Tuesdays are notoriously slow days. You're barely through the week and the weekend isn't really in sight yet. So I figured I'd start the "Go Green & Save Some Green Tip of the Week" to give you Valley greenies something to look forward to every week. If you live in the Pioneer Valley, you know everyone is getting on the go green bandwagon or has already been on it for years. But what steps can you take to go green and save yourself some money? Check back here every week to find out! Let's get started:
Tip #1 - Use Your Own Bags at the Grocery Store
Sure, you've heard this tip a million times. Save the Earth from the evils of non-degrading plastic by using your own bags. But did you know this tip can save you money in the Valley? That's right. Stop and Shop stores (found all over the valley - Northampton, Holyoke, Greenfield, Belchertown, Chicopee, etc.) now offer 5 cents back on your order for every reusable bag you bring to bag your groceries.
Stop and Shop sells reusable bags for 99 cents (uninsulated) and $1.99 (insulated). If you buy a basic 99 cent bag, it'll pay for itself after 20 trips to the store. So after that, you start racking up the savings by reusing them. And these bags are sturdy - they should last you much longer than 20 trips to the store.
I've been using my 5 bags for over a year (way more than 20 times each) and they're still going strong. I use them not only for trips to the grocery store, but to other stores, like CVS, and farm stands, too. Not only do the bags save me money, they're also easier to carry than plastic or paper grocery bags. The handles are nice and wide, so they don't cut off the circulation in my hands like plastic bags used to. And they're extra long, so I can actually fit the handles over my shoulders and carry all 4-5 bags of groceries into the house in one trip!
You can buy similar bags at other local grocers like Big Y (often marked down to 48 cents each with a silver coin) and Whole Foods. Or you can style it up and buy specialty canvas bags with cool sayings. My personal favorite is the one at Amazon that says "Make Love, Not Carbon." (*hint* *hint* Christmas is coming soon Mr. valleywriter!!)
So join the crunchy cult and buy some resuable bags. Help save yourself some green and the planet, too!
Next week: Find out what to do with those plastic bags you do end up with (produce bags, bread bags, etc.).