We’ve talked plenty about how and why tote bags and reusable bags are so useful in our everyday lives. But this week, we want to focus on more statistical facts and how you can actually make the most of these bags, in order to become as environmentally friendly as possible.
It is a common misconception that reusable bags are better than single-use bags, even though many still don’t use them even if they have them. The truth is that, because so little material is needed to make a disposable plastic bag, they actually have a smaller carbon footprint than reusable bags. So for a reusable bag to be more environmentally friendly, they have to be used and, depending on the carbon footprint of the material they are made from, used a lot of times!
A UK study found that, in order to have lower global warming potential than single-use plastic bags:
- paper bags should be used three times
- low-density polyethylene bags (the thicker plastic bags commonly used in supermarkets) should be used four times
- non-woven polypropylene bags should be used 11 times
- cotton bags should be used 131 times.
As with all matters environmental, it’s essential that we have the right knowledge to make informed decisions. After looking at all this data, here are the things we’d like you to remember:
- Keep and accumulate only the number of bags that you actually use. Reusable bags are often given out for free at events and subsequently many people have amassed a collection far larger than needed. Clear out the bags you don’t need by donating them to others for reuse.
- Keep your bags in a convenient place so you don’t forget to take them into the store with you. Store them by the door, in your car or in your purse, wherever they will be easy to grab.
- Remember to use your bags for more than just grocery trips! Take them with you when you are shopping at the thrift store, drugstore, mall and more, basically wherever you shop and are likely to need a bag.
- Mend your bags when they get holes or the seams start to come undone. You can do this yourself (if you don’t know how there’s plenty of Youtube tutorials out there) or take it to your local altering service, this way you’d also be supporting local businesses too!
- Follow proper care instructions for cleaning, and be aware that some of the recycled plastic reusable bags will degrade quicker if laundered.
- Remember to use smaller reusable bags for produce as well. While many new options exist, they can easily be made from old sheets or tee shirts if you sew.
- If you forget your reusable bag at home, try to skip the single use bag whenever practical.
Our Reusable Bags
If you happen to not have a stylish tote bag at home, or you know one of your friends might need it, our tote bags are the perfect option. They all have spacious interiors and double grab handles, which means you have the space to carry your shopping home or transport your laptop to work with ease, and without having to worry about it getting wet on rainy days. Designed with style in mind, our totes are available in our four branded prints.
Our practical shoulder bag is made from sturdy Ripstop parachute fabric, making it wonderfully waterproof, easy to clean and easy to fold up into the palm of your hand (and placed in your handbag). It's reusable, which makes it the perfect ethical choice, as well as being a fabulous add-on accessory with any outfit. We think it’s not too much to ask for a carrier bag that doesn’t harm the planet and these fabric tote bags are the perfect sustainable choice.
We can’t wait to see you wear our totes!!
Lots of love,
Cherchez La Femme team
[information sourced on theconversation.com and hennepin.us
All images sourced on canva.com]