30 Days to Zero Waste (Day 6:Cloth Produce Bags)

zero waste cloth produce bags

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30 Days to Zero Waste (Cloth Produce Bags) | Try reusable produce bags to reduce waste.
Disposable packaging lurks everywhere we go and for the most part, is nearly impossible to avoid.
Most of the packaging we are faced with is rarely ever necessary and could be avoided with some preparation or just plain ole avoidance.
Smaller cloth bags can serve multiple purposes at a grocery store. These are probably some of my all-time favorite tools to reduce waste while I’m outside my home.
But before you go off and buy something (I always strongly suggest not to) look around your home for things that could work first. I know of a lot of items we buy already that come with tinier little cloth bags that can be used for such purposes.
Sheets, shoes, purses, some garments, and even jewelry oftentimes come with fabric bags that could be used. And if you are handy with a sewing machine or know someone who is, this could be a fun project.
1. I use my reusable produce bags for loose produce. Mainly when I’m getting a bunch of one item such as potatoes, mushrooms, apples, or lemons. I usually just let my produce roll around loose in my cart.
And now that reusable bags are still “banned” in my local grocery stores, I let it all stay naked in my cart and just wash it when I get home.
2. If your bulk departments are operational, small cloth bulk/produce bags work wonderfully for loose, package-free foods.
3. If you have a local bakery that you support, use your cloth bags for bread, pastries, cookies, or my favorite, brownies. Say no to the plastic or paper bags if you can.
4. Use them for leftovers when you are at a restaurant. I fill mine with leftover tortilla chips when we go out for tacos. I’ve even used them for leftover sandwiches.
What do you think about reusable bulk/produce bags?

Check out one of my first blog posts about cloth produce bags: Paper or Plastic?

Day 7: Bulk Bins

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10 thoughts on “30 Days to Zero Waste (Day 6:Cloth Produce Bags)

  1. I found these really cute bags in a local “crunchy” place/natural food store. I use them for bulk bins & fruits and veggies. Really lightweight, if you are so good at making them yourself. I'm not.

    Just google “ecobags”. I didn't want to put a link and be all spammy about it.

  2. Save the little cloth bags that your sheets or pillowcases came in! I saved a few of these hoping to find a new use for them and I think I have just found my new use 🙂

  3. Hello, I'm interested in going waste-free and have found your posts very useful! Something that has stumped me is how to buy meat, poultry, eggs, etc. How do you transport them home? I can't put raw chicken in a reusable bag. As for eggs, if the carton is recyclable then is recycling the carton still living waste-free? Thanks for the help!

  4. You can take your plastic or glass containers to the meat or deli counter. They can tare the weight of your containers and put your meat directly in them. The only bit of trash would be the sticker. Some store's will do this for you no problem but some may resist/refuse. Local butchers are more accepting of the “zero waste” idea, so give them a try if you have difficulty at the grocery store.

    As for the egg carton, many reuse their cartons by taking them back to the farmers at farmer's markets. You can also compost them since they are cardboard. Yes, zero waste simply means not sending to landfill.

    • Many can. I’ve had success as dozens of grocery stores. It’s easier to tare your containers at home beforehand so that you only need to have the tare weight subtracted at checkout. If I’m visiting a new store, I’ll find an employee beforehand, explain to them what I’m doing, then get my bulk items. I’ve never had an issue. 🙂

  5. Any tips on how to keep greens from wilting while they’re being stored in cloth bags in the fridge? I am hanging on to my plastic bags for storage of certain veggies since I find they don’t keep as well in cloth. I’d love to hear any suggestions you may have for this!

    • I dampen my cloth bag to keep greens and with other veggies like carrots, I store them in water. Also, I’m fortunate to have a crisper drawer in my fridge that does an amazing job at keeping my greens. Hope this helps!

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