BYO bag: Declutter your life from disposable bags

BlogHer Original Post

Don't tote a reusable tote yet? You're way behind the curve. Go beyond the paper-or-plastic nonsense and earn a nickel or dime back as "bag credit" when you shop at most grocery stores. To get inspired to reduce and reuse, check out what handy reusable bags green-thinking bloggers are toting eco-style:

Plastic Bag Rehab tote

1. Get a bag that shows off your personal style. I'm in a bit of a bag-identity crisis right now, because my favorite show-off bag was my cute red neoprene wine tote that I got complimented on all the time -- but I've stopped drinking for the time being. For now, I mostly use my Plastic Rehab tote.

What bag defines your style? Maria at Demeter's Garden loves the tote she got at H-Mart, an Asian grocery store, because "it expresses my feelings on good food." I like this one because it's a gorgeous eggplant color! And my fellow BlogHer contributing editor Liz Rizzo at Everyday Goddess has not one, not two, but 15 -- yes, 15 -- reusable bags, ranging from corporate freebies to a BlogHer '08 tote to everything in between. I hope they each get a little reusable love --


2. Get a bag you won't forget. That means you need a compactifiable bag you can carry in your purse to unfurl at a moment's notice. This little bag will come in especially handy at IKEA, which has nixed plastic bags entirely!

Zadi Diaz of EpicFu fame, for example, carries her Cool California tote in her purse. My fellow MNN blogger Robin Shreeves at A Little Greener Every Day says the original Chico bag (right) is her favorite: "they last forever, are washable, and fold up small." I use an Envirosax tote that folds up into the size of a sushi roll. What about you?

3. Get rid of the bag inside the bag. Remembered to take your tote to the farmers' market? Next time, go a step further and bring smaller bags for your fruits and veggies too so you're not filling up that reusable tote with a whole bunch of disposable flimsy produce bags. Whether you buy organic cotton produce bags or simply reuse the produce bags you've already got, keep working on decluttering your life of unnecessary disposables.

Why reuse? Besides collecting nickels and dimes, decluttering your kitchen and not wasting hard earned money on unnecessary storage gadgets like these, you'll keep turtles from suffocating, birdies from dropping dead, surfers from getting tangled up in trash, and the ocean from turning into one big garbage patch. Get your neighbors involved and eventually, you'll start saving your tax dollars -- because a lot of those get spent trying to clean up everything from city gutters to beaches to waste center machines that get gunked up with the disposables.

Want to show off your own reusable bag? Link to a photo or post of your bag in the comments!

BlogHer Contributing Editor Siel will tote her BYO bag and mug to BlogHer '09! She also blogs at


In order to comment on, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.