Reduce. Last week I did my grocery shopping at the Commissary. For those of you who haven’t been exposed to military life,  the Commissary is THE grocery store on every military base. You pay no tax on your purchases and the prices are really good. No need to scan sale flyers from all the grocery stores in town to find the best deal- you will get it there. You pay a price though. The produce is hit or miss. I can buy some stuff and it’ll be fabulous and other times whatever I buy rots within a day or two (I’m thinking lowest bidder produce?). The meat is another strange story. One time I went and they had no chicken. Not one bit! But, even with the downfalls, I still like to save a dime so this is where I shop.  I head off to do my shopping with a fist full of coupons and a pile of what I thought were really cool reusable bags (they are insulated and have a zipper closure!)

While I was there, in the produce department, I saw a woman shopping. She had these reusable grocery bags hooked over the edges of her cart and I was completely intrigued.

At first I wasn’t sure if they were an easy way to pack up your purchases or she was a total germ-a-phobe and didn’t want her food items touching the gross cart. Then I saw her whip out these and hand one to each of her kids and send them off.

reuseit™ Produce and Snack Bag, Organic Cotton Net

Reusable produce bags! I knew I had to talk to her. I approached and said, “Hi! Where did you get your cool reusable produce bags?” and she gave me this website: (which I bet you’ll all go and check out) and told me all about the fabulousness of them. She also sold me on the virtues of  her bags hanging on the cart which she could just fill up in the store and be on her way (which really didn’t make any sense to me because she’ll have to empty the bags to check out anyway). I realized that my reusable bags totally got the smack down from hers. Then she told me that she and her family just moved back to the states from Germany and that over there it’s ALL about reuse/recycle/reduce etc. Oh… those innovative Germans!

Reuse. OK, so the produce bags are super, but if I don’t get the plastic produce bags at the store, then what will I put the kitty litter in when I clean out the box? dilemma, dilemma!

Recycling. I’m a big believer in reducing the amount of trash my family makes every week and so I dutifully separate my trash for recycling. In Oklahoma, this meant rinsing all plastic containers (1-7), tin, aluminum, and glass… sorting these… and taking them along with my paper, paper board, and cardboard to the recycling center which for most of my stay there was only open on Saturday mornings (man, was it busy there those mornings… but kind of fun too. Group mentality of doing good). Here, in my new home,  only plastics 1 and 2 (how I wish the peanut butter jar was a 5),  paper, cardboard, tin, and aluminum are recycled. No glass  (and I’m going to admit a little secret here… I’m a  glad when I can just toss my glass into the trash. No rinsing, no getting the stuck on bits of salsa off of the grooves in the neck of the jar…). There is no pickup and I still have to take it to the recycling center but I don’t have to sort. Rumor has it that in my area the sorting of recycling is done by prisoners. Yep, the items I take to the recycling center get tossed into a truck and driven to a prison where the incarcerated sort the stuff and the prison sells it. Makes me a little more careful about what kind of junk mail I throw in my recycling bin.

I used to teach Language Arts, and I always taught my students that your last paragraph should sum up what you said and come to some conclusion. This is my last paragraph for this particular ramble and when I got here I realized I have nothing witty with which to end. Really, I just wanted to show off those cool reusable produce bags, tell you about my quandary of what do to with the kitty litter if I do buy the reusable produce bags, speak of my glee of getting to throw away glass, and tell you what the  prisoners of Alabama were up to. So done, and done, and done, and done!


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Julie T. on August 27, 2010 at 4:20 am

    Loved your blog, Amy!!! I’ve got those cloth produce bags, they are much easier than the plastic ones.. If you have a use for those plastic produce bags– I think you are okay… you are still re-using 🙂


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