dumpster at the school. I've re-used them to haul trash on a construction site to the dumpster.

My wife and I like Baggu ripstop nylon bags. The kind I use folds up easily into a pocket size pouch. They hold a huge amount.

I like the flashy colors and the lack of advertising.

baggubag.com/#Shop

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ANGRIMKE's Photo ANGRIMKE Posts: 7
6/27/10 1:04 P

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Cloth definitely! But I have started carrying a 'heavy=duty' plastic bag in the car to use when I buy plants! My car would probably start sprouting if the soil mixed with the dog fur!

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TRILLIANTOO's Photo TRILLIANTOO SparkPoints: (40,805)
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6/23/10 10:18 A

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Can you point me to that legislation? Because I've heard, read, seen nothing about it, and am turning up nothing on an internet search.



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(¸.·Trillian*´¨)
(¸.·´ (¸.·*
***********************

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." - Virginia Woolf

"Don't give up, just keep giving." character Sam on Touched by an Angel, episode Indigo Angel

"Keep Moving Forward" Disney/Pixar's Meet The Robinsons

"There is no problem that cannot be solved by chocolate" - Buffy, the Vampire Slayer


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JUSTBIRDY's Photo JUSTBIRDY SparkPoints: (72,518)
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6/22/10 9:40 P

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The new law is for all of California but it isn't in force yet.

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6/22/10 5:41 P

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Actually California didn't outlaw plastic - only San Francisco did.

Or as far as I know ... every city I've been in still has plastic ... except San Francisco.



*´¨)
¸.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
(¸.·Trillian*´¨)
(¸.·´ (¸.·*
***********************

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." - Virginia Woolf

"Don't give up, just keep giving." character Sam on Touched by an Angel, episode Indigo Angel

"Keep Moving Forward" Disney/Pixar's Meet The Robinsons

"There is no problem that cannot be solved by chocolate" - Buffy, the Vampire Slayer


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SLM0305's Photo SLM0305 Posts: 4,138
6/19/10 12:53 A

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I love my growing collection of cloth bags from different stores that I frequent. I especially enjoy using the new ones I bought at Trader Joe's that were made from 'recycled plastic bottles!' emoticon

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RASLALIQUE's Photo RASLALIQUE Posts: 1,484
6/8/10 6:43 A

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Reusable bags are better. There are even ones you can fold up really small and take around much more conveniently.

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6/4/10 10:37 A

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I am not sure if the California law will help that much. Most people I know have already switched to reuseable, since so many places are handing them out for free. I use other people's plastic bags for other projects.

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NCBARB's Photo NCBARB SparkPoints: (0)
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6/3/10 3:47 P

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Hi!

We use cloth bags also, from Walmart. We then take them also to another grocery store we frequent. We use plastic for things like frozen items and chicken. Then use those bags to line our bathroom, bedroom, and office trash bins ... cleaning up after the kitty's litter box and our old dog's "oopsies". =)

Just today, in fact, the state of California has outlawed individual plastic bags. I didn't read the story in full, but it seems they want you to use paper or cloth bags. Ireland got rid of plastic bags a long time ago.

~ Barbara
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JWARD199's Photo JWARD199 SparkPoints: (66,604)
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6/3/10 10:37 A

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If I forget my own bags, I ask for paper, and I try to reuse them. I also cut them up and use them for a sketch journal. I do end up with some plastic, which I am attempting to recycle, but can't find a place to accept them. I don't like the idea of plastic bags. I see them all over the fields in the winter. There are thousands of them in some fields; thousands of white plastic bags floating around after having escaped the land fill.



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6/2/10 2:53 P

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75% of the time (three weeks of four) it's cloth.

My garbage gets put in the bags from the fourth week.
(Requirement that all garbage is bagged.)

*
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*
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6/1/10 1:57 P

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We use both, we use the recycable bags as garbage bags when camping and also to wrap seasonal things for storage (ie Christmas decorations, knick knacks,etc). Sometimes we send a bagful to our school as they use them to help kids take home large quantities of things or at their book fairs for those who want their items bagged. Our local thrift store will also collect recyclable bags and use them to cut on costs of buying them.

*Deb
Wisconsin, Central Time Zone

Psalms 31:24 "Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD."

Ecclesiastes 4:12 "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."



