Howdy Friends and Fans! Lettuce Chat about bags. No, not the ones under my eyes from lack of sleep or seasonal allergies. Not the kind you sleep in, or lounge on. And not the kind you put on your bicycles, motorcycles, or horses. I'm chatting about shopping bags, thank you bags, grocery bags, and insulated totes. (Thank you bags are the plastic shopping bags that say "thank you" on them, that you use to take your purchased items home in.) I love a good reusable shopping tote. In fact, I have several of them (read that as "way too many") taking up space in my garage, entrance hallway, and vehicle. Most of the time, I remember to cart them into the grocery store and actually use them (hooray!!). But sometimes, I woefully remember that I left them at home...again...after I am already parked in the lot.
Recently, the powers that be here in Loudoun County voted to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags, beginning in July. This reduction effort includes encouraging shoppers to BYOSBag (bring your own shopping bag), or if you must use a store provided plastic bag, they will charge you a $.05 (five cent) fee PER bag used at the stores. This charge is not in effect at farmers markets in LoCo, and certain types of businesses like ESH. Because of the nature of our produce items, we would be excluded from having to charge you those five cents, should you need a bag.
ESH has been mulling this shopping bag thing over for a while. We would like to think that the effort to reduce the use of plastic bags is a decently noble one, and even though we are not required to eliminate using them, we think it would be an environmentally helpful thing to do. Anyway, generally speaking, it can't be a bad thing to reduce our use of these bags. It certainly isn't going to be easy to change our habits, but I know we can take a stab at it. We'll just all have to adjust and remember to pull them out to use.
The whole reason I am bringing this up is to give our loyal customers at Falls Church and DuPont Circle markets and ESH farm stand a heads up. We would like to attempt to significantly reduce how many thank you bags we send out into the shopping universe, and keep it to a minimum, when possible. We want to encourage all of our customers to try to remember to BYOSBags to the farmers markets and to the farm stand.
Of course, we will never deny you a thank you bag, if one is needed. And really, a majority of our customers already do bring their own shopping bags on a regular basis. (That's more helpful than you can imagine.) So we aren't really going to be impacting a whole lot of folks. Again, we are only taking aim at our thank you bags. Not only would we be able to help reduce the use of plastic bags, we would be able to reduce our rising overhead cost associated with them. It's not perfect, but it is a start.
Please note that our little lettuce factory will not be able to completely eliminate using plastic bags, as all of our lettuce blends are required to be sealed in them (important food safety stuff). Unfortunately, we cannot fill a reusable produce bag with loose Loudoun Lettuce blend, that is off the root cube. Especially not at the farmers markets. (We know that some producers manage to do that, but we cannot.)
What about the living heads and herbs that you want to buy at the market? If you have an easily washable (maybe waterproof?) bag, that will be the perfect solution. You can wipe them out after you remove your living heads or herbs. You can bring your mesh produce bags that are large enough, to keep the herbs separate in your tote. Just ask Guy to let you put it in that little produce bag or your tote. Do you have an insulated tote bag? That's an even better option for those hot summer market days. Insulated bags will save your bagged lettuce blends and living heads (and other leafy produce) from wilting after purchase. And actually, insulated bags are a favorite of ours, as they will help keep your lettuce cold until you get it home and into the fridge.
Well Friends and Fans, that's about it. Shopping totes. We all have them. We all wish we knew where ours are hiding. And we all cringe when we realize we left them at the house. Lettuce dig them out and use them to cart our farmers market goodies home. It can't hurt, right? And again, if you need a thank you bag, it's all yours, no problem at all. We're just going to try to do our little part where we can. Thanks Y'all! Lettuce Chat again!