Stay Informed, Stay Inspired: Subscribe to Our Good-News-Eco Newsletter + Unlock a Free E-book!

Bring your own reusable bag

Written by: Hendrik

Category: Zero Waste

Updated on:


Why should you bring your own bag?

Ever noticed how most grocery trips end with a pile of plastic bags that somehow find their way into every nook and cranny of your home? Those disposable bags are a nuisance and a threat to our environment. That’s where the magic of bringing your own bag comes in – it’s a simple action that makes an impact, one shopping trip at a time.

The benefits of making this switch are numerous. For starters, it’s an effective way to save money.

  1. Many stores now charge customers for using plastic bags, while others offer discounts for those who can bring bags of their own. It might seem like mere cents at first glance, but these savings add up over time!
  2. Another significant benefit is the positive environmental impact. Each year countless plastic bags end up in our oceans and landfills because they can’t be recycled effectively due to limitations in recycling facilities. By choosing to bring your own bag, you’re helping decrease this waste dramatically.

Bringing along reusable shopping bags may seem like a small action, but collectively, we can create substantial change by making this simple switch from disposable plastic bags—save money and protect our planet one trip at a time!

reusable bag 1

How to remember to bring your own bags

In the hustle and bustle of life, remembering to bring your reusable bag to grocery stores can sometimes be a challenge. But fret not; I have some practical tips that will help turn it into a natural habit.

Firstly, try keeping your reusable bags in easily visible places – this could be by your door or in your car’s backseat.

By doing this, you’ll be reminded every time you’re about to hop into the car for a quick run to the store or when you’re leaving your house. Frequent shoppers may find it handy to keep a couple of bags stowed away at different locations.

For example, keep one at work for those impromptu after-work grocery shopping trips or one in your gym locker for that post-workout store dash. Another useful trick is connecting bringing reusable bags with other habits.

Perhaps you do laundry every Saturday?

Try placing the bag near your laundry basket so that when you grab clothes for washing, it serves as a reminder.

Do you know how some stores have those signs reminding customers about their “sale” or “spend $50 get $3 off”?

How about they put up friendly reminders by the doors saying: “Don’t forget your reusable bags!” That’s an idea any eco-friendly store should buy into.

Bringing along reusable bags is good for our wallets and our planet! It takes small shifts on our part, which make significant differences over time.

shopping basket
Img: Earthero

Best materials for your own bag.

Choosing the right material for your reusable bag is a key point to consider. Not all reusable bags are created equal, and the material can make a huge difference when it comes to durability and sustainability. Polypropylene bags, for instance, are sturdy and recyclable.

They’re made from plastic but can be used hundreds of times before they start to wear out. But there’s something that you may not realize: while they can technically be recycled, many recyclable programs don’t accept them – a tricky situation!

So, while they’re certainly better than single-use plastic bags, they’re not the greenest option. Cotton bags, on the other hand, really take the bread when it comes to eco-friendliness.

They’re literally as green as you can get: natural, biodegradable and often organic too. But it’s important to remember that cotton requires a lot of water in its production process – another conundrum in our scenario!

Now let’s chat about nylon bags for a minute. They’re ultra-lightweight, durable and can often fold up small enough to fit in your pocket or glove compartment of your car – super handy when you need quick access!

Plus, if you shop at stores that offer discounts for bringing your own bag (let’s face it, we all want to avoid paying extra), nylon bags are perfect since they’re so easy to carry around. Let’s not forget about recycled PET or rPET plastic bags.

While this might seem like an oxymoron (a recycled plastic bag?), these types of bags give new life to old single-use bottles that would have otherwise ended up in landfill sites, so there you have it – four types of materials commonly used for reusable shopping bags: polypropylene, cotton, nylon and rPET plastics.

This insight should help guide you during the “selecting” phase and ensure that whatever bag you choose aligns with your values, whether those lean more towards convenience, environmental responsibility or perhaps both!

All these options will save countless single-use plastics from ending up on our dear planet every time you go shopping – so no matter which one you choose, remember – any reusable bag is better than no bag at all!

byo bag

DIY bring your own bag

diy tote bag tutorial+easy to sew+sewing pattern free (sewing for beginners)

Diving into the world of DIY, it’s quite feasible to make your own reusable bag. Not only will you have a unique accessory, but it can also be cost-effective. You can use a variety of materials from your home – an old pair of jeans or a T-shirt that’s seen better days would work perfectly!

It’s not just about being eco-conscious; it’s about maximizing what you already have. This way, every trip to the grocery store won’t feel like you’re contributing to waste; instead, you’d be reducing it.

If sewing seems daunting, countless no-sew tutorials available online are beginner-friendly. The end product might not look like something off the runway, but it would serve its purpose well.

But with time, it will become second nature – remember the signs! So the next time you’re at a store, and they ask if you want paper or plastic, proudly say “No thank you,” because now, bringing your own bag isn’t just an act of carrying groceries; it’s a sign, a statement saying ‘I care for my environment.’

