Let's face it; reusable bags are an easy way to "go green". It may not solve all the world's problems, but carrying a cloth or fabric shopping bag to the grocery can be simple, stylish and fun! If you're just starting out, here are some helpful Q&A aimed at helping you choose a bag perfect for you.
I don't want to lug around heavy bags!
Choose a small or medium sized bag with shoulder-length handles. The smaller size will ensure that fewer groceries (and therefore fewer pounds) end up inside the bag. The longer handles allow the weight to be distributed over the shoulder instead of cutting into the hands. This eases the bag carrying chore for arthritic people and those without a lot of arm strength. We also recommend wider handles, which further distributes the weight and doesn't cut off circulation. Carrying around 3 or 4 bags should be no problem!
I want to make as few trips as possible from my car to the kitchen.
Simple. Buy bigger bags. Look for bags that offer full gussets instead of just bottom gussets. It's amazing what the added side gussets do for overall volume. Choose something with a medium length handle which will allow you to carry the bags both over the shoulder as well as in your hands. Again, wider straps = more comfort.
But I like plastic sacks!
Well, you're in luck. There are a variety of plastic sack impersonators out there that are made of...not plastic. Lots of them are available in fun prints and colors, so you can coordinate your bags with your mood. You can choose from nylon, poly, even organic cotton (Organic Cotton Sack).
I want to save the earth.
You'll want to try organic cotton or hemp.
I want to buy Fair Trade bags.
Look at the label (or website) before you buy. If a reusable bag is fair trade/fair labor, it will boast that fact. Also, American-made products are usually a good indicator that someone in a decent working environment made the bags for a fair wage. Hint: Sorry, that 99 cent grocery bag probably isn't fair trade.