Eco-Wedneday: Tote Bags, Baby

SnapSac in trunk
I love the big straps. LOVE!

I’ve been trying to come up with some fun twist on “greening the pink” community but nothing quite works (green + pink = blah anyway.) Still, in the interest that environmental issues are LGBTQ issues, I’m trying to dedicate a little blog space to the green knowledge I’ve picked up over the past two years.

A product I really value is a good tote bag. After cleaning out my car, I found 6 bags tucked under the seat (I wondered where they had gone?) just when I pulled into Giant Eagle. A brand I particularly like is “SnapSac” – sturdy bags that fold into a neat little square and have – you guessed it – a snap. I had a set of five bags – four totes of varying sizes and one thermal lunch cooler.

Do not do this. A rule of thumb is gallon of milk = 8 lbs
Do not do this. A rule of thumb is gallon of milk = 8 lbs

The bags are very pretty – blue and gray with white and yellow. I used the  medium sized bag on my first run and was able to carry a 40 lb bag of cat food. Unfortunately, I learned that was too heavy and the handles snapped on the second trip – I talked with the company and they explained that the bags – while roomy – were tested to a weight of 23 lbs as per California regulations. That is GOOD TO KNOW.

In Blue
In Blue

I find Snap Sacs good for certain tasks. The very roomy big tote (HUGE) is good for bulky but lightweight items – like when I catch a sale on cereal and pick up 10 boxes or boxes of tissue and such. It is also great for carrying all of my totes into the store. The medium size totes are perfect for  a layer of canned goods followed by a loaf of bread or eggs or other item that needs to be placed horizontally. Because the bag folds rather than being smushed up like a Chico Bag, it retains a sturdiness for heavier items. The only drawback is that I don’t put really heavy items in these bags – I save those for my sturdy nylon and canvas bags. But since I do shop in bulk – 89 cans of cat food anyone? – SnapSacs always come along to the grocery store.

SnapSac is a step up from a traditional grocery store bag (the $1 type) and much more attractive if that is a factor for you. I would DEFINITELY suggest using these in lieu of gift bags and adding them to your supply of tote bags.

On a side note: I don’t think any one bag is useful in all cases. I have three drawstring bags in my purse – I use them for produce, small purchases and to wrap up takeout containers. I also have a folding Bakku bag for slightly larger purchases. And my tote collection includes multiple size canvas bags, 3 sturdy nylon bags with pockets (great for uber-heavy items) and a random assortment of grocery store bags. The goal is to find a bag (or bags) that work with your lifestyle and reduce the use of disposable bags.