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REDHOTDIVA's Photo REDHOTDIVA Posts: 1,486
1/8/10 5:48 P

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Most of the time I use my cloth bags, but I do occasionally ask for paper (when I need new bedding for the indoor worm bin). On the rare occasion I forget my reusable bags, I try to reuse the plastic ones several times before recycling (we have a plastic bag manufacturer nearby, and they actually do recycle the bags put in their collection barrels). I have also used the plastic bags to stuff pillows to use outdoors at concerts or picnics - that way, if they get wet, nothing gets nasty like regular stuffing would.

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MINDY_SUE Posts: 2,021
1/4/10 5:26 P

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cloth only for me!

melinda

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HIGHLIFE73's Photo HIGHLIFE73 SparkPoints: (13,945)
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11/24/09 1:56 P

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I use cloth only. Plastic bags beyond the recycle issue they are cheap & rip so your grocery end up on the ground before in the house.
I have found that a lot of stores are paying you for the use of cloth bags. I only shop 1-2 times a month due to driving so far to store so they give me 5 cents a bag last week I got 60 cents back and all my grocery made it in house without falling through plastic first. It's not much but it's something.

I can't change my past, but I can change my future!


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PRFND_RAINCLOUD's Photo PRFND_RAINCLOUD Posts: 1,074
11/6/09 11:59 A

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I use cloth. In many stores here they now charge you for plastic bags. Also a few have swithced to paper bags if you forget your bag you get your groceries in paper!

Edited by: PRFND_RAINCLOUD at: 11/6/2009 (11:59)
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PEPPERMINT06's Photo PEPPERMINT06 Posts: 2,497
10/30/09 8:56 A

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My vote is for cloth!

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JASI27's Photo JASI27 Posts: 854
10/19/09 8:36 P

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My vote is for cloth all the way! I use mine all the time (when I remember them), unless I fall short on the plastic bags because we reuse them in many many ways at my house. We use them for packaging, sending home soiled clothing from the daycare, cat litter, to empty the ashtrays in, as garbage bags....etc

"The more you focus on the person you want to become, the more your subconscious mind will direct your behavior to match that image!" Bill Cashell

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CCSOGIRL's Photo CCSOGIRL Posts: 447
10/18/09 2:11 A

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i use cloth bags and paper bags and plastic bags sometimes. i also have a humongous "freezer" bag that is double lined and holds like 4 bags of groceries worth of cold foods until i get home (i live far from the grocery store i prefer). if i forget my bags or don't have enough (i have a big family) then i usually get paper. i use them to hold my recyclables (the paperboard and tin food cans and plastic tubs not marked #1) and they go in the same bin too. i do occasionally get plastic bags from places who don't have paper, but i recycle them adamantly, either in my own home several times (cat litter dirty diapers etc)or at my local store. I at least am comforted to know for certain that in the county where i live, they do recycle the recyclable items and not just put them in the dump. thats horrible!
on a side note, has anyone tried reynolds new recycled aluminum foil? i am so glad they came out with this. its a great alternative to ziploc bags for packing lunches.

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CINDYINCT Posts: 4
10/15/09 11:10 A

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Cloth or a basket (such as a Longaberger basket). They can be beautiful and make a statement about how you live your life. They last for years and take a lot of use and abuse, both bags and baskets. I have cloth mesh bags and Longaberger Baskets that are all almost 20 years old. If we happen to get plastic bags somewhere we always make sure we reuse them.

FIBERFERRET Posts: 53
9/15/09 12:52 P

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Definitely cloth. I saw a video a while ago about how "recyclable" plastic bags are not recycled because it costs 3 times as much to recycle them as it does to make new ones. Those little boxes outside your grocery store where you can put them to be recycled- lies, they go to a landfill. I spent a good hour looking this up further on the internet and I'm very convinced the video was right.

My dad has a similar thing happen at his printing company. The company pays a recycling company to take care of all their waste paper (plain white, no dyes) He was talking to one of the truck drivers who picks it up once and the driver told him they just take it straight to the dump. NEVER trust that what you put in a recycling bin actually gets recycled, do your best to reduce & reuse first.

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8/1/09 6:55 P

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I'm a little unclear about the bags - we reuse the plastic ones from the store for other grocieries but mostly for cat litter.

Most of the reuseable bags I see aren't made from cloth, they're made from vinyl or other non-cloth materials.

