Try not changing your trash bag more often then needed. If you sprinkle baking soda in a new bag, it will stay fresher longer. Why pay extra for scented bags. I take essential drops, put a couple drops on a cloth and wipe inside the bag. The smell lasts a week. Use vanilla, lavender or whatever is your favorite. If you are making dinner using meat containers, onions, garlic or have food that needs to be tossed, try using a grocery bag. Take it out right away instead of wasting a bag that isn't full.
Growing up in the country, we always had a bucket for the pigs, or maybe your community has a compost bin for gardens. Now I live in the city, so no buckets or pigs but I try to do my part. Living by the ocean, we always see how dolphins, fish and our waste is affecting everyone in some way.
When you get your food, most of us put produce in plastic type bags. Don't throw them away, instead try reusing them. You'll find they can come in handy. If not, maybe just get used to doing it in a different way. Look in the organic produce, my local store has the green bags for free. You can reuse them over and over again.These same bags are sold on TV and help with bananas or bread's life span. I have found by taking my lettuce, cucumbers or other produce out of the packaging or plastic bags, they keep crisper longer. The store keeps these damp to make it look more attractive to the buyer. It may look better but also will wilt your produce 3x as fast. Take out,dry off, put in drawer or container in fridge. Put a sponge in the drawer to absorb any moisture left. It works!
I buy a couple things packaged in really thick, resealable bags. Keep those and reuse them. They are great for taking along a damp cloth for sticky hands, laundry coins, dryer sheets, keeping Kleenex fresh; the list goes on. Using them for food is great! I have seen coffee in these type bags, my chia seeds come in them, cough drops. I have even noticed some chips now come in these type of plastic resealable bags. I find they keep things fresh so long and are not costing me a penny. Just remember, if you put in fridge,freezer or have several, mark what is in them.
Since I was a child, we used grocery bags in bathroom. I turn my so you can't see any writing and turn handles inward so you would never know. When I do have to get bags, I take several rolled up in the bottom of the bathroom container so when I take one out, another is handy.
We can't get away from plastic all together. If you try, be surprised how little you really need. All of it has another use and is saving you money somewhere else. Find a way to reuse them, even dog parks will take them. I have found they make great gloves when I don't want my hands to touch certain things. Great for cleaning out doors, even for painting.
I have found the zip lock bags can be used over 20x. I have a wine rack on my counter. Placing a wooden spoon so the handle sticks out is a great way for them to dry out fast. Just rinse, turn wrong side out, put in soapy water, rinse and dry. Ready for use next time. I have seen a cute clay pot with red beans in it that would be perfect. Stick any wooden spoon, wooden rulers or pencils, then set by sink to help your bags dry out faster. Lunches, snacks, sorting, dividing, freezing items all can be reused. Start your kids out young. Ask them to bring bag home. Let them see you reusing instead of wasting plastic. Tell them "I want your world to be better". They will grow up doing what you taught them and loving you for it.
It isnt about the money to everyone, as it is for me. We all need to look back and see what has happened and start changing it anyway we can. Being thrifty is a way of life for me, plus I love the challenge. Not everyone at the store has my budget. However, I do notice that more and more people are bringing in bags, taking them to thrift stores (when they don't shop there) or using their own bags. I think when I smile at them, we all know how great the little things are. This Earth was a gift, so I pray it brings joy for many, many generations.
By Luana M. from San Diego, CA
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