reusable produce bags

okay, i’m still working on my 101 things in 1001 days list, but #18 has on my mind lately: reusable produce bags. i use canvas tote bags for my groceries almost 100% of the time now (it took awhile to develop the habit, but i’m pretty good at it these days), but the little plastic produce bags are starting to make me feel inCREDibly wasteful. it’s like, "put two carrots in a bag, drive home, throw the bag away." ugh. i’m going to make a point of taking them to the humane society to use for poop bags from now on, but what i’d really like to do is buy some reusable ones. does anyone have experience with this? tried and true bags? nifty ideas? food for thought? these are the ones i’m looking at right now, but i’m totally open to suggestions. muchas gracias in advance!

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21 comments

  1. I don’t know if this idea appeals to you at all, but…I work at Whole Foods, and I see a lot of people who don’t use produce bags at all. They just make sure easily-damaged things, like leafy vegetables and bananas and stuff, are on the top.

  2. I don’t really use produce bags. only if I’m buying a lot of a certain small thing (like apples). everything else just gets piled in the cart.

  3. I don’t use produce bags for just a few things, but if I do need them (like for buying grains in bulk or whatever) I just re-use the ones I’ve already gotten. I keep a few in the canvas bags I use for groceries so they’re ready.

  4. I don’t think we use bags for produce most of the time, but when I buy stuff in bulk (rice, beans, granola, etc) I definitely do. But this is a really interesting topic that I hadn’t actually thought much about. And so thanks for posting.

  5. I’ve used produce bags in the past and they worked well. However, they got dirty very fast and didn’t wash up very well. The ones I had look like the ones you linked to. I’ve thought about getting some again, but like someone said already, I mostly just don’t use bags anymore when buying produce.

  6. i never even thought of the produce bags. i did buy some cloth grocery totes and i even have them in my car. but so far, i forget EVERY single time that i have them and so i haven’t used them yet.
    i’m such an idiot. but i do recycle and reuse the bags i do get from the store, so it’s not a complete waste. i need to figure out a better way of reminding myself i have them and using them.

  7. I am going to make them out of organic cheese cloth I purchased at the co-op. This is the super cheap, easy and washable. I like using these over the no bag theory-you don’t know what was in the cart or on the register belt before your produce or what the store washes down with. There are standards to be maintained in the grocery’s produce dept to keep things organic (no stacking conventional boxes on top of organic, etc) but once you pick it up it is up to you.

  8. oh my gosh, thank you SO much everyone! selina, i don’t sew, but it’s a fun idea. 🙂 i have heard of the no-bag approach, and i can’t decide if it squicks me out or not (kind of like veganpickles is saying)… also, if you get a lot of little somethings, smaller bags seem like a good way to wrangle them! heh. and river, i was the same way at first–i had the canvas totes, but i’d forget to bring them in. eventually it becomes a habit!
    i’ll keep you all posted when i eventually try something new. 🙂 thanks again!

  9. oh my gosh, thank you SO much everyone! selina, i don’t sew, but it’s a fun idea. 🙂 i have heard of the no-bag approach, and i can’t decide if it squicks me out or not (kind of like veganpickles is saying)… also, if you get a lot of little somethings, smaller bags seem like a good way to wrangle them! heh. and river, i was the same way at first–i had the canvas totes, but i’d forget to bring them in. eventually it becomes a habit!
    i’ll keep you all posted when i eventually try something new. 🙂 thanks again!

  10. I agree, it’s so wasteful to take one bag for a few apples o garlic bulbs. I already get lots of those bags from bread so I would need 14 dogs to actually use them all. I love this small bag company that sells both produce and canvas bags…carbon neutral with a social conscience. http://www.lioli.ca

  11. I agree, it’s so wasteful to take one bag for a few apples o garlic bulbs. I already get lots of those bags from bread so I would need 14 dogs to actually use them all. I love this small bag company that sells both produce and canvas bags…carbon neutral with a social conscience. http://www.lioli.ca

  12. simone, you’re a taskmaster! i love it! so, one year later… we’ve actually been using the bags fairly regularly, and they work great! the only time i get a plastic one is when i get something like giant (wet) leafy lettuce, just to keep everything from getting soggy… otherwise, right in the baby cotton bags with everything. 🙂

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