If we happen to lapse on taking our reusable totes to the store, which isn't very often anymore thanks to this post, we ask the cashier to pack our groceries in paper bags. Even though there's still a debate on which is greener, we find that we're more able to reuse the strong paper bags than their plastic counterparts at home, in oh-so-many ways...
Here are some of the ways we reuse paper bags. Share your ideas with us, too!
1. Collect paper recycling in it, and recycle the whole package
2. Use it as gift wrap
3. Make gift tags
4. Ready a spot of land for a garden by cutting the bags, flattening them, and covering them with compost (it kills weeds and prevents them from hindering your garden)
5. Collect kitchen scraps and other compost items; when it's time to compost, dump out the food scraps and then tear up the bag to go directly into the compost pile as well
6. Shred and add to the compost
7. Shred and use for packages to keep breakable items safe
8. Fold the bags and take them to the store next time
9. If the bag has handles, continue to reuse as a tote
10. Cover textbooks with them (a personal favorite back in junior high; cover it with the blank side out and proceed to write quotes from "Empire Records" all over it)
11. Line the trash can with it--but instead of tossing it on the first use, simply toss the trash in the dumpster and continue to reuse the paper bag as a liner
12. Get crafty and use the blank side for art projects; brown paper is great for painting, markering, and more
13. Cut the bags so they lay flat and use as a tablecloth while carving pumpkins; leave the scraps where they are and compost the whole she-bang when you're done