Category Archives: plastic bags

Awesome Finds

There is a certain element of secondhand shopping that is more thrilling than regular shopping. Let’s call it “the hunt”.

You know, that exhilarating feeling you get when you’ve found a single useful or beautiful or perfectly fitting item in a sea of used crap? I feel like there is some kind of superior skill involved thrift storing that just doesn’t apply to browsing a mall where everything is neatly laid out for you.

There is also a compulsion after purchasing a fabulous secondhand item that makes you not only want to tell people about it, but also, absurdly, how much you paid for it. As if the fewer dollars you gave to the, no doubt non-proft, thrift store staffed by volunteers, the better you are.

I say this tongue in check of course because I myself am a fan of “the hunt”. And although I am no super shopper, I do have a few awesome thrift store finds that I feel compelled to share. True, they are all “things”, and we really are trying to rid our house of having too many “things”, but I’m pretty sure you’ll agree that they are worth keeping:

1. A winter coat. Never mind that it’s now spring; I found this back in November. At long last, my green jacket which makes me look like I borrowed a 14 year old’s wardrobe has been replaced by a proper and mature lady’s coat that amazingly had sleeves that were long enough. ($20 at Value Village)

2. A stick blender. Don’t give me flack because it’s plastic. My mom found this for $4 at the Sally Ann, and I’ve already made 3 different kinds of soup with it as well as made quick work of chopping some nuts, so I think it’s worth it.

3. And finally, whilst looking for a cardigan, I ended up finding this little beauty. I’m pretty sure I was the only one in the store who knew what it was.

It’s a bag dryer! We don’t have too many plastic bags these days, but I do have a few in circulation that I wash a lot, and this lovely dryer which I first read about on My Plastic Free Life is perfect.

Have you found any secondhand gems lately?

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Filed under consumerism, plastic bags

Sometimes You Forget the Damn Bag

Grant says your reusable bag should be like your wallet and keys – you just shouldn’t leave home without it.

Well, honestly. . . sometimes I forget my wallet.

But we have house rules, and one of those rules is “no new plastic grocery bags”.  If you forget your bag, that’s just too bad; I guess you didn’t need that thing you wanted to buy as badly as you thought.

Either that, or you improvise.

For example, upon forgetting their bulk bags, some people (aka Grant) get the coffee roasters to put the loose beans directly into their regular shopping bag.

That got me thinking about other ways to avoid the dreaded plastic bag.  You could:

  • salvage used plastic bags from the recycling pile at the grocery store
  • stuff your groceries into your purse
  • “borrow” the plastic basket from the grocers (I’m not advocating this in any way)

  • fashion a carrying bag from your shirt (image from My Zero Waste)

  • carry your groceries in your arms

I particularly like this last one and was lucky enough to personally witness this occurring at a store where they charge $1 per plastic bag.  It was pretty hilarious to see people struggling out of the store with a family’s worth of grocery items precariously balanced in their arms.  I can tell you, it only took one time before customers caught on to the new bag fees.

Anything to save $1 a plastic bag right?

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Waste Watch Wednesday – Bag It

There seems to be a never ending stream of eco-conscious films these days.  No Impact Man hits the theatre soon as does The Age of Stupid.

Well, I just heard about another one called Bag It.  Beth, from Fake Plastic Fish was interviewed for it.  At first I was a bit disappointed by that since we wanted to interview her for our documentary, but really, the more people out there spreading the word about waste reduction (be it through film, blogging, or word of mouth) the better.  Anyway, this flick looks pretty good.  Hope it comes to a town near you.

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Moukisacs and Moukinets

moukisac1I spent a year not buying “stuff”, so it may seem ironic that I’m about to shamelessly flog a material product, but I really do think it’s for the greater zero-waste good.

The first thing I bought after we finished our Clean Bin Project year was. . . well, it was actually a secondhand dress for my cousin’s wedding. . . . but, the second thing I bought was a set of Moukinets. They’re a fabulous reusable alternative to those flimsy plastic bulk and produce bags and you can use them for things like sprouting and making cheese too.

First off, they’re handmade in Vancouver, BC (points for local if you live in Canada or the US).

Second, you can put them in the washing machine (points for convenience and cleanliness).

Third, they have a drawstring, which is a feature come other bags I’ve seen are missing. You might think it doesn’t matter for veggies, but when you start buying oats and rice in them, you’ll remember that I said this and be thankful for the drawstring. Continue reading

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Day 105: Packaging Snobbery

We in Canada live in an almost overwhelmingly polite society.  I’ve actually seen people say sorry to inanimate objects at the supermarket after hitting a display with their cart.  Seriously.

It’s not that we’re not friendly, it’s just that we don’t tell other people what to do.  We don’t (usually) chat to strangers on the bus, we don’t intervene in people’s private lives, and we definitely don’t tell people what we think about their personal shopping decisions. . . . do we? Continue reading

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Filed under interactions, plastic bags, reusable containers