I have a few canvas ones.

I have a few I made from old tank tops and t-shirts ... so I guess it really depends what specific bags you're talking about.

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HAPPYMELZ's Photo HAPPYMELZ Posts: 1,592
7/21/09 2:37 P

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I can fit 2 gallons of milk in one bag! :)

I LOVE my cloth bags!

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THEKITTENPUP's Photo THEKITTENPUP SparkPoints: (0)
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7/20/09 1:31 A

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i do like to keep some plastic around for things like cleaning the litter box, but for shopping purposes...

cloth all the way! If nothing else, they can hold more than plastic lol

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NEWEERIETHREAT's Photo NEWEERIETHREAT Posts: 48
7/8/09 10:17 A

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Cloth all the way! Not only is it more eco-friendly, but it saves me so much storage space! Those plastic bags take up a lot of space, especially if you're like me and refuse to throw them away.



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WILLAMLC's Photo WILLAMLC Posts: 40,670
7/7/09 8:10 A

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It seems a consensus, I would say cloth also. I have bags I have been using for 2 years! No plastic bag beats this! LOL

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LOLAGEEK's Photo LOLAGEEK Posts: 1,125
7/4/09 1:22 A

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This is such a great topic. I have been looking into a related question myself... the energetic work into creating the cheap re-usable bags at many large retailers like Target. They just seem like they have some petroleum in them (but that is a project I am doing on the side).

I wish treehugger had a cost-analysis on this topic like they do with bottled water. I only found something similar to this topic in their forums though

forums.treehugger.com/viewtopic.php?
f=
2&t=9832


Personally I prefer cloth. I am attached to my bags and cognizant of having them for when I do go shopping. I have not bought cloth bags but have acquired them from conferences, stores, etc. I have had some for over 10 years and I think they have helped me be aware of my shopping habits and plan what I buy better. And I must say, the ones I own are pretty stylish. I am posing with one of my faves in my photo gallery ;)



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GAEA3070's Photo GAEA3070 SparkPoints: (43,482)
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7/2/09 6:36 P

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I say cloth for sure! I've never bought one. Received as gifts or from other people that have too many or threw them out. They can be used for many years. I hang them on my coat rack to grab when I go out; don't own a vehicle. Shop with my dd but can't keep them in her car cause she says they smell like patchouli. Could be worse!

Have a great weekend!

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HAPPYMELZ's Photo HAPPYMELZ Posts: 1,592
7/1/09 2:06 P

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I defenitely say CLOTH.
YES, plastic ARE recyclable...but we use up natural resources to produce them.

CLOTH are made from CLOTH...and MOST are reclaimed things...and are much more sturdy anyway.

It isn't THAT hard to use cloth bads.
I just keep mine in the trunk of my car, and I've made a habit of popping the trunk when I park at the store...that way I have to go to the trunk to either get the bags or close the trunk. ;)

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TREGIANI's Photo TREGIANI SparkPoints: (0)
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7/1/09 1:46 P

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I am a big fan of cloth bags. The thing is, even if the plastic bags are really recycled, there's a whole new amount of energy and resources to make that happen. The cloth bag is made once and that's it. There is less energy and less resources used to make it, and since you keep it, there's no need to recycle.
But if the plastic bags end up going to waste, then all the problems we know about: they end up in the ocean, turtles die eating eat, and so on.

Just tell your SO that the "3 R" rule to be more eco-friendly: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Using a cloth bag is good for the 2 first "R"!

Have a great day!

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SARAHGMD Posts: 834
7/1/09 1:41 P

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It depends on how long you reuse them. A reusable bag probably costs more resources to make than 1 recyclable bag. Maybe even several, but if you use it enough the cost of recycling will be greater than the cost of the reusable bag, because recycling still takes energy and resources. So for long term users a reusable bag is definitely the answer.

However, if you end up buying/acquiring reusable bags frequently because others are lost full etc. the argument could be made for recyclables, especially if you actually recycle them.

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ERINLASH78's Photo ERINLASH78 Posts: 379
7/1/09 12:30 P

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My SO and I have been having this argument lately, so I'm asking your opinion: which is better - reusable cloth bags or recyclable plastic bags? I say reusable because they cost less to make and last longer. He says plastic because they are more convenient (don't have to carry them around) and he thinks they cost less to make and recycle. What is your opinion?

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