Paper manufacture accounts for a high percentage of global deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions and other kinds of damage to our environment. Reusing paper grocery bags is one way you can help reduce the paper industry’s negative impact on our world. Here is how you reuse those brown bags the easy way
When you go shopping, always ask for paper bags when given the choice between paper and plastic
At the counter, sort out your grocery items so similar items are packed together. Pack meats with meats, dry foods with dry, toiletries with cleaning agents, away from food
At home, divide the paper bags according to what you put in them: dry, wet and detergent. “Wet” paper bags are those used to pack frozen meats. “Dry” is for canned, bottled foods and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Reuse “wet” paper bags only once. Use them as kindle for your fireplace, garden composite, doggie or cat littler bags, or trash bags
Reuse “dry” and “safe” paper bags next time you buy groceries. Many supermarkets give you a small discount for each of their paper bags you reuse, say $0.05.
You can also use “dry” paper bags as lunch bags or fruit bags. To ripen bananas or mangoes in a paper bag, for example, put them in the bag with a ripe apple.
Reuse paper bags used for detergents and toiletries for things unconnected with the kitchen. Use them to pack shoes and clothes when traveling. They can also serve as added cushion when shipping fragile items.
More bags to spare? Use them to make your own gift wrappers, envelopes or craft projects like scrapbooks and notebook covers.shipping fragile items.
Tips and Warnings
Fold your paper grocery bags with care. This will keep them from wearing out sooner.
If you plan to reuse your grocery bags but often forget to do so, leave them in your vehicle.
Paper bags used to store meats may be contaminated with germs. For safety reasons, dispose of them quickly and don’t let people handle them.
Be careful where you lay the paper bags. If you place them on the ground to open the door, don’t put them on the kitchen counter top later on.
Never mix detergents and soaps with food in paper bags. Ask the cashier or bagger to store them separately.