I posted earlier on what local grocery stores are doing to reduce the number of disposable grocery bags used each year. Today, just a quick note about options for replacing plastic produce bags with reusable ones.
In Ottawa you can buy cotton produce bags at The Wheatberry (where they come in all shapes and sizes as well as in conventional or organic) and at Arbour (where they are labeled lunch bags). If anyone knows of anywhere else in town where you can buy reusable produce bags please comment. The bag on the left of the photo above is from Arbour. The light-weight, compact mesh bag on the right was purchased on-line from ecobags.com.
When buying reusable produce bags make sure they are sturdy enough for machine washing. All seams should be serged, sewn over, or covered by fabric tape. The first batch of cotton bags that I bought disintegrated when I washed them because the raw edges of the cut fabric were showing. I bought them for 50 cents at the Great Glebe Garage Sale, but I believe they originally came from Michaels’ craft supply.
Arbour Environmental Shoppe, 800 Bank Street, Ottawa, K1S 3V8, 613-567-3168
The Wheat Berry, 206 Main Street, Ottawa, ON K1S 1C6, 613- 235-7580