How many reusable tote bags do you own?
These tote bags can be really useful — even more so as cities such as San Francisco enact bag ordinances affecting the use (and cost) of the plastic and paper bags we're used to seeing.
And, of course, some of the tote bags are just so appealing!
But here are two cautions as you amass these bags:
1. Like Tupperware and other plastic food storage containers, these bags are the type of thing where the collection can easily get way out of sync with your actual needs — so keep an eye on that. Keep your favorites, and pass along the excess. I used a cute one as a gift bag last Christmas!
You can follow the example of Gwen from The Green Zoo, who writes:
I found out that I probably have at least 25 reusable bags. Twenty-five! Seriously – who needs that many tote bags? Although some I have purchased, others I got for free or were given as gifts. I know that some of them I do use for groceries and some for knitting projects, and others are good to have around just in case. But I really realized that I did not need all twenty-five. So, I decided to donate a good handful of them.2. Be sure to wash any bags you use for groceries, to avoid problems with food-borne bacteria. As the Austin Contrarian reports:
Recent studies ... suggest that reusable grocery bags harbor harmful bacteria, the most important of which is E. coli. If individuals fail to clean their reusable bags, these bacteria may lead to contamination of the food transported in the bags.And furthermore:
97 percent of individuals indicated they never washed their reusable grocery bags.Don't be one of those people!
Decluttering and Organizing the Tote Bag Collection