Home & Garden

Re-use those pesky bags

Those plastic bags you get at the grocery store and everywhere else?

They’re a part of everyday life, as ubiquitous as cell phones, potholes and Lindsay Lohan scandals.

We love ’em. Or at least we use ’em.

Try these re-use tips:

Beyond the obvious (taking your lunch, lining your trash cans or tossing dirty diapers), a search of green and crafty Web sites showed dozens of other ingenious uses for the bags.

Here’s a sampling:

Plastic yarn: Make crochet tote bags, rugs and even clothing by folding bags accordion-style from the side, then cutting loops and hooking them together to make yarn.

Pillow stuffing: Pack them in and zip.

Packing material: Better than bubble wrap?

Child’s smock: Split the bag from top to bottom between the handles and use as a smock, putting arms through handles and close with a clip.

Doggie business: Use them to pick up waste.

Cutting boards: Chop away, then dispose.

Rope: Loop them together.

Gardener’s friend: Use them to double-bag poison ivy, or when weeding or dead-heading.

Overshoes: Tie them around your shoes, keep them clean and dry.

Plastic pants: Put over baby’s diaper in an emergency.

Disposable gloves: Great for handling the grimy or gross.

Paintbrush holder: Wrap up your wet paintbrush.

In the car: Contain the trash, or be ready for carsickness.

Garage sales and flea markets: Sellers and buyers need them.

On a walk: Pick up litter.


Some stores offer a discount to shoppers who bring their own bags (reusable or plastic); others charge you for new ones. Don’t forget: Bags are recyclable. Many supermarkets and big-box stores provide bins.