Green Ideas


If you're a checker or bagger where reusable bags are now the norm, you've probably starting to see some pretty gross stuff! Here's a chance to take a survey about what you are seeing and what you think about those reusable bags. Are people washing them? How easy are they to pack?  What do you think of possible alternatives? Once we get to a large number of repsonses we will share this information with as many grocery stores and states as possible! Take the survey and share the link with as many of your fellow baggers as possible - your voice will be heard!

Take the survey: BAGGER SURVEY


What items can and can't be recycled can sometimes be confusing, especially since the "recycling" symbol of 3 arrows is really just referencing that the number is a TYPE of plastic. If you live in Boone County, Kentucky, here's more information about recycling at a Big Blue Bin that our sister company, Kodiak Video Productions, jut put together to help residents: ACCEPTABLE

Instead of buying your meat pre-packaged that’s been stacked on a refrigerated shelf on top of styrofoam wrapped in plastic - go to the meat counter! It’s usually been displayed that day, you can get it cut the way you want it, and you can have them wrap it in biodegradable butcher’s paper that can be used as a seasoning board! Plus the meat is also less likely to leak because the butcher just put it in the paper vs being packaged days before. PLUS PLUS PLUS if it does leak you can throw your CRESBI crate in the dishwasher or wash in very hot water to get it super clean. Try THAT with your dark dank reusable bag! Ha!

Once you’ve got CRESBI crates to replace those 500 plastic grocery bags one shopper gets in one year, turn your attention to all those other bags! Carryout, department store & even frozen vegetable bags can be rinsed & then recycled at the same place you used to return the plastic grocery ones. Bagel, bread & newspaper bags can be blown up & tied like balloons for packing material. If you feel you must line your trash cans, at least reuse a heavier bag like that used for dog food. To AVOID plastic produce bags get a tri-pack of reusable Bunch Bags!

Of course before you throw something away you should always ask, can I reduce it? Reuse it again? Reprupose it for something else? Or recycle it? There's one very important question though you should ask before you even buy it: Do I REALLY need it? Do I really need DISPOSABLE plastic packaging that is made out of a FINITE natural resources (plastics come from petroleum that is produced from crude oil or natural gas) that took thousands or even millions of years to create? Don't buy it in the first place and REDUCE the demand for throw-away items made from finite resources.

3 Weeks to Greener Living
Week 1. Audit
Do a trash audit to see where you're at. For one week take a good look at everything you throw away. Can it be reused, repurposed for something else? Can it be recycled somewhere?
Week 2. Commit
Commit to throwing away less. For the next week pick a percent less you will throw awy. Even saving the plastic bags most foods come in can cut it down.
Week 3. Question
For the third week, question what you purchase in the first place. Can the packaging be recycled or reused? If not, are there other options for what you want that will come in a more earth-friendly container? If so, start buying that!

What's What?
Confused about all the recycling symbols? First of all: those 3 chasing arrows do NOT mean an item can be recycled. It's just a code from the Society of Plastics that its a plastic TYPE. Here's a great quick reference article from the Daily Green: Recycling Symbols and a list of plastics and their recycle rate from the 2010 documentary "Bag It":
1. Polyethylene Terephthalate "PETE" (19/5%)
2. High Density Polyethylene "HDPE" (10.7%)
3. Polyvinyl chloride/Vinyl or PVC "V" (0%)
4. Low Density Polyethylene "LDPE" (5.6%)
5. Polypropylene "PP" (1.7%)
6. Polystyrene (foam type is Stryofoam) "PS" (0.8%)
7. Other (6.1%)

The Bag Ban
Did you know that the average shopper in one year gets 500 plastic bags? That's the number of bags attached to our monster costume here. ;Because of the fact that so many of those bags do not get recycled, a number of US cities have banned plastic bags at grocery stores, click here to find out more: ban

