The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Drop the Disposables, Part 5

Cloth grocery bagIn addition to the napkins Brandy made us, we also bought a slew of very sturdy cloth grocery bags from her a few months ago.  Mark, like Mike, had a really hard time taking the leap away from paper towels, but for me the grocery bags are the largest challenge.

People do look at you funny when you bring your own grocery bags to the store in rural America, but the really hard part is remembering to bring in the bags in the first place.  We've figured out a few simple tricks which help us steer clear of plastic:

  • Keep the cloth grocery bags in the car.  When you live a ten minute walk from your car and a fifteen minute drive from the grocery store, chances are you won't go back to pick up forgotten bags stashed under the kitchen sink.
  • Put "cloth bags" on the grocery list and circle it.  Nothing like a reminder when you get to the store.
  • Put Mark in charge of the grocery shopping --- he has the memory and is far more likely to remember the bags!

Good luck --- and remember that every little step you make away from disposables is one step toward self-sufficiency!

This post is part of our Drop the Disposables lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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So disappointed. Was expecting an alternative to toilet paper next.
Comment by Errol Fri Mar 27 13:18:05 2009
That's one disposable we probably won't be dropping. However, I do know people who use "family cloth," much like the flannel wipes I made for Willow. :-P
Comment by Brandy :: Young in the Mountains Fri Mar 27 17:08:19 2009
You know, I sometimes ponder whether we could ever move away from toilet paper. I know that some cultures don't use it, but I can't quite figure out a way not to without excessive amounts of laundry. (Leaves just don't cut it for long term use, in my opinion.)
Comment by anna Fri Mar 27 20:40:56 2009

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