Reusable Bags Made Easy
July 26, 2016 | Kathryn Kellogg
Last Updated on April 7, 2020
This post was sponsored by BagPodz. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Please see my full disclosure for more information.
Welcome back to another eco-friendly Tuesday! Last time on eco-friendly Tuesdays we chatted with Chef Charlie Ayers the first head chef at Google about fighting food waste. This week we’re talking about reusable bags.
We’ve talked about reusable water bottles, we’ve talked about napkins, we’ve even talked about handkerchiefs. Almost every key reusable item has gotten a dedicated post except for the reusable bag. And, today we’re talking about the coolest reusable bags – BagPodz.
For Christmas, my mom bought me BagPodz. I called and thanked her for the thoughtful gift, but I felt like I had way too many reusable bags to begin with.
Being a minimalist and already having an entire drawer dedicated to too many reusable bags; it felt like a silly present.
She told me to try them. So, I did – and holy guacamole – Life. Changing.
My zero waste journey started out with just some checkout stand reusable bags I picked up at Trader Joe’s along they way.
And, while they worked, they weren’t very sturdy. Definitely not for long term heavy duty use.
I decided it was time to buy myself an adult set. I bought a set of canvas bags on Amazon, and I hated them. Every time I used them I would be so angry.
They weren’t sewn well, and they cost way too much money. They were falling apart, but I was determined to live with them because – reuse!
If this sounds like a familiar story, I’m here to tell you it’s ok! Sometimes you do things with the best of intentions, and sometimes they just don’t work out.
Thankfully, my mom saved the day. Enter BagPodz.
You may have heard me chatting about them on a podcast with Matt Prindle earlier this year. After that podcast, we got in touch! I’m telling you – everywhere I go people ask me where they can get them. I love talking about products I love! Especially ones that have revolutionized zero waste.
They started making these bags after the bag ban passed in Austin. People were complaining that it was difficult to remember to bring their reusable bags to the store. Common complaints included: mismatched, bulky, never bringing enough, and difficult to fold bags.
The geniuses at BagPodz found an easy way to address everyone’s concerns with this little pod system.
You can unzip the side of the pod to pull the bags out at check out. After you get home, use the carabiner to clip it onto a hook or door handle. You can let the drawstring out and then shove all of the bags back into the pod.
It’s this perfect little compact tool that I keep in the car. BagPodz and snapware revolutionized zero waste for Justin. They were lightbulb moments for him. He even said, “Zero waste makes so much more sense to me now.” Now, He’s more than happy to tote reusable bags into the store.
I am all for any product that can help people to remember to actually bring their bags!
Tips to Remembering Your Reusable Bags
1. My number one tip for anyone who forgets to bring their bags is to turn around! You get to the store and you don’t have your bags TURN. AROUND. Seriously. You go back once to get the bags, I can almost guarantee you won’t forget again.
2. Clip them on your keys. After I unload my groceries I clip the bags onto my keys to remember to take them back out to my car.
3. Eventually you get in the habit of creating a little checklist before you leave the house. I always ask myself phone, wallet, keys, water, bag – something to that effect so I’m always prepared!
I hate plastic bags, and hope people will remember not only to bring reusable bags but also reusable produce bags! You can cut out so much waste just by remembering to bring reusable bags and a reusable water bottle.
Plus, now I have an empty drawer where my reusable bags used to be. When you live in an 800 sq. ft. house every ounce of space becomes precious.
What’s your bag routine? How do you remember your reusable bags?
After buying Kathryn a set for Christmas, I recently bought a set (10) for myself and I LOVE them too!!
Love you mom!
I have similar looking bags (without the pod but made of sturdy poly-something that can be washed) in every bag I own: backpack, cycle bags, and in the trunk of the car. I own one that can be stuffed into itself which even fits in my purse. I throw in my tiffin to buy cheese, my bread bag, and some steel containers for groceries such as meat, sausage, etc. I am shit at planning so I need to keep my bags in every conceivable place that I have on me when I happen to think of buying bread for dinner or bringing fruit etc from my way home from work. Not perfect yet but works well enough.
The bags are similar to these: http://www.use-again.de/Einkaufstaschen and come with a smallish outer bag to stuff them in. I use the outer bag for tissues and stuff the bags into each other. Not as beautiful as your solution, but hey, as long as it works …
Yes! As long as it works. 🙂 it sounds like you have your system down!!
I’m in a wheelchair and have a backpack attached to it – under the seat so I keep my balance at all times – so I never leave the house without my backpack. It’s always ready to go.
I have a laundry net in my backpack which I use for small fruits and veggies (today I bought cherries), but most of my produce goes straight into the backpack.
What a fantastic idea for using reusable bags. The added graphical presentation is like
An icing on the cake. I love reusable bags because I support eco-friendly products.
Totally agree. Why would you pay for plastic shopping bags each time you hit the store, that are dangerous and harmful to the environment? I prefer reusable shopping bags way more – they can be chic, safe for our planet and just cheaper 🙂
Woah! nicely written!
It is incredibly important becoming aware of our plastic use and reducing it is difficult because of our reliance, convenience and comfort in our routines.
It’s time we put environment ahead of convenience. The crazy thing is, the great reusable options now at our disposal, being Eco friendly can also be convenient with a little bit of thought!
Your tips are Everything! We decided to have a little fun with the design and made bags with a little bit of "showcase" appeal ( https://www.onebag4produce.com ), because we want to celebrate that we’re shopping eco-friendly. Also, now we don’t forget to take them with us because we LIKE shopping with them and we’re proud to use them. We also lined our reusable produce bags with waterproofing so they can withstand the occasional soggy apple! Thank you for sharing!