Why are most store-bought items overpackaged? If you notice, your groceries typically are enclosed in boxes and bags. And children’s toys! On Christmas morning it’s apparent – and appalling – that there’s more packaging than product.
I hate having to dispose of the overpackaging, but I do. When I can find reusable elements, though, I gladly repurpose them. Whether its shoe boxes or bubble wrap, I prefer to recycle the packaging by reusing it.
One of my favorite types of packaging is the heavy plastic zipper bags – typically they’re the see-thru kind used for bedding or baby items like onesies and washcloths. I keep a stash in my basement, because I’m never sure when I’ll use them. I’ve found that they’re great for containing Lego sets, hair accessories, craft materials, note pads, and taper candles.
The heavy plastic bags aren’t the only kinds of plastic bags that can be reused, though. Here are a few ideas how I reuse other types of plastic bags in my own home:
Some people shudder at the thought of reusing a Ziploc bag. Other people shudder at the thought of not reusing them. I’ve heard that older, Depression-era Americans typically reuse them because of their life experiences.
Keeping those older, wiser adults in mind, I try to reuse my resealable plastic baggies as much as possible. When I bake a loaf of bread and need to keep it fresh for a few days, I seal it in a gallon-sized baggie. Once it’s gone, I shake out the crumbs and keep it for my next loaf of bread.
I do the same thing with cookies, too – except I freeze them in the baggie. To avoid any kind of crumb issue, I try to keep my bread bags for bread and cookie bags for cookies. And when I’m storing food in baggies in my refrigerator, I try to reuse them with the same kinds of foods – anything from cheeses to onions or lemons.
Resealable plastic bags of all sizes are great for moms of children wearing diapers. Keep a stash of clean, used baggies that can be reused, and take them along with you for containing dirty diapers.
They’re also handy for pet owners who walk their dogs and need help with poopy scooping.
Plastic grocery bags
Sometimes I forget to bring my reusable grocery bags along with me when I’m shopping. My habit is improving, for sure, but I’m far from perfect. So when plastic grocery bags accumulate in my home, I like to put them in small wastebaskets around my house to contain the mess. Not only does it keep my wastebaskets clean, but it also is handy when it comes time to empty the trash.
My husband also carries his lunch to work every day in a plastic grocery bag.
They also can be helpful for protectively draping over tender plants on frosty nights. (Just make sure to remove them the first thing in the morning, though!)
Keep a small ball of the bags wadded up in the glove compartment of your car. You never know when you might need them to collect trash or to contain the dirty mess of muddy shoes.
How do you reuse plastic bags in your home?
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