A trip to the pool or beach is mostly fun and sun, but we dread wet clothing, the risk of damage to electronics, and sand in the car. Vanquish these annoyances by employing something waterproof, tote-able, reusable, and recyclable: plastic bags. Grocery bags and Ziploc® brand bags of various sizes can keep your provisions safe and organized all day long (just remember to keep them weighed down when empty to prevent them from blowing away). Plus, you can reuse them instead of throwing them away. Use these handy tips on your next trip to the water:
Use: For the ride home, pack a dry change of clothes in a plastic bag.
Reuse: Once you’re dressed, gather up wet swimsuits and other clothing, and seal them inside the bag so they don’t get the rest of your stuff soggy.
Use: Pack your own food, using sandwich or storage Ziploc® brand bags for snacks, sandwiches, cut veggies, and fruits.
Reuse: The bags can hold apple cores, watermelon rinds, napkins, and other pieces of trash until you can find a proper receptacle.
Use: Slip electronics like cellphones or e-readers into a plastic bag to protect them from the elements.
Reuse: When you’re ready to go home, use the bags to carry home seashells and other treasures from the beach.
Use: Fill quart-sized Ziploc® brand bags with water and freeze them for convenient ice packs (make sure to leave a little room in the bag for the ice to expand as it freezes).
Reuse: As the ice melts you can use the chilled water to replenish your travel bottles of water, or dip the corner of a towel or a paper towel into the water to wipe sticky faces. At the end of the day, empty the bags and use them to tote empty drink cans (crush them first so they take up less space) back to your recycling bin.
Use: Large plastic bags are great for toting beach and water toys or towels.
Reuse: Punch holes in the bottom of the bag, fill with the sandy toys, and dip the whole thing in the ocean to quickly rinse them off. The holes in the bottom are also great for draining water toys from the pool.
When you get home, rinse out plastic bags if necessary and let them air-dry; you can use them again and again for subsequent trips to the pool. If you’re not planning to reuse them, recycle the clean and dry bags at one of the thousands of drop-off locations that accept plastic film.