The pollution in the environment caused by the usage of plastic is one of the biggest challenges faced by us today. With the increase in global warming and melting of the polar ice caps, it becomes important for all of us to do our own little bit to help save the environment and make the earth more inhabitable for both, ourselves and our future generations. The level of seawater is increasing due to the melting of the polar ice caps which is posing to be a big problem for environmentalists. If something is not done soon enough to help save the planet, it is more than likely that this will cause massive global destruction.
Even small steps mean a great deal to make the world a better place to live in, and we can do so by making our daily habits eco-friendlier and greener. The easiest way to do this is to recycle, reuse and reduce our usage and wastage of plastic consumption. As per the recent research, it has been found that the single most used plastic is that of a produce bag or a grocery bag. So, the best and cheapest way to reduce plastic consumption is by simply using or switching to reusable produce bags for your daily usage that includes grocery shopping and many more. So, let us begin by exploring the types of reusable bags.
Types of Reusable Produce Bags
There are three kinds of reusable produce bags. They include:
cotton produce bags,
nylon and polyester produce bag, and
plastic produce bags.
However, even amongst the three different kinds of reusable produce bags, the best option to be eco-friendlier is with the cotton produce bags. Cotton bags not only cause any harm to the planet, but they are also biodegradable and decomposable which means that they will not be stuck inside the soil causing it to harm for generations to come unlike the other two options amongst reusable produce bags.
Cotton Produce Bags
Cotton produce bags are divided into two kinds of bags, and they are easily accessible and can help save you money in the long run. So, now let us discuss the main types in detail.
Muslin Cotton Produce Bags: One of the most popular types of cotton produce bags is the Muslin produce bags. They are made with the help of muslin cloth which is a type of cotton weaving and the fabric makes it perfect for storing vegetables, fruits and other kinds of produce in your refrigerator. Muslin clothes are breathable which allows the excess ethylene gas to escape from the fruits and vegetables making them stay fresh and healthy for longer periods of time. Moreover, they are eco-friendly, natural and sustainable along with being organic and biodegradable. The fact that it is reusable, recyclable and also produce zero amounts of waste is a bigger bonus in terms of your quest in going green and clean. Along with the produce, these bags can also be used to store bulk items like coffee, oats, flour, salt etc. They are very useful and quite cheap to use in the long run as well. So, this kind of muslin produce bags could be your best friends.
Mesh Cotton Produce Bags: Next comes, cotton mesh produce bags, which can act as another option for you to consider if you do not prefer or like muslin produce bags. Mesh produce bags are also made of organic cotton. This is even better since cotton is degradable and does not adversely affect the environment. Mesh produce bags can be used to store fruits, vegetables, onions, potatoes, garlic, etc.
Nylon and Polyester Produce Bags
You may find nylon and polyester produce bags in the market widely however, the biggest problem we have with them is that they are made of a non-biodegradable material. That means that when you are finally done with using these produce bags or when they tear apart, they are going to once again add to the waste of the world and do more harm than good to the environment as a whole. Nylon and polyester can take as long as a hundred years or even more to decompose and they stay in the soil causing harm to the environment for generations.
Plastic Produce Bags
In a similar way, plastic produce bags are once again, the worst of the lot. They create a long-lasting and nearly non-reversible negative impact on the environment. These plastics stay in the soil for ages and degrades its fertility and its ability to produce fertile quality fruits and vegetables. These bags although are being used to store fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, eggs and many more, should be avoided as much as possible.
Now that we know a bit about the types of produce bags that exist and that cotton produce bags top the chart, let us draw a comparison to get a better understanding between cotton produce bags and other types of bags that exist in the market.
Nylon Produce Bags vs Cotton Produce Bags
It might be tempting to buy nylon produce bags as they are cheaper, but remember, nylon bags are extremely harmful to the environment because of their non-biodegradable quality and the fact that it will ultimately cause harm to the world and further weaken your cause of going green. Cotton bags, on the other hand, are not only long-lasting but they also do not cause any negative impact on the environment which makes it a far better option all things considered.
Plus, when you compare cotton bags to nylon bags, they can be repaired easily. Not only can cotton produce bags act as carry bags, but they can also be used to store bread or other food items without any issues of ventilation.
Plastic Produce Bags vs Cotton Produce Bags
Again, plastic bags are dangerous to the environment. They contain certain harmful materials which might turn poisonous if they are constantly recycled. Also, since you cannot be always sure that the plastic produce bags you are using is made from new plastic or recycled plastic, you always run high on chances for your health complications.
