Conveniently Green: Ditching Plastic Bags

I’m on a quest to ditch my plastic bags. Not just grocery sacks, which I’m getting pretty good at, but other plastic bags I find along the way. I’ve previously confessed my love for Ziploc and don’t know if I’m ever going to find an alternative that makes me happy, but I’m working on it.

Go bananas! Go go bananas!

Today I’m going to talk about produce bags. You know, the thin plastic ones you pull off the roll and then can never get open even though your fingers are sliding all around where the arrows point to? Yes, those.  Well, whilst wondering around on the web one day, I came across the idea of using mesh bags as produce bags. Mesh bags are reusable and see-through so the checker can instantly scan your produce correctly, and best of all, they weigh next to nothing so don’t interfere with the poundage when you’re purchasing by weight.

As an added bonus, I’ve found that some stores that offer a 5-cent discount for reusable bags, like our nearby Henry’s market, are willing to count reusable produce bags in the total. I know 5 cents isn’t a lot, but I always feel glad walking out of the store 25 cents richer.

You can get mesh bags many places. I have some from Etsy, and I ordered a bunch from an online party supply store (after making sure there’s nothing toxic in there) to give as goodie bags at Mouse’s upcoming half-birthday party. If the moms can pry them out of the kids’ hands, they can use them for produce bags as well!

Mesh produce bags: ditch the plastic and go Conveniently Green. Works for me!

Works-For-Me Wednesday

Conveniently Green–True Confessions

Gen X Moms has moved to Don’t forget to update your bookmark!

So the other day I had a couple of moms and my Sainted Mother-in-law over (seriously, the woman is a saint. And I don’t mean that in a “why so snarky, Sparky?” kind of way) and my SMIL wanted to take some food home to my father-in-law and brother-in-law. Photo Addict happened to be standing nearby, and when I pulled open the kitchen drawer, she gasped as though she’d just seen a severed hand in there.

It's a severed hand! And by severed hand I mean Ziploc bags!

No, seriously. She gasped so loudly I actually looked to see if I’d accidentally left a severed hand next to the plastic wrap.

“ZIPLOC BAGS!!!!!” She cried.

It’s true confession time at Conveniently Green. I use Ziploc bags. Even worse–I almost never re-use them either. Yes folks, I’m going Conveniently Green right along with you. That whole “Just a Little Bit Less” applies to me too. I’m maybe one or two steps ahead of you–but then again, many of you are several steps ahead of me. Just want you all to know I’m not some kind of Paragon Of Green Virtue or anything. I do, however, test out all of my suggestions myself, so it’s not a case of “take my advice–I’m not using it!”

The funny thing is, people are becoming seriously aware of what they’re doing. I know this because they keep reporting it to me. For example, over at the SoCal FruGal’s house, Mommica returned from the kitchen and said, “Just so you know, I dried my hands on a paper towel but I saved the towel for the next time I need to dry my hands.” “Conveniently Green!” shouted the SoCal FruGal. “Conveniently Green!” Mommica echoed in response.

“What???” said Anonymous Mom #3. One of these women doesn’t read the blog. I don’t want to mention any names, so I called her Anonymous Mom #3. But girlfriend needs to get onboard or she’s going to singlehandedly melt the ice floes and drown us all. And nobody wants that.

There's another one! Where does the carnage end???

At another playdate, we were talking about going green and Signing Mom asked, “How green are you willing to go?” I responded, “Uhhhhhh, 75%?” as though there were some kind of Green Rating and I was shooting for a C+. Signing Mom then talked about her ideal future–a ranch somewhere with a lot of land, living almost completely off the grid. As she talked about raising and slaughtering her own pigs, I’ll admit that the thought of a lifetime supply of bacon was seriously appealing, but then again, knowing that bacon on a personal level prior to its hickory-smoked deliciousness doesn’t sound that fabulous after all. Honestly, I truly admire Signing Mom (for more reasons than just her commitment to creating her own solar and wind energy), but I really think I’m going to have to visit her after the pig has been turned into bacon.

Mmmmmmmmmm…bacon. God’s gift to carnivores.

Conveniently Green: Use just a little bit less right along with me!

And speaking of severed hands, every Gen X Mom should appreciate The Chopped-Off Hands of Star Wars.

The Scrivener

The Gen X Moms blog is now accepting submissions for our Silent Sunday feature! If you’ve got a cute kid picture, or a kid-related picture, and want the fame, fortune, and adulation of being featured on the Gen X Moms blog, shoot us an email!

Can’t get enough of the Scriv? Follow me on Twitter!

Conveniently Green–Going Green the Easy Way

Gen X Moms has moved to Don’t forget to update your bookmark!

Today’s post is a combination Conveniently Green and Works For Me Wednesday!

Nobody wants to destroy the environment, but going green can seem so daunting and, let’s face it, inconvenient. That’s why over here on Gen X Moms, we’re going green conveniently. But where do you start? So many ways to go green, so little time. Luckily at Gen X Moms, we have a handy little motto: Just a Little Bit Less. Here’s the easy way:

Step 1. Take a look at your trash.

No, not in your trash. That’s disgusting. Look at your trash. What are you throwing away that can potentially be reused or replaced with a reusable substitute? Keep in mind that we’re just in the evaluation stage. You’re not committing to anything. So what do you have in there that could be reused or replaced? Ziploc bags? Paper towels? Clorox wipes?

Step 2. Take a look at the trash you throw away outside of the house

You know, in the car, on a playdate, at a picnic–what are you leaving behind? Paper napkins? Take and Toss kidware? Plastic grocery sacks? Juice boxes? Again, no commitment here. Make a list, if you’re a list-making person. Otherwise just keep it all in your head. If you can. Which I usually can’t.

Step 3. Take a look at your cleaning supplies

Are there lots of yucky chemicals in your cabinet? Have you seen “green” versions at the store? Are you making your own?

Step 4. Identify your non-negotiables

Here’s the thing–we all have non-negotiables. I’m pretty darned crunchy, but you will have to pry my clothes dryer out of my cold, dead hands. Yes, I know all of the advantages of line-drying my laundry (save money! and energy! better for your clothes!), but seriously–I’m going to roll out of my deathbed, crawl to the dryer, and die right there in my laundry closet with my arms around my Maytag. That’s one of my non-negotiables. What are yours? Maybe you can’t live without your Ziploc bags or your juice boxes. Hey, that’s okay. We all have limits.

Step 5. After eliminating your non-negotiables, pick one remaining item and do it ONCE.

Now here’s the key to going green the easy way. Don’t make a big commitment. This isn’t a cell phone contract. Pick one thing and think about our motto–Just a Little Bit Less. Say, for example, you picked paper towels. Your goal will be to use one fewer paper towel than you normally would. Because hey, if you use a dishtowel to clean up a spill one time, that’s one fewer paper towel in the trash, one fewer off the roll, and one little piece of change in your pocket.

Then pat yourself on the back–you’re going green the wasy way! The idea is to make things conscious. When you reach for something you would normally throw away, take just a second and think, “Hmm, in this one, single instance, can I use something else?” A lot of times your answer will be no, but sometimes your answer will be yes, and sometimes is better than no times. Just strive for one! Don’t be intimidated! Everybody can do one!

And once you’ve got one down, strive for two. Or three. Or all. Or hey, just stick with one. The environment will thank you either way.

Works for me! For more great tips, visit Works For Me Wednesday:

Works-For-Me Wednesday

The Scrivener

Can’t get enough of the Scriv? Follow me on Twitter!