I'm cool because I now have the coolest bags out there for buying groceries. Like most people I bring home a trunk full of plastic bags when I buy groceries. My grocery store will bag meat or loose onions or anything with a spray trigger and then put it in the bigger bag so you've got even more plastic. I usually save the things because they come in handy when scooping out the litter box, but I have collected such a heaping mound of them, and I don't even want to think about how many I have thrown away.
The two stores I shop in sell reusable bags for 99¢ each, although one of them gave me some as a bonus for contributing to a Food for the Needy program. The thing is, these bags are ugly, especially the free ones. That store has no sense of color, and everything is beige. The bags from the other store are emblazoned with the logo of their store brand, and I don't really care to advertise that stuff. I don't buy their products, so I don't want to walk around with their bags as if I'm a fan of cheap soup and knock-off Q-tips.
Well, I now have a new solution. Envirosax. I first discovered these when Niece Lizard gave them to my sister for Christmas. She has a set of five in a floral design. Now I have my own set of five, and they are vintage kitchen graphics with recipes like "How to Make Play Dough" and tips like "To remove a fresh red wine stain on carpet." And they're huge—19 x 16—with sturdy handles and stitching. I took all five to the store the other day and bought a bunch of stuff, and the bag boy/man only used four of the bags. Granted, this store puts your groceries in big bins that go on to a conveyor belt that goes outside, and you drive by to pick up your haul so the carts never leave the store. That means that large things like cat litter and toilet paper don't get put into bags. But I still had plenty of bag room for my groceries. And...I'm cool.
Here is how to remove the wine stain, by the way: sprinkle plenty of bicarbonate soda over the stain and leave until dry. Vacuum, and if the stain is still apparent, sprinkle with a little more bicarbonate soda and a few drops of vinegar. Scrub with a soft brush before letting the stain dry. Vacuum.
Some facts about plastic bags:
• Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter each year.
• According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. (Estimated cost to retailers is $4 billion)
• Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food.
• Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade—breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest.
• Plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris most often found in coastal cleanups, according to the nonprofit Center for Marine Conservation.