Step 1: Stop Using Plastic Shopping Bags

I love tote bags! I use them to pack-up during a move and I fill them with snacks and activities when I have a long journey. But I’ve never quite jumped in on the convenience of bringing them to the grocery store. That ends NOW.

The Plan:

At an event a few weeks ago at work, a US Foods recruiter left behind some heavy duty, reusable, shopping bags as a promotional give-away. I decided to take a few of them home with me from work last Friday to use when we go grocery shopping – which needed to happen sooner rather than later. I put them in the trunk of my car so that they were there for the upcoming trip!

As for our pile of plastic grocery bags under the counter in the kitchen counter:

My fiance, Mike, and I got rid of our trash can (mostly because it smelled bad) about 4 months ago. And yes, I know that is TERRIBLE. I have not been a good steward of the Earth. And ever since then we bring home our groceries in plastic shopping bags and reuse those bags to put a couple days worth of trash into. So we have two options:

Continue using those plastic shopping bags as trash bags until I make the change of how we do trash and recycling and maybe even composting OR take those shopping bags to Target to be recycled and force myself to upgrade our trash and recycling system. Unfortunately, I think we will be doing the former of the two. (Let’s do one thing at a time.)

How It Went:

Saturday, Mike and I decided to do our grocery shopping. He groaned at my bags and said we weren’t going to have enough for all of our groceries. I think I recall a “You want get rid of plastic, not me” comment, but I digress. Carrying the bags from the trunk we marched into Kroger and I placed them in my shopping cart.

At the checkout counter, I sheepishly shrugged at the cashier with my bags in hand and she directed me to place them by the bagger. He placed our groceries into the bags and I soon realized that Mike might be correct: we weren’t going to have enough for all of our groceries. So I encouraged the bagger to stuff them as full as he could. We left with three full reusable bags and a separate *plastic* bag with our breads in it.

At the car, Mike noted that this would be so much easier to carry inside than our usual multiple trip method. And he was right. Carrying in our groceries and unpacking them was efficient and effective! And after a hectic reorganizing of our closets and storage space on Sunday, I found another tote bag that we can use for groceries – so we should be good to go from here on out.

Tips For You:

  • Want to get your hands on some reusable shopping bags? Vendors give them away all the time, but you can also just buy them at your local grocery store. Wherever you shop, you will find shopping bags!
  • Want to recycle plastic shopping bags? Visit this Directory and type in your postal code to find stores near you to return your used bags to! How neat is that?


This was my first step in the No Plastic is Fantastic Challenge and I want to hear from you! What tips and tricks do you have for not using plastic shopping bags? Share your stories and advice below!



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Nicole says:

    I try to leave my bags in my car to utilize each trip or shop at places like ALDI where they don’t use plastic bags. I don’t always to remember to put my reusable ones back in the car though which is frustrating! I try to recycle the bags I do have and use them for multiple purposes.


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