Do you ever open your refrigerator and notice just how many plastic bags you have in there? Before we started having most of our organic produce delivered to our house, our crisper drawers would be jam-packed full of plastic disposable produce bags from the grocery store. You may recall from a previous post that we have started buying a great deal of our fresh produce from Door to Door Organics, and when our box of produce arrives, many of the items are not contained in anything for proper refrigerator storage. I didn't want to buy disposable plastic bags that I would just throw away, so to the internet I went in search of something reusable. I bought these organic cotton reusable produce storage bags, and they just arrived yesterday! I got three different sizes - large, medium and small.
You may be wondering why I chose cotton bags, as many reusable produce bags are made of a mesh-type material. Well, there are a couple of reasons: 1. the cotton bags may be used for more things, such as grains or flour (if I were to take them to a store/market and buy things from bulk bins), and 2. if you dampen the cotton bags, they keep your produce crisp for longer, which is important to me as we eat a lot of salads and like good crisp lettuce! I went a step further and opted for the "unbleached organic" cotton to avoid the pesticides that are used on conventional cotton (we are storing food in them, after all).
These bags are great to take along with you to a farmers' market, or even to the grocery store (just toss them in with your reusable grocery bags!). They have a sewn-in tag with their tare weight, so when the cashier is weighing your produce, they just subtract the tare weight of the bag from the total weight that comes up on their scale.
They are machine washable, so you can just toss them in with your kitchen towels at the end of the week. These do need to be line-dried, so if you are planning to take them to the store with you, a little bit of planning ahead to make sure they are ready to go is necessary.
According to Causes.com, "The U.S. alone uses over 100 billion plastic bags and produces 31 million tons of plastic waste per year. Plastic bags are a huge problem to dispose of because each one takes up to a thousand years to degrade." Yes, the grocery store produce bags are free, but for less than $20, we now will be adding less plastic waste to our trash every week, and will be able to better maintain the freshness of our fruits and vegetables for longer!