Cotton produce bags are the better alternative here as well as they do not cause any harmful reaction to the body and are biodegradable and are hence completely eco-friendly. They are the best bet when it comes to recyclable produce bags and should always be your first choice when it comes to buying these bags.
Paper Produce Bags vs Cotton Produce Bags
Paper Produce Bags while may look good, but does not last as long. Moreover, they are completely unfriendly to the environment as paper requires the felling of numerous trees. Therefore, if you are looking for a cleaner, greener and eco-friendlier option, then paper produce bags should not even come into the contention because of these issues. Try to avoid paper produce bags as much as you can.
Cotton Produce Bags, when compared to paper produce bags not only last longer, but they are also a better option when it comes to eco-friendly and a green way of living.
Thus, you can see that compared to all other kinds of reusable produce bags, cotton produce bags are better and a much more concise choice. It not only helps save you money by not letting you have to buy multiple ‘one-time use produce bags’ but they are also completely in with the whole ‘Save the Earth’ campaign which will help you keep the world cleaner for the future generations to come and be a part of.
Now, there are quite a few things one must keep in mind while choosing which kind of reusable produce bags to purchase. Some of the considerations to be kept in mind are as below.
Factors to consider before purchasing reusable produce bags
Fabric compatibility with washing machine: The most important factor to consider is ensuring that the bag is washable because you will be reusing the bags again and again.
Type of fabric: The type of fabric is also an important consideration before you decide to buy a reusable produce bag. Depending on the kind of material you want to keep in these bags, the fabric will differ. Mesh bags are good to store fruits and vegetables but they are not the right choice for fine grains like flours and more. Cotton bags, on the other hand, can be put to multi-use.
Size: Cotton bags are available in various sizes. Depending on what you need the bag for, you have the option to choose from a variety. If you wish to keep fruits and vegetables, you can buy a bigger bag. If you need a bag for something else, you can buy one in a smaller size.
Versatility: You should actively look for whether or not the reusable produce bag you are going to buy is versatile. For example, a cotton bag is very versatile. You can strain yogurt, juice milk and more. Apart from that, you can also cook spices and herbs into broths with the help of a cotton bag. You can equally use these bags as coffee and tea strainer or as a nut milk bag or to even store your precious chinaware and silverware. These bags can also contain your bedsheets and towels. The more creative you can think of its usage, the more possibilities it will open for you, and this is why cotton produce bags are the best!
DIY (Do It Yourself) Produce Bags?
If you have time and the resources then you can also make these bags yourself. It goes without saying that, anything handmade could be way better than buying any plastic or nylon bags from the outside store. Therefore, if you are wondering about how to make your own reusable produce bags at home, you can either quickly search for a lot of ways on the internet, or we have got you covered with the tips and tricks to make one right here!
The only things you will need are a sewing machine, fabric scissors, measuring tape, thread, safety pin, iron (this one is not mandatory) and sewing pins and then follow the below steps:
Layer your fabric on top of each other and cut a rectangle the size of 13” by 16”. What you now have are two pieces of fabric which you will measure about 2.5” of on the longer side. Mark this spot. This is to make the drawstring casing later on.
Sew a seam around the rectangle on three sides leaving the 2.5” side open. Fold half an inch over the top edge on the outside and press with the iron.
On the open side of the fabric, open the seam which will include the 2.5” opening. Stitch from top to bottom. This will give your bag the right base which is very important.
The casing of the drawstring can be made by folding 1” over the top end and folding it on the outside.
Stitch the whole fabric in the inside till about 1” on the bottom to create the casing for the drawstring.
Cut a cord that can go all around the bag and give you enough space to tie a knot on the top. All you need to do now is to trap a tape along both the ends of the cord.
Using the safety pin, bring the other end of the cord out through the casing. Once you do that pull both the ends together and tie a knot.
Once you follow all the steps, you have your own handmade DIY reusable produce bag all ready to use. You will now be ready to save the world against plastic, global warming and climate change in your own little way.
Thus, we can see after discussing and debating about all other kinds of reusable produce bags, that cotton produce bags are obviously the better choice for everything. It makes not only the user happy but it is also making environmentalists around the world happy as it is a little step by men and women, the world over, to do their bit in saving the earth from massive and irreversible destruction. Using cotton reusable produce bags in your daily life can indeed out you to living a zero-waste lifestyle, helping yourself as well as the earth to live a healthier and better life.
Try it out for a few days and we are sure you will notice the difference in the amount of waste you generate on a daily basis. It will also help you consciously to live a healthy and green lifestyle, and would also keep you accountable for the waste that is being generated by you every day.
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