Buying your first reusable bag

Here are a couple of great companies that you can choose from:

1. Life Without Plastic

byo bag

Life Without Plastic is a B Corporation™ offering a range of plastic-free products since 2006. Not only do they sell beautiful tote bags, but they also have a huge range of all-organic cotton sandwich bags, produce bags and many more.

Looking for a one-stop shop for all your needs while being environmentally conscious? Look no further than the zero waste store, which boasts a diverse range of products to suit your shopping needs.

Related: The best zero waste stores

2. Zero Waste Store

zero waste store more planet less plastic organic tote bag 30082802090095

The Zero Waste Store is an excellent destination for individuals who are passionate about reducing their environmental impact. This establishment boasts a comprehensive selection of zero waste products, as well as reusable bags, all of which are readily available for purchase. Their inventory is carefully curated to cater to a variety of needs, ensuring that customers can find exactly what they are looking for. With the Zero Waste Store, you can shop with confidence, knowing that you are making a positive contribution to the planet.

3. Earthero

chicobag vita repete reusable shopping bag

Earthero is not just about reusable bags. They offer a vast selection of sustainable products, ranging from kids’ toys to yoga mats and much more. Think of it as the ultimate destination for all things sustainable.

Get 15% Off With Code 15ZWM

Impact of bringing your own bag on businesses.

The impact of the Bring Your Own Bag movement on businesses is an intriguing facet to delve into. Let’s start with the cost savings: businesses spend a significant amount on disposable bags. This fact alone can drive up prices and potentially clutter up their limited storage space with these dispensable items.

On average, stores hand out anywhere between 1-6 plastic bags per customer transaction, rapidly depleting their stockpile and ushering in a constant need for repurchasing. When customers bring their own reusable bags, businesses reduce this expense and lessen retailers’ reliance on plastic production, contributing to harmful environmental impacts.

Additionally, introducing incentives such as discounts for customers who bring their own reusable bags can promote consumer loyalty and satisfaction. Businesses foster a positive relationship with environmentally conscious shoppers by providing consumers access to these perks for supporting eco-friendly practices like reusing bags.

Now let’s talk about brand exposure: when a customer uses a store’s branded reusable bag outside of the store itself, it serves as free advertising. This kind of promotion reaches target audiences that traditional marketing strategies may miss out on.

With each reuse of the branded bag in different spaces – grocery stores, gyms, offices – there’s potential to reach new clients every time. Furthermore, by promoting reuse through BYOB initiatives, businesses set themselves apart from competitors and other communities by taking definitive action towards reducing environmental impact.

The collective decision to lessen the usage of plastic bags ensures fewer end up in landfills or oceans — an effort that resonates positively with many consumers today. So remember, when you tote your reusable bag around town, you’re not just saving space in your home from bring your own bag clutter or making an effort to reduce landfill waste — you’re also a good cause and supporting businesses who appreciate your efforts and are working towards making our planet a healthier place!

Related: How to go zero waste on a budget?

Difference between paper and plastic vs. reusable bags

If you’ve ever found yourself in the supermarket checkout line, confronted with the question “paper or plastic?” you’ll undoubtedly realize there’s much more to consider than just your groceries. While paper and plastic bags are both recyclable, they aren’t without their own set of problems.

Paper bags might seem like a better option due to their ability to break down faster than their plastic counterparts. However, they are costlier and require more resources to manufacture and transport.

Did you know it takes approximately four times more energy to produce a paper bag than a plastic one? It’s also worth mentioning that paper bags take up far more space in landfills.

Let’s talk about plastic bags. Although they are lightweight, convenient, and recyclable, they often end up in our oceans or littering our landscapes because of inadequate recycling practices.

They also take anywhere from 1000 years to fully decompose – an alarming figure when we realize the sheer volume of disposable bags we use each year. Enter the reusable bag: a simple solution that can save us money and reduce our environmental footprint.

By opting for reusable bags over disposable ones, we can cut down on waste and save considerable amounts of resources in the form of production and transportation costs. Many retailers offer small discounts if you bring your own bag, which can add up over time.

Plus, quality reusable bags have superior durability – they pass the test of long-term use with flying colors! And remember those pesky signs at checkouts asking, “Paper or plastic?”, well with a reusable bag in hand, there’s no need for such dilemmas!

Reusable bags provide an opportunity for us all to make a significant difference at little cost – both financially and environmentally speaking. So next time you head out shopping, don’t forget your reusable bag!

Photo of author

Hendrik Kaiser

I've studied biology and lived for 3 years on an off-grid permaculture farm. I love kitesurfing and keeping my body healthy and fit. Hence, I care so much about keeping our environment clean and being as zero waste as possible. Being a zerowasteman is a superpower everyone has inside of themselves, and I want to teach you how you can unleash it.

Leave a Comment