#Totewiser

It’s human nature for us to choose the path we’re most familiar with which is why adopting a new habit can be quite a challenge. We understand that it’s easy to forget your reusable tote bag sometimes, or to forget what to do with it when you’re done using it. Here are some general tips on how to remember your tote and how to take care of them to help sustain your new endeavour – but also to make the use of tote bags feel more effortless!

1. Purchase ultra compact reusable bags that you can easily slip into your pocket or bag so you never forget them.

2. Put your reusable bags on the counter before any of the things you’re buying so that the cashier knows to put your items in these bags instead of automatically bagging using plastic bags

3. Hand or machine wash your tote bags regularly. This kills about 99% of the bacteria accumulated by them. The great thing is canvas, burlap or cotton bags are all washable.

4. If you’ve used reusable bags to transport non-food items like washing detergent, cleaners or other chemicals, make sure you wash them before re-using it to transport food items. Alternatively, you can use different coloured bags for different purposes. Owning two totes is better than opting for a plastic bag.

5. Storing reusable tote bags in the trunk of your car is actually not a good idea because in the warmer months the increased temperatures can promote bacteria growth on your bags.

6. You should place your meat, poultry and fish in a separate reusable bag to your fresh produce to avoid contamination

7. If you want to carry frozen things, consider lining your reusable bags with waxed butcher paper

8. When you’re trying to enforce the habit, maybe try hanging your tote bag on the same shoulder as your purse so that you don’t forget when you get up to the counter!

These are a few tips we think would help. If you’re looking for some more great tips, one of the best we found our tips from was Small Footprint Family.¬†

Share with us what you do to remember your reusable bags – or how you keep ’em clean!

 

Plastic bags or Paper bags?

Image: Green Retreat Org

The answer is neither.

Many people are under the impression that replacing the use of plastic bags with paper bags is doing the environment a favour, but when we take a closer look it’s actually not the case.

Here’s some reasons why using paper bags is not a better alternative:

  • In the US alone, over 14 million trees are cut down to fulfil the demand for the production of paper bags
  • Paper bags¬†cause pollution when they’re produced. In fact they emit 70% more air pollution and 50% more water pollution than the production of plastic bags
  • Paper bag production also consumes a great amount of energy and fuel – four times as much as plastic bag production to be precise
  • Paper also doesn’t biodegrade that much faster than plastic and despite their high recyclability factor, only 20% of paper bags are recycled

Want to know more about the truth behind paper bags? Here’s a great TED talk on the topic

Right about now you’re probably wandering what the solution is, whether there’s even any option left. After all, you thought reducing your plastic foot print by opting for paper bags was helping didn’t you? Never fear, all hope is not lost.

Here’s where the humble reusable canvas tote bags come in. Just looking at the information above proves that there’s no better option than to go reusable! If you need further convincing though…

  • The average reusable bag has a lifespan that beats over seven hundred single-use plastic bags
  • If just one person uses a reusable bag for their whole life, they’re avoiding the use of 22 000 plastic bags in total alone
  • You’re becoming a part of the solution when you prove that there’s little need and demand for plastic or paper bags!

So come on, what are you waiting for. Tote simple, totewise.

Were you surprised by these facts about paper bags? Share with us some of your experiences in using different forms of bags and which one you think worked best holistically.