In the (Sustainable) Bag

Living in the city has its advantages, one of which is that we have absolutely no need for a car. We can walk, bike or take the train or bus where ever we like. We’re within walking distance of our favorite natural grocery, and a short train ride from one of the best farmer’s markets in the region. But without a car, you may be wondering how we get our bounty home every week. It’s all in the bag. The plastic and paper offered at the supermarkets just won’t cut it, and it’s a waste anyway. And our local stores and the farmer’s market usually don’t have a large quantity on hand any way, so bringing our own is essential. I use 2 main bags– they are standard-looking rectangular shopping bags, but one is a zip-top insulated bag I got at Whole Foods for $5 and a recycled plastic (amazingly strong and durable), also from Whole Foods for a mere $1. We also have a metal personal shopping cart that we picked up at the local Jewel-Osco for $30. To round out our sustainable bag arsenel we have 4 string produce bags that we picked up at Container Store for $2. This year we are going to be adding a Neoprene 6-pack wine tote (about $20 at Container Store) because who wants to lug home heavy bottles of wine only to get them broken on the way? While it may seem a bit much to spend $60 on bags and a cart, it’s a one time investment that will reduce our reliance on paper and plastic bags (already clogging up landfills and posing a danger in our oceans) and it’s a lot cheaper than a car.