May 28, 2012

Breaking the Plastic Habit

I'm so excited about my first blog post on Love 2 Upcycle. Based on the title you would never know that I plan to make my feature center around gardening, but that is the idea. What inspired this title you ask? All the plastic bags that lodged themselves in my shrubbery. They didn't even come from my yard but they ended up here anyway.

The Problem:

Do you have a plastic bag problem? or even a paper bag problem? If I forget to take my reusable bags, I generally get paper over plastic, but only if they have handles. (Seriously what is the use of a bag with no handles?) Even doing that I have managed to collect an alarming number of plastic bags over the last year.

The problem is that plastic doesn't biodegrade, it is with us forever. If you want to hear more about the  larger plastic problem, check out this article on the Great Plastic Garbage Patch in the South Pacific:

The Rationalization:
Why do we continue to use plastic bags from the grocery store?

"I'll use them for my trash bags." is my personal favorite. I use it all the time.

"I forgot my reusables." Sigh, only too true.

"They are so handy." Especially those Ziploc's.


There are a lot of great alternatives to plastic bags. Here are a few options:


What if you have a stash like mine? Rather than throw them away here are some fun ways other (smarter than me) people have come up with to reuse plastic bags.

99 ways to reuse plastic bags (How Stuff Works)

Plastic Bag Crafts (Green Living Tips)

Hoping your garden is a little greener,



  1. I know this is still plastic but I am an avid user of Tupperware Sandwich Keepers. Very reusable hence why I prefer this container over ziplocks.

    1. I use those types of containers too. Reusable is definitely better than disposable.

  2. Great article, Nikki! There are so many alternatives to plastic~ thanks for giving us some wonderful examples!

  3. Great info Nikki. I love all the links. Two years ago we started using reusable sandwiches bags, all different sizes. They have worked out great and now I only have to buy ziploc bags for the fish we catch and freeze, which comes out to five boxes a year. I was buying two a month. And I too often forget my reseuable bags at the grocery! Hoping this article inspires me to do better. ;)

    1. Thanks Bee, I am really intrigued by the reusable bags too. I want to get sme and try them out.

  4. I use plastic bags as trash bags also but it's not a good excuse. I would feel less guilty if there were paper bags for trash. However, it's hard to imagine keeping organic garbage in paper bags for more than a day.

  5. I make a point to use my reusable bags as often as I can and when it warrants not getting a bag at all I do that as well. When I do get a plastic or 2 we use it to dispose of our dogs wee wee pads and clean up material. I bought a lunch box (with skulls on it) and take my lunch to work sometimes.
    Recycling at home is something that I feel good about, but my husband is a little harder to get on the green team. Too much effort, but sometimes if I see a can lodged in the regular trash I will dig it out and put it in the proper container. Baby steps, but getting better all of the time. Oh, when I buy microwave lunches I save the plastic containers and use them in my art class at school. Comes in handy for 200 hundred students.

    1. Love it great ideas. Good luck with your husband! Is your recycle bin next to your garbage can? It might help...

  6. Great article Nikki! I really enjoyed it. :)

    My family has always used paper bags for organic garbage, Deko. True, you don't want it sitting inside for long, but we don't keep organic garbage in the house long because of smell anyway. And once it is in the trash can waiting for the garbage truck to come and pick it up we found it didn't matter. It works a lot better than it sounds like it would! :)

  7. Great article! I have been planning to switch to reusable sandwich bags. This just motivated me a little more! :)