A few years ago, I started taking reusable bags to the grocery store. I figured reducing the amount of plastic bags I used could only be a good thing.
But I was still bothered, because even though I was no longer using plastic to haul my load home, I was still bringing home several plastic bags a week in the form of produce bags. Those things are sneaky, and made me feel guilty.
I slowly started phasing them out. I stopped putting things like onions and avocadoes in plastic, figuring that the outer layer always gets removed before prepping and eating them. Then I stopped putting fruit in produce bags, letting the apples and lemons roll around my cart footloose and fancy free.
A few weeks ago, I stopped putting lettuce and cilantro in plastic bags. And things got messy. If I'm paying for a head of lettuce, I don't want the leaves to start falling off on the checkout conveyor belt. Plus, I have a thing about other people touching my food. (I once told a cashier at HEB to do something about her hands after she sneezed on them and then grabbed my loaf of bread to scan. Eeeugh.)
But I've finally found a solution to keep other people's hands off my food (for the most part) and avoid using plastic bags. I made my own mesh produce bags.
I made a few larger ones for things like lettuce and lunch fruit, and some smaller bags for things like cilantro or shallots. It was pretty easy. I just got some mesh from JoAnn's in my favorite colors (NOT tulle mesh, but a heavier kind), and I sewed some quick straight lines around the top edging and sides.
I haven't tried washing them yet, but they should hold up under the gentle cycle. I'm not sure if the dryer will shrink them, so they'll probably just air dry.
And of course, if you like the idea of avoiding plastic produce bags but don't want to deal with sewing, you can purchase pre-made produce bags here.
What craft projects have you been working on lately? Have you taken any steps recently to reduce your share of trash?