Because there are so many reasons to carry a cloth bag, I nearly always have one with me. I'm not the only one that prefers to use a cloth bag when shopping. The message seems to be getting through that plastic bags are wasteful, unnecessary, and harmful to the environment. Here are just some of the reasons to carry a cloth bag …
1. Unexpected Purchases
One of the most useful reasons to carry a cloth bag is that it takes care of all those unexpected purchases that you end up making. How often do you pick up items on impulse, but have to take a plastic bag to carry them home? Keep a cloth bag with you instead.
2. Fewer Plastic Bags
It's estimated that a trillion plastic bags are used every year. That's 1,000,000,000,000. Every bag you use for your purchases contributes to that vast statistic and the environmental problem they create. All those bags have a limited life, and have to be discarded or recycled. Many end up in landfill or in the ocean, where they threaten the lives of animals. By far the best option is to use fewer plastic bags in the first place, so that fewer will be manufactured.
3. Save Money
Increasingly, stores are moving over to charging for every plastic bag a customer takes away. Those few cents may not seem like much, but they do add up. The town of Modbury in the UK has declared itself a plastic bag-free zone, and all the shopkeepers offer alternative types of bags to their customers. A cloth bag lasts much longer and will pay for itself before long.
4. Promote a Cause
Cloth bags are also a brilliant way of advertising. Many businesses have realised that offering their customers a bag as a gift is a cost-effective method of promoting themselves. Likewise, charities can use cloth bags to raise funds and publicise their cause. So buying a cloth bag will help support a charity you believe in.
I've already mentioned the dangers that plastic bags pose to the environment. If you believe in looking after the environment - and you should - carrying a cloth bag is a brilliant way of making a contribution. Nobody can save the world on their own, but these little steps do make a difference.
Have you ever had your groceries spill all over the ground when carrying them in plastic bags? The problem with plastic bags is that they're simply not very strong. They're designed to be disposable. Cloth bags, on the other hand, are made to last a while (they won't last forever but are much more durable than the plastic version). Get some cloth bags made from sturdy material and your groceries will be safe.
Cloth bags are also considerably more stylish than plastic bags. Carrying a cloth bag will look much nicer than the plastic version, which can make your outfit look cheap. They also come in a variety of fabrics. You can even make your own from remnants (you don't need that much fabric).
I'm a firm fan of cloth bags, and use them a lot when I go grocery shopping. When shop assistants offer me a bag I always tell them that I've brought my own. Cloth bags are also handy for picking up library books and small purchases. It's worth having one with you whenever you go out. What is your favorite way to help the environment?