Eco Friendly Home Maintenance plastic-bags-reuse

Published on April 6th, 2012 | by Sonya Kanelstrand

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Earth Day Inspiration: 15 Reuses for Plastic Bags

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We all know about the devastating effect plastic bags have on nature. Plastics degrade too slowly. The chemical bonds that make plastic so durable make it equally resistant to natural processes of degradation. Since the 1950s, one billion tons of plastic have been discarded and may persist for hundreds or even thousands of years.

A lot of us have decided to stay away from plastic and get their own shopping bags to the store, and yet there are too many people who use plastic bags daily, resulting in too much plastic circulating around.

Here are 15 ideas on how you can reuse and repurpose the plastic bags that have sneaked in your home.

  1. Crochet an eco-friendly tote bag out of used plastic bags.
  2. Save them for packing material and replace bubble wrap.
  3. When you pack for a vacation, put a few plastic bags in your suitcase to later separate dirty from clean clothes.
  4. When packing a suitcase, use them to keep your shoes from soiling your clothes.
  5. Wrap your shampoo, conditioner, and sunscreen in plastic bags to prevent leaks while traveling.
  6. Tie around the seat of your bicycle to protect it on rainy days – dramatically prolongs its life!
  7. Reuse them when you go shopping when not all of your purchases fit into your reusable bags. You can also use them in the produce section.
  8. Keep a few plastic bags in your car to collect your trash on the road.
  9. Put wet paint brushes in a plastic bag and place in the refrigerator when stopping mid-project. This will keep the paint wet, so you can pick up where you left off without having to rinse the brushes.
  10. Protect work surfaces by slitting the plastic bags up the sides, spreading them out flat, taping them together, and laying them across the work surface.
  11. Using finger crochet, turn bags into a clothesline or even a hammock!
  12. Tie plastic bags around your knees to protect your pants in the garden.
  13. Drape a plastic bag over a wire frame for a unique diffused-light lamp.
  14. Turn plastic bags into bracelets.
  15. Or twist them into a necklace.

There are practically endless ways to reuse plastic bags. If you can, choose a way that will stop these bags’ progress toward the trash.

Is there anything I missed? Let us know in the comments.

Sources: Real Simple, I am green, TLC.

[Photo via Shutterstock]



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About the Author

Sonya is a photographer and a creative artist sharing her Scandinavian experiences. Her blog Kanelstrand Organic Living has become the meeting point of a vibrant green community of eco-conscious artists and crafters from around the world. Sonya believes that people and nature can co-exist together in a healthy and inspiring union without harming each other. She implements the knowledge gained from studying Philology and Pedagogy in her approach to sustainable and eco-friendly living.



  • http://www.goinggreentoday.com/blog Grace

    I never would have thought of #9. I also reuse plastic bags in the produce section. I’ve gotten a few weird looks when I whip them out of my purse, but oh well!

    • http://importantmedia.org/members/sonyak/ Sonya Kanelstrand

      Yes, #9 is precious! I can understand snobbish looks when you take out your reusable bag at the store, because I know that everyone needs time to get used to what someone else has already ripened to :)

  • http://appalachiangap.etsy.com Gene

    I wrap beautiful fabric around cordage made of plastic bags to make rag baskets and bowls. To date, I have taken over 1000 plastic bags out of the environment! Plus, my baskets, bowls and wine bottle carriers are pretty cool themselves.

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