You know that pollution is a huge factor in the detriment of our planet Earth; it seems you’ve been spotting those flyaway plastic bags all over your favorite walking path more and more often. However, you also recognize that even one person can make a difference when it comes to the environment. We agree. Making little changes on a daily basis lays the groundwork for a better tomorrow.

You can do your part for Mother Earth by cutting down on the amount of plastic bags you purchase. How is this doable without buying an endless supply of Tupperware containers? (This is a costly solution, not to mention a recipe for more dishwashing duty.)

The concept is possible by simply recognizing that you can reuse existing plastic bags one extra time. There are many instances that a plastic bag may only be used for half an hour before it ends up in the trash. Half an hour of use? We can do better than that.

Think of all the groceries you purchase every week for your family: bread, cheese, cereal, crackers, dry beans and legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables…the list goes on. Now would you believe us if we told you that every one of those items’ packaging has the potential to be reused at least one more time? It’s true!

Read on for some ways to smartly reuse bags that are already in your home. Implementing just a few of these ideas will not just benefit the planet; your wallet will say thanks as well.

Bread Bags

The next time you empty a bag of bread, don’t just toss it in the trash. Hold the bag over your sink, shake the crumbs out, then use the bag to hold the next workday’s sandwich. Keep your meals main course fresh by holding it closed with a clothespin, which can be purchased in bulk for mere pennies a piece. If you can’t find any for cheap, just tie the bag in a knot.

See how easy that was? Let’s look at all the other hidden bags you have in your house…

Pre-Packaged Cheeses

If you value the convenience of buying bags of pre sliced cheeses or even those packages of individually wrapped string cheeses, you will really enjoy repurposing those bags that they came in. These baggies are great for storing opened containers of deli meats, or throwing in a handful of snack crackers for when you’re on the go. Once you’ve eaten up the contents, go ahead and throw the bag in the nearest trash, knowing it’s been used twice as much as its counterparts.

Cereals, Crackers and Cookies

Cereal, crackers and cookies tend to be packaged in those thicker plastic bags, which are great for containing bread or snacks like cashews and almonds, or just more crackers. Just be aware that a bag used for cinnamon-flavored cereal flakes may not taste that great on your bologna sandwich!

Again, toss the bag once it’s been used a second time. Unless you’re willing to wash them out each time after, bacteria may work its way in somewhere.

Bulk Dry Goods & Fresh Produce

When you enter the bulk foods section, you are already showing your commitment to a better planet. Bulk goods use less packaging, meaning less material is made and eventually thrown the landfills. But what happens to that plastic bag you filled up, once you return home? Usually it goes in the trash can, but not anymore. Use that baggy to store other foods in the fridge or freezer – leftover pizza, anyone?