I am lucky enough that I go to a lot of Environmental Conference where I receive free Earth Bags but over the years I've become a bit of an Earth Bag Pickywicket. Being a Pickywicket isn't like being a snob, it comes complete with wisdom and.... you know sassy flair! And as I don't enjoy being the only Earth Bag Sassy Pickywicket in my neighborhood let me convert you, it'll only take a minute!
The Icckkk Factor
I keep Earth Bags handy in my vehicle in case of spontaneous grocery shopping or thrift store emergencies, but I prefer to use canvas bags for a very good reason. Strength, cooties, mold, bacteria and food born diseases that end with ella’s and ism’s. A large majority of people who take the time to use Earth Bags generally use the kind you get from your local grocery store or Wal-Mart, these bags are called Non-Woven Polypropylene (NWPP) which is a #5 plastic and isn’t recyclable in most areas. But my biggest issue with them is cleanliness and my uncontrollable ICCKKK factor.
The Time Factor
If you think about it, you carry fresh produce and meat in those bags and do you keep track of which one’s held last week’s meat purchase? And how often have you cleaned them? Most NWPP bags fall apart the first time you send them through the washer, they weren’t designed for that, so you have to hand wash them in cold water with a little vinegar or peroxide and allow them to drip dry. Honestly, I don’t have time for that!
Kiss My Canvas Factor
A good fabric, knitted, hemp or canvas bag will easily go through the washer, come out looking gorgeous and be just as strong as ever (but I would allow them drip dry as well to prevent shrinkage). These bags last a long time….and well, they’re prettier.
The Peace of Mind Factor
Loaded with this information, I still accept the NWPP bags at conferences when they are given to me and use them for non-food items. However, I usually use them to carry my donations to Goodwill where I know they accept and recycle #5 plastic. This way I still feel good about passing them on, my ICCKKK-O- Meter stays quiet and I don’t worry about my trips to the store or Farmers Market being an open invitation for bacteria to party at my house. I seriously don’t have time for that either! See, I told you it would only take a minute!