Karissa Pukas with a straw market basket- eco friendly shopping

OOOOK- maybe that’s a bit of a stretch (it happens to the best of us), but these bags are TOO CUTE to leave behind!

Over the years, I’ve been trying to lessen my plastic footprint wherever I can. Every little bit counts; my goal is consistency, not being 100% perfect. 

Finding little ways you can make swaps is not only good for the environment, but I think it’s a good mental challenge for us as well. We’re so conditioned to habits- like depending on a store to provide you with bags, buying a certain brand (even though it’s poorly packaged) or choosing pre cut stuff out of ease. I think it challenges our ‘normal’ to choose differently and slowly you realize how conditioned we’ve become in our day to day habits.

We can make some changes and it’s really no more effort- it’s just different. 

I’m more motivated to make changes when something looks aesthetically pleasing (lolz sue me) and I’ve curated a cute little eco friendly collection over the years and thought I’d share to provide some ideas and inspo 🙂

Different Re Useable Bag options on the floor in a flat lay

OK so for larger tote bags…. 

You can find these almost everywhere now. In stores, online, thrifted, sometimes as a freebee at events. You really have your pick. I’m always on the lookout at craft fairs or local markets; If you follow any artists, they likely sell canvas bags with their artwork on them so keep an eye out for ones you love! I’ve also previously found some unique ones on Etsy, or inexpensive ones at Forever 21  or Society6 during a sale. 

I actually love finding my tote bags while I’m out traveling. They are a fun memory of a trip or experience that is also superful useful in ‘real life’. The Lush bag shown above in the flat lay was something we purchased at the 2018 Lush showcase in Manchester U.K and it makes me smile when someone asks about it while I’m out shopping 🙂

Another idea, is to purchase a larger straw ‘market basket’ like this one HERE. Not only are they totally adorable, but they are a great multi use basket for groceries or the beach. I love that this one is large and has longer straps- it makes it easier to carry when it’s filled with bulky things like flowers, toilet paper or towels (the most random stuff, I don’t know why that was my first thought LOL).Straw Market basket

As for produce bags… I’ve swapped to using smaller bags made out of natural fibres. Not only is it less plastic, but it helps your produce last LONGER. It’s a no brainer. Conventional plastic bags and boxes suffocate fruits/vegetables by trapping in stale air and ethylene gas causing them to go bad faster.

Linen mesh produce bag- Eco Friendly

I purchased these cute linen mesh bags from etsy and highly recommend. They work perfectly for larger fruit or veggies.

Polka Dotted Mesh cotton produce bagIf you’re after something with a smaller weave, check out these sweet polka dotted cotton mesh bags on etsy. SO STINKIN CUTE!

Vejibag Produce Bag

To round out my collection, I also purchased a few Vejibags. These are great for larger, bulkier produce like lettuce and kale or things like cucumbers, carrots, broccoli or zucchini etc.

If you’re looking for something quick and simple for your household…. Amazon also has plenty of choices like this little set.

I couldn’t believe how much longer my produce lasted when I started using natural fibre bags. Sometimes you get busy during the week and don’t use stuff up as fast as you should have and these bags saveeee you. 

Plastic alternative dry goods bag

For dryer goods or bulk items… try using some of these cloth bags with a viewing window in them– PERFECT for trail mix and on the go stuff. 

You can also try bringing a glass container for your stuff. The cashier weighs it while it’s empty first and writes down the weight for you and then you fill it up with whatever and then they re-weigh it at check out, minus the weight of the container. If you purchase from the deli, you can also bring glass containers for your cheese, meat or salads.

Garden

Something to also consider… eating local and seasonal also makes a huge impact in lowering the amount of waste we produce.

Making that extra stop to the farmers market, not only supports a local business, but it saves plastic punnets. Berries are commonly found in plastic at the store, not to mention herbs like basil or lettuce in a tub etc. All of those things can be found locally during the growing season and they come plastic free. Take a second to check what’s seasonally grown in your area and where it can be found. Guaranteed it will also taste better and be fresher than what’s found in store. 

This year, we had the space for a small garden, which has been AWESOME and so much fun as a new hobby. If I can grow a few items for just a couple months of the year, that’s multiple plastic containers I saved by doing so. Cherry tomatoes and a herb garden are a great place to start for a beginner.

Karissa Pukas with an eco friendly market basket doing her shopping

More than anything, just start. Start today. Start with what you have. Strive to make more conscious choices when you can and don’t beat yourself up if you’re not immediately a zero waste queen. There is ABSOLUTELY no failure in trying.

I’ll say it again- perfection is not the goal. Making more conscious choices in your day to day life is.

I’d love to know what you use! Any suggestions for me? 🙂

4 Comments

  1. Those polka dot mesh bags are giving me life! Thanks for sharing, and for using your platform to promote sustainability!

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