Like many American consumers, you probably have an accumulating mass of plastic shopping bags from countless trips to the supermarket or from last weekend’s retail therapy. Although you might reuse some plastic bags, most will inevitably end up in a landfill where they take up to 1,000 years to decompose. Discouraging as that may be, there is a very simple, eco chic way to keep pesky plastic out of landfills: reusable bags!
The reusable bag is hardly a new idea, but in light of the green movement it seems to have become the vogue of today’s consumers. Frequently spotted at grocery stores, in produce isles, and at local farmers’ markets, reusable bags are much more practical than their wasteful and disposable counterparts. Affordable, eco-friendly, and right on trend, reusable bags are the latest accessory for the PC collegiette™. Since there are plenty of options to choose from, it’s easy to find a reusable bag that fits your personal style:
The Go Getter
Grovestand on the Go Tote in Lemon ($6.95, www.modcloth.com)
Save time, space, and the environment with this adorable reusable grocery tote. It folds up into a freshly squeezed, pocket-sized pouch—perfect for on-the-go collegiettes™!
The Statement Maker
“I’m Not a Paper Bag” Recycled Cotton Lunch Bag ($10.95, www.reuseit.com)
Send a message with a reusable bag that won’t beat around the bush. Similar to the highly coveted “I’m Not a Plastic Bag” tote by Anya Hindmarch, this more recent (and affordable) bag will turn heads on your next lunch break.
The Stylish Shopper
Nordstrom Slouchy Eco Tote with Pouch ($21.95, www.nordstrom.com)
A classy and well-designed bag never goes out of style. The eco chicest of collegiettes™ will love this convertible Nordstrom tote made from recycled water bottles!
The Eco-Friendly Epicure
100% Organic Cotton Reusable Produce Bag in Peapod ($6, www.green-kits.com)
For foodies, veggie-enthusiasts, or those who love to cook, food-specific produce bags are the ideal choice. Mix and match these adorable drawstring bags to hold your favorite produce on your next farmers’ market outing.
The Fashionable Philanthropist
FEED 10 Bag with Drawstring Pouch ($25, www.feedprojects.com)
Every purchase of the FEED 10 bag provides 10 school meals to children through the United Nations World Food Programme. Each FEED bag for sale at www.feedprojects.com contributes proceeds to a different but significant cause.
The Charitable Chap
TBWA\Vancouver EcoBag ($25, www.treesandrocks.com/ecoBags)
For the man in your life who is less than enthusiastic about carrying a tote into the grocery store: these cheeky canvas bags are discreetly eco-friendly with understated flair.
The Queen of Green
100% Certified Organic Cotton Credo Shopper ($26, www.credobags.ca)
Are you an all-around green goddess? Proudly display your eco-friendly mantras with this pesticide- and chemical-free organic cotton tote!
Now that you’re a reusable bag aficionada, are you wondering what to do with that mountain of crumpled plastic from your pre-green era?
Reuse! If you’re a pet owner, use plastic bags as litter box liners or to clean up after your dog. You can also rehash them as bathroom wastebasket liners or keep a few in your car for a variety of on-the-go uses.
Recycle! Visit www.abagslife.com to find local retailers that will recycle all kinds of plastic bags, including dry-cleaning bags, bread bags, and wraps from paper towels, bathroom tissue, and napkins.
Images from ModCloth.com, Reuseit.com, Nordstrom.com, Green-Kits.com, FeedProjects.com, TreesandRocks.com, and CredoBags.ca