What to do with styrofoam or polystyrene to-go food containers?
Answer: According to, unfortunately, not much! If you hate the waste of polystyrene, its better to not use it in the first place. Consider getting to the restaurant early and using reusable to-go containers of your own in our Go Green Box! Or if you're a restaurant and have regular carryout customers, implement a program to loan out Carryout CRESBI crates with to-go containers with your name on them for small deposits. The customer simply rinses theirs out, brings it back to you and they get another one while your kitchen sanitizes that first one!

recycle your number 5

Cool Idea with Caps!
This is a great idea for all those bottle caps that some recycling centers still won't take and it's a cool idea to promote awareness of recycling in a tangible way: have your school group save up the caps and send them to Green Tree Plastics for their ABC program. You get half off a cool park bench made from bottle caps like your organization collected and sent in! You can also checkout Preserve5's efforts to save the world's landfills from #5s - they actually make them into toothbrushes and razors right on this continent! Either mail your 5s to them in New York or find your nearest Whole Foods store for their recycling bin!

Make Waste
How much trash do you produce in a year? Take the trash audit: how much waste you make

No Impact Man
For one year, Colin Beavan and his family produced no trash and bought nothing except locally grown food. See how it helped them as much as it helped the environment: no impact project

BPA So What?
Bishpenal A (BPA) is a carbon-based synthetic compound (CHs)2C(C6H4OH)2 used to make certain plastics and epoxy resins. In large doses it mimics estrogen and binds to the same receptors in the human body as natural female hormones. It's also used as coatings inside many food and beverage containers. Studies have shown that exposure to bisphenol A can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer and liver abnormalities in adults and result in brain and hormone development problems in fetuses and young children. Our Eco-Takeout To-Go Containers are BPA free.

Forget the Bag
Many people say they have reusable bags but forget them at home or in the car. Spend more than a couple bucks on the containment system - and get something fun and awesome that everyone says what a cool idea it is - and you'll probably remember to take it in!

Veggie Plan
Bunch bags are eco-friendly reusable produce bags and can be purchased through the Sun Sugar Farms website! It's the one bag to remember with your CRESBI crates. To learn more about the bunch bag company visit Bunch Bags.

Poop Bags
Biodegradable bags to use for your dog's droppings. 'nuf said. Buy them here: PoopBags

nonwoven polypropylene

Smart Shoppers Know True Green
Don't be fooled into thinking you're going green! Buying a nonwoven polypropylene bag is adding to the landfill problem. This material (it is NOT a fabric) rips almost as easily as a plastic bag, very few places recycle it, and it takes longer to degrade than other plastics. And you're paying for it! Although some of our systems do include nonwoven polypropylene, we offer a $0.10 credit towards a purchase from our store if you return any that have ripped or are no longer useful to you.

Promotional companies have flooded the market with billions cheap reusable bags and have convinced everyone from Corporate America to Mom & Pop shops that they’re being “green” by offering these bags. So what’s the problem?
1. The material is not a real fabric, it a plastic fiber (polypropylene) spunbound to look like it’s ”woven” - hence the name “nonwoven polypropylene”. It rips easily, like paper.
2. To clean it you're supposed to "hand wash in cold only". The material wears out quickly when washed in the water temperature hot enough to kill bacteria.
3. The material takes much longer to degrade than regular plastic bags.
4. WORST OF ALL: There is virtually NO place that will recycle them and they will end up in a landfill!

• Durable long-lasting, even if you break the hinge they can still be used for storage.
• Dishwasher safe and able to handle the hot temperatures needed to kill bacteria.
• Tons of packing power: one crate can replace up to 6 plastic or small reusable bags, depending on what you’re buying!

REPURPOSE YOUR REUSABLE BAGS HERE! To help keep nonwoven polypropylene bags out of landfills where they will be a bigger problem than plastic bags, check out our videos on these pages on what to do with them:

Hair scrunchy, headband/lei, pet rug, pet pull toy

Coasters, placemat