Greener Every Week – Bags for the bulk bins

Make buying from the bulk bins even more eco-friendly

“Greener Every Week” is my ongoing series in which I do one (cheap, easy) thing every week to make my home or lifestyle more healthy & eco-friendly.

Since I have already gone to the effort to figure out how to easily bring my own bags and use the bulk bins at the grocery store in my efforts to “green up,” it was bugging me to waste those thin plastic bags for every item I got from the bulk bins. Doing it that way does use less plastic than buying stuff in regular packaging, but it still seemed wasteful.

So off to Etsy I went, and found these great bulk bin bags. They are made of cotton but they are super light, so they won’t add anything to your total cost at checkout. She’s even having a special where you get two free bags if you order in April, so I ended up with seven reusable bags for like $12!

The only problem I was faced with when I got them was where to keep them – if I don’t keep my reusable bags in my purse, I never remember them. But then I realized I could just roll a couple of them up into my Envirosax bags, like so (and if you ignore the white bags, this is also “how to fold up your Envirosax”):

I can fit two of the bulk bin bags inside each Envirosax and still have it snap closed, and I usually keep two in my purse, so I will now always have four bulk bin bags on me whenever I’m at the store. Easy! I find it kind of amusing how much carrying ability I have at any given moment now. Of course, if you use a different kind of reusable bag you can probably figure out how to keep these inside of them, too – or just keep them all in the same place so you remember them.

This set includes a few different sizes, so you can get dry goods or use the larger ones for produce, too. I think I’ve made my trips to the grocery store almost completely waste free now – at least if I walk or ride my bike there! I do still buy a handful of things in packaging, but at least it’s all recyclable.

Anyone tried using reusable containers at the bulk bins? Or any other grocery store related eco-friendly tips I haven’t thought of?

Note:  Nobody has paid me in any way to endorse these products, I just genuinely like them and want to share my enthusiasm with you.  If you click the link and buy them from Amazon I’ll make like 37 cents through their affiliate program, so that would be sweet, but that’s the only compensation happening around here.

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  • Do these bags weigh enough to change the price of bulk bin items significantly? It seems that it might be difficult to zero out the scale at the register after your bulk items are already in your bags. Has anyone ran into this complication?

  • I just ordered these bags – thanks for the info! My favorite shopping place (a co-op) is all about being green and doing the right thing and I am so excited to go in there with my new bags:)

  • You’re fortunate to have found an establishment that allows outside containers! the places where i purchase bulk food have strict no-outside-container policies to “prevent contamination.”

    I do bring reusable plastic containers with lids with me to our local fruit and veg store for blueberries and other berries. the store packages them in small cardboard containers. i empty the small cardboard container into my plastic container and return the cardboard container to the store clerk when i pay for my purchase. another benefit – the blueberries now can travel safely home with me in a container that has a lid!