I make infrequent, large grocery trips, so I would need an awful lot of cloth bags to go shopping. I struggled with the “paper or plastic” question for a long time. They are both recyclable, but which one is more reusable?
I think paper is the better choice, hands down. I take them to the store with me, and I have been using some of the same bags for over a year. If the baggers aren’t rough with them, they last a really long time! Plus I was pleasantly surprised to find that I get a bag credit for bringing my own.
When I’m buying just a few items at any store, I always say “no bag, please.” More and more stores are starting to ask whether you want one.
I’m fortunate that Longmont has an excellent city-run recycling program. I have a large curbside recycling bin alongside my trash bin. One side of it is for paper, the other for “mixed containers” (glass, plastic, metal). I also recycle cardboard and paperboard, which I have to take to EcoCycle myself.
My household of 2 adults (+ cat) produces just one kitchen bag of trash a week, and it is VERY light and usually not even full. This makes me happy. When I was a kid, I always wanted to recycle, but my Mom refused. She didn’t want to deal with bins. Now that I run my own home, I get to do things the way I want :)
I have signed up for 100% wind generated electricity through my utility company. It’s produced at the Medicine Bow wind farm in Wyoming, and it only costs me about $15 extra a month.