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iApprove: Reusable Grocery Bags.

January 2, 2009

There are so many things to like about these, all ecological ramifications aside.  They’re both large and durable – they carry about twice as much as a plastic shopping bag, and unlike a plastic shopping bag, you can fill them to the gills without worrying about the bottom tearing out.  They’re also infinitely more comfortable than plastic shopping bags; their wide, woven-plastic straps help to distribute even heavy weight across your hand, preventing the handles from digging into your fingers as you attempt to lug four to six pop bottles across your porch.  Compared to paper bags, they’re more durable (paper bags are nicely large, but tend to tear if the contents are too heavy), more reusable (you can use them for more than starting fires), and a whole lot easier to manage (on account of the handles).

There are a couple of downsides, of course: firstly, the bags aren’t free (they run about a dollar apiece), and secondly, unless you get them from an independent source or really small store, they’re probably going to have a store logo on them.  Whether or not this bothers you is a matter of personal preference, but in case you’d rather not loudly tout your shopping affiliation, Fred Meyer’s logo is extremely discreet, and the standard-sized bags ran only 89¢ in the store where I purchased them.  They also offered extra-large bags for 99¢, in case you’re having a serious craving for paper-bag capacity.

So, to recap: they’re strong, easy to use, comfortable, inexpensive (as bags g0), and they cut down on those insanely huge collections of grocery sacks that you’ll probably never use.  And in case that’s not enough incentive, some stores also offer a discount when you use bags – usually about five cents per bag.  Twenty shopping trips (to the right stores) and they pay for themselves; after that it’s all profit.

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