Since having Coraline I’ve become way more conscientious about waste. This is perhaps because my household generates so much more waste — the wipes, tissues, half-eaten food, etc — simply with a small child in it. While I’m more than a little embarrassed to admit it, these days I get a sort of thrill from figuring out a clever way to reuse something, or when I discover an ingenious reusable product.
While reusable snack bags aren’t clever, per se, they are ingenious. Even at their cheapest, plastic snack bags cost something and their environmental impact is significant: About 1,000,000 plastic bags are used every minute; a single plastic bag can take up to 1,000 years to degrade, releasing toxins to contaminate the air, water, and animals who eat them. According to a 2006 United Nations report, 70 percent of discarded plastic bags end up at the bottom of the ocean where they will never degrade.
Enter reusable snack bags. They’re stylish, cost effective, and will save you from those frantic trying-to-pack-lunch-but-don’t-have-any-plastic-baggies-left moments (and of course, seriously assuage some gratuitous waste-guilt). While there are a number of choices out there, none are perhaps as excellent as Again Bags, which, in addition to being BPA-, pthalate-, and lead-free, are made right here in the Hudson Valley by Pine Bush mama Jenn Scala. They come in a variety of sizes, patterns, and styles. You can order online at www.againbags.com, or pick up some at Illuminated Baby (www.illuminatedbaby.com) in Woodstock.