How to be Plastic Bag Free

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Photo by foldablebags.com via Flickr
With California on its way to being the first to implement a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags the key will be what to use instead. Californians have been creative with their plastic bags, using them for trash can liners, lunch boxes, travel laundry bags, dog poop dispensers, storage units, shower caps, and leftover containers. But with this ban, plastic bags might not be just lying around the house anymore, making the search for alternatives a pertinent one.

Eco-living general store Green and Greener in Valley Village has a reusable or washable product available for any plastic bag use. For example, they offer biodegradable plastic bags for trashcan liners, lead free lunch boxes, nylon bags for food or household items, reusable sandwich bags, or even biodegradable dog-waste bags. And many other companies are like them or are starting to be. You can also buy reusable products at Reusablebags.com.

But unfortunately the reason why many people started to reuse plastic bags to begin with was to save money, and with the recession now is no time to go out and buy replacements. So people have started talking and exchanging ideas on how to make the switch the savvy way.

Here are some tips:

"You could just not use trash liners and occasionally clean out your trash can - that's what I do with my bathroom trash - and then I dump it into the large bag to take it to the dumpster" said Cara Bohon, a West Hollywood resident.

In a discussion section on Thrifty Fun people suggested lining the trashcans with newspapers or even using an empty dog food bag. One commenter even recommended using old clothes or rags when throwing out paper or plastic.

If you need a plastic bag for leftover food instead use empty containers from things like margarine butter, cottage cheese, coffee grounds or yogurt; or for dog-waste use newspapers or old Christmas wrappings or bags.

And of course for cheap grocery shopping sew your own canvas bags, use old beach bags, or utilize old canvas purses and designate it for shopping purposes.

If you have any more suggestions or creative, cheap tips please share so we can all go green together.