Thursday, June 17, 2010

Caring For and Using Fabric Produce Bags



Many PSFC members have ditched the plastic produce and bulk bags in favor of reusable fabric bags. Thank you!

Here are a few recommendations for using and caring for your fabric bags:

Cleaning:
  • Wash your bags every other week or whenever they begin to smell or look moldy.
  • Wash your produce bags on the gentle cycle or soak in the sink using a mild detergent, like Dr. Bronner's.
  • To remove mold or stains, soak your bags in warm water and add a little vinegar or lemon juice. (Avoid bleach. It is a toxic to you and the environment.)
  • If your bags are permanently discolored or stained, remember that they are not a fashion accessory and let them be "colorful".
Using:
  • To keep fast-wilting produce, like lettuce or leafy greens, fresh in the fridge, double bag using one dry bag and one damp bag.

    Place your produce in the first dry bag and then soak the second with water. Ring out the second slightly and double bag. (Depending on the type of produce you might try it the other way around.)
  • Remember to eat your produce within the week. Unlike “conventional” produce or packaged food, fresh organic produce is not meant to last for weeks on end.
Shopping:
  • Use mesh fabric bags to hold big items, like apples and oranges.
  • Use tight weave bags for grains, like rice, salt, and flour and for delicate produce, like grapes, lettuce, and greens.
  • Many hardy products, like carrots, celery, and potatoes, don't require a bag at all. Just place them in your shopping bag!
MYOB (Make Your Own Bags):
  • For many of us “Going Green” seems to be all about buying the next Green product. That misses the point. Re-use what you already have and save money.
  • Making a produce bag is easy. Simply sew two pieces of fabric on three sides or modify an old t-shirt or even a pillowcase. Be creative!

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