Grocery Bag

True Natured Co Bag Review: Replace Your Plastic Grocery Bags

As a farmer’s market frequenter and shopper for a household of four, I made the executive decision to attempt the switch to reusable grocery bags. The disturbingly large, and ever growing, stash of used plastic bags in my home was becoming overwhelming and unmanageable. My household alone was doing enough damage to our environment simply with the amount of trash generated from these bags. Preventative and countermeasures were needed.

Photos Courtesy of  McKayla Spencer

Photos Courtesy of McKayla Spencer

There is a wide arrangement of options for a set of reusable produce bags, ranging from 100% natural cotton to muslin, to synthetic materials. My trial pick is a pack of seven machine washable natural cotton and muslin bags with wooden closures by True Natured Co. It includes one net grocery bag, three mesh and three bulk produce bags. Initially, I was hesitant about the net grocery bag as it was not as flexible when first unboxed, but once I actually adventured to my local Farmers Market, I was pleasantly surprised by it’s durability and size. 

The first trip was definitely a haul. Prepping for a large cookout with extended family requires an equally large amount of produce. A basket of strawberries, twelve ears of corn, seven cucumbers, six squash, six zucchini, seven tomatoes, and two cantaloupes later… And the bags held up wonderfully! I had to split the corn between the two longer bags, but everything else fit perfectly. The cantaloupes and tomatoes managed to end up in the grocery bag, getting rid of my fear about the flexibility of the netting. For average grocery shopping, this one still comes in handy. Since I do a majority of my produce shopping at the Farmers Market during the Summer, I only need a small bag to carry everything. The netted grocery bag works well for holding spices, out of season fruits, oatmeal, and other pre-packaged items. The handles are just thick enough to prevent hurting your shoulder.

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True Natured Co.

Reusable produce and grocery bags.

After filling each bag to the brim, the final challenge for the bags to undergo was the laundry machine. Although most things say machine washable, some do not quite live up to the statement and fall apart after one or two washes. The first thing I did once the bags arrived in the mail was place them into the washing machine and hang dry. Following the trip to the market and the grocery store, it was time for a second wash. This time, I tried drying on low heat. Both times the bags came out fresh and clean without any shrinkage or damage. I did tie the drawstrings and tuck them into the bags to prevent any tangling between them all. 

Overall the bags were just what my household needed, or more so what I needed. A second set may be necessary to keep up with my ever-growing family, but for now the seven work just right. It is a great relief to discover a set of reusable bags to replace the non-biodegradable, annoying plastic bags that have overtaken my house and are piling in the environment.

You can purchase True Natured Co’s Reusable Produce Brands on Amazon.

You can find more out about True Natured Co on their Instagram or Facebook!

3 Eco Friendly Substitutes for Your Everyday Household Essentials

With our very busy lives—family, friends, and work—it's often easy to overlook the beauty that Earth provides. And many of us take that beauty for granted. The truth is that our population continues to grow, but our planet's resources continue to run low. Here are a few fun ways to incorporate more eco-friendliness into our everyday lifestyle to make a lasting, significant impact on the future of our environment.



Washable Bamboo Towels

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Who woulda thunk it? An alternative to traditional paper towels, bamboo towels are both super absorbent and durable. Best of all is how this grass-based product serves our environment. For paper towels, trees are cut down and harvested, and those trees are gone. Forever. On the other hand, washable bamboo towels are produced from bamboo that's harvested using sustainable practices. That is, bamboo is harvested from sprouts that continue to regenerate year after year. To put things into perspective, the average roll of bamboo towels, which contains about 30 sheets, has the potential to replace more than 400 rolls of standard paper towels. And each washable bamboo towel (depending on which brand you purchase) can be machine washed up to 100 times. Choosing bamboo over standard paper towels saves the forests, cuts down on waste, and saves you money.




Cleaning Slime

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One of the coolest things I discovered in the past few years is cleaning slime. Sounds gross, right? But fear not. It's environmentally safe, fun, and edible. And it's allergy friendly, too! With just three ingredients (1 cup packed spinach, 1 cup cornstarch, and 1/2 cup water), making this slime is super simple. First add the spinach and water to your food processor and puree. Then empty the puree into a mixing bowl and gradually whisk in the cornstarch until you have an oozy, slimy consistency. This slime works great for those hard-to-reach areas and crevices. I like to use this stuff to get in between the keyboard keys, around the gear shifter in my car, and around the stovetop area. Using cleaning slime, instead of harmful chemicals when possible, can reduce the amount of pollutants and toxic waste we release into our environment. I guess one could call this "green" cleaning slime!





Cloth Grocery Bags

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More than one million sea creatures die each year because humans dump plastic waste into our ocean waters. Plastic is the world's most dreaded form of pollution, and it's only becoming a bigger problem. By using cloth or recyclable grocery shopping bags, you can significantly reduce the amount of plastic that gets emptied into our oceans. And all of those plastic bags you may have stuffed underneath your kitchen cabinet can be recycled; most grocery stores now have a receptacle for those plastic bags, which then get recycled. Another great thing about using cloth shopping bags is that they typically store much more than a standard plastic grocery bag. Plastic products can take anywhere from 10-1,000 years to fully decompose. We can all do our part by simply using alternatives.