I'm not talking about grocery shopping bags, but sandwich and storage bags.
Before it was "in" to recycle, re-use and re-purpose, I was washing out plastic sandwich bags and re-using paper lunch bags 30-40 years ago. My mother did this and I have followed in her footsteps, not because it was chic, but because they weren't broken or had holes in them (and they couldn't be darned like socks!).
My mother is from the Great Depression generation and her frugal behaviors are now super chic. She was already doing out of necessity what we do today to be "green." I think she is, by nature, better at recycling than me. But I do pretty well and have more intentions to do more. Catching rain water, getting the dual flusher and when we can afford them: better windows and upgrading the appliances.
For now I deal with the endless pile of plastic storage bags on my counter. How do I clean them? I try to do a few by hand each day, but when the pile gets too big they go in the washer!
Just use the lowest water level, a minimal (teaspoon) of natural soap or baking soda and then air dry in the dryer. If you're wondering about the electricity or water usage, they say if you think you'll use more water by hand, then use a machine. My goal one of these days is to get several baby bottle drying racks to put the bags on for drying.
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