Friday, March 6, 2009

After the Deal Spin: Paper or Plastic?

As the deals pile up in your home, what also often piles up are the bags that carry all the deals home. So what does a deal spinner do with all the paper and plastic bags? While saving some “green” by finding great deals, you can also save some “green” in terms of our planet. Here are some suggestions on how the Diva family recycles paper and plastic bags:

Stinky Diapers – Phew! We keep a supply of plastic bags in Baby D’s room and use them to “contain the stink” and dispose of poopy diapers.

Kitchen Recycling – Our city provides a large, wheeled recycle can which we keep in our garage. For years, whenever we had something to recycle (a paper, a can, etc.), we would walk it to the garage - one item at a time. As you can imagine, we would sometimes get lazy and throw recyclable items in the kitchen trash, to save the trip out to the garage. In addition, during winter months, each time we opened the door to the garage, we’d loose a bit of heat as the cold air rushed in. To kick our kitchen recycling into high gear, we now keep a paper grocery bag in the kitchen cabinet next to our garbage can. Recycling is now much more convenient, and when the paper bag is full, we simply toss the whole thing in the recycle can in the garage. As a result, our recycle can is always brimming full whenever the recycling truck comes around to collect the recyclables.

Artwork – Here’s a tip I learned from Grandma Diva. We keep a plastic bag in Junior Diva’s backpack. Whenever he makes a “messy” project at school, the project is sent home inside the plastic bag which protects other items in the backpack from any glue, glitter, or wet paint on the paper.

Donate Them – Every year our church has a huge garage sale. We donate our excess bags to the church along with our regular clothing and household donations. The church goes through hundreds of bags to package up garage sales shopper’s purchases.

In addition to finding creative ways to reuse paper and plastic bags, the Diva family is also making a greater effort to bring reusable shopping bags with us to stores. I keep cloth shopping bags in my car, and they come in handy, particularly when shopping at Costco or Aldi.

Your Turn: What do you do with your paper or plastic bags? Leave a comment to share your tips.


Anonymous said...

I have cut them into strips and then crocheted them in to nice sturdy totes that you can use over and over for groceries or whatever you choose.

CJ said...

I use plastic bags in the bathroom trash can and to hold recyclables when I take them to the recycling center. Both of the grocery stores in my town have bins where they can be deposited and they are then recycled. I'm getting better at remembering to use my reusable tote bags so that I don't accumulate more plastic bags than I can use.