With the emphasis being on helping the environment and on the importance of recycling, I have thought a lot about those plastic grocery bags that you get from the supermarket, department stores, etc. It seems that I am constantly looking for a place to put a few more of them, even though I have canvas bags that I prefer to carry store items in.
I know most people reuse them as trash bags for the bathroom, small bedroom wastebaskets, and even as a trash receptacle in the car. I know there are also people who return these bags to the store to be recycled. I am not sure of what the stores do with them and how they are recycled from there, but I do know that there are many uses for those bags around the house and some of these ideas are not things that I would normally think to do with them.
As well as being great for trash, they are just as good as an emergency rain bonnet, a dirty diaper holder while traveling, bike seat cover, drop cloth for painting, a cast cover for the shower, a turban to wrap wet hair in, or as a substitute for rubber gloves. Have you ever considered using them as freezer bags, or a soggy laundry holder?
There are a few more practical ways to use them as well. They can be used a shoe protectors or to cover the windshield wipers in the winter to keep them from sticking to the windshield. They make great covers for ceiling fan blades while you are dusting. They can be used on a broom or mop while dusting a ceiling fan, to use as the duster. One of the most practical uses I have heard of for them was an aid for surfers to use in putting on wetsuits, but could also be used for skates, boots, or any other shoe that is tight getting on.
Another practical way to use plastic grocery bags is to use them to reactivate the strip on your credit or debit card. If you swipe the back strip on your card with one a couple of times, it will generally clean the strip enough that you can use the card again without having to go to the bank to reactivate it. This could be extremely handy as a do-it-yourself item and save you several days in waiting for a new card.
Many crafters have found ways to use these bags as well. If the bags are cut into strips, they can be used for rugs or purses. I have also seen crafters use plastic bread bags for the same items and they make neat looking rugs and purses. The rugs are nice in an area where moisture will accumulate as it will not mold as carpet or rugs will. The bags also make nice stuffing for pillows or stuffed toys. I have even read that these bags can be used to make clothing, but I have never seen it done.
I am always looking for ways to recycle and reuse items and these will be suggestions that I will use for these bags. I challenge each of you to find a way to recycle paper and plastic items that fill our landfills each day and harm the environment that we all live in each day. Find a way to recycle that box, bag, or package that your dinner items come from tonight.