Eco Hack: Produce Bags for Pennies
Looking for a way to cut down even further on your plastic bag consumption? Thought about produce bags but not wanting to dish out between three and seven dollars a pop for them? Read about how I snagged a full set of four for a buck today, and explore other DIY options for freebies with items you have in your home.
I've been wanting to do this for a while now. I really have. But with my life in transition for so long and with several other projects I've taken on, my time for DIY is dwindling rapidly. And while I don't mind paying a bit more for one or two bags of precision design to get me by on the fly (more on this in an upcoming reusable bag review), produce bags are something I'll need a fair amount of when I make the transition. At even three bucks a pop, a set of a dozen just doesn't seem that reasonable. Enter, Tidy Totes. They come in a resealable snap pack of four. My source? The local Dollar Tree. That's right. Twenty-five cents a piece, baby. Bring it on.
If you don't have a local Dollar Tree, they are also available at Amazon, Pep Boys, Walgreens or Ace, according to their web site. Look in the automotive sections. This is where the "hack" part comes into play. Since they are marketed as a car organization product, they don't come up when searching for reusable produce bags. They are green mesh bags with a drawstring closure, and roll up compactly for storage in their own container or with your shopping bags. While these will work great for produce and such, they are mesh and as such unsuitable for things like flour and spices. For that type of bulk buying and plastic elimination, you may want to go with this DIY style made with recycled sheer curtains. They certainly look workable to me, even if you have to buy used sheer curtains at the thrift store. If you've got some in your closet and some extra shoelaces kicking around however, you could whip some up for free if you're craft capable. For other shopping bag suggestions, keep an eye out for my upcoming review article of several urban-geared designs, check out Linsey's article on free sources, or give the Gorgeously Green coupon code a try.