Change starts with a good reason. This is why it is so important to understand the benefits of the change you are about to make.
By switching to a reusable produce bag you will stop using the plastic bags that are provided at the supermarket. This means that less plastic will be produced, end up in our landfills and less in our waterways.
That's why your task for your first day is to check out some videos or read up on the lifecycle of plastics.
Buy or Make
Produce bags are really easy to make, but if you're not keen on that then here are some great places to find the perfect bags.
Things to consider
Fabric: Think about the fabric that your bag is made out of and consider the whole lifecycle of the product. Read more about sustainable fabrics here.
Weight: Because you will keep your produce in the bags when you weigh them at the check out, it is important to consider the weight of the fabrics that you choose. Get the lightest fabric you can.
Hygiene: One thing I love about my organic cotton bags is that I can wash them. This is a really great benefit of using fabric bags instead of plastic.
Where to buy
There are a few places that you can find sustainable and reusable produce bags.
Health & Wellness Stores: These stores are usually located in every shopping centre or district, but they often go under the radar if you don't usually shop at them. Look out for stores that stock supplements, herbal teas, gluten free products and other health and wellness products.
Local Markets: These are the best places to shop for your new produce bags, this way you get out in the fresh air, support your local economy and buy something that is made locally. This can reduce the carbon emission footprint. Bonus!
Online: You can also purchase your bags online. My favourite brand is EverEco, I have these ones and I love them! If you are purchasing online just be careful of sites like Amazon that will often ship by air (increasing the carbon footprint).
How to make
Produce bags are supper easy and cheap to make. Plus, if you make your own bags you also have the opportunity to use recycled materials. This is a great option if you have a bit of time and want to save some money.
The hardest thing about implementing this change is remembering to take your produce bags with you to the shops. Here are some tips on changing behaviours.
Behaviour & attitude
Our behaviours are tightly linked to our attitudes. Ask yourself, how do you feel about taking bags to the shops? Do you feel proud when others see you with your produce bags? Do you believe it's important to make this change?
Barriers to this change
Friction: Social science tells us that one of the biggest problems with making a behavioural change are moments of friction. In this case the point of friction is having to take your produce bags with you to the shops. How I overcome this is that I focus on NOT using the plastic bags. So even if I do forget my bags, I have a few ways to overcome this. Here are my tips:
Keep a produce bag in your handbag
Keep them in your car
If you forget: Use the paper mushroom bags
If you forget: Use no bags (that’s right let them go all loosy-goosy in your trolly)
Motivation: Why do you want to make this change? Take some time today to talk with your friends and family about this change you are making. Try to find your motivation.
Don't forget to put your bags in the car ready for your next shop. Set a reminder in your phone on your regular shopping day.
Make a social pledge to help you to make the commitment. Choose a pledge and tell your family and friends about the good things you're doing for our planet.
Are you ready?
I call these changes, Small Changes for Good, because we make them for the good of the planet and peoplekind. We also make them for good, as in, forever. So even though you have gotten to the end of this page (well done for that), this is a lifestyle change.
So are you ready for your next challenge? Keep up the great work with not using the plastic produce bags and start your next Small Change For Good!