When people think about reusable shopping bags, they normally associate them with grocery or retail shopping. However, going green means taking every opportunity you have to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Below are five alternative uses for your reusable shopping bags that will help you limit your carbon footprint.

1. Use Them As Overnight Bags

Going away for a day or a couple nights? Grab a reusable shopping bag and fill it with everything you might need for your overnight stay.

2. Gift Them to Attendees

Whether you're running an event, conference or have an upcoming wedding, reusable shopping bags make great gift bags for attendees. Fill them with goodies and customize them to make a lasting impression. You can learn more about how to make your conference bags stand out here or check out our mini guide on welcome bags for eco-friendly weddings.

3. Plant With Them

If you have a reusable shopping bag that has seen better days, don't throw it out. Instead, turn it into a planter which can be hung up or used to decorate the front porch. Reusable bags work great as vegetable container gardens because they are deep but they would also look stylish filled with your favorite fresh flowers from your local farmer's market.

4. Use Them As Beach or Pool Totes

Reusable shopping bags amake great beach or pool day bags. Fill them with all of your beach essentials such as sunscreen, flip flops, and towels. Just make sure it's a bag you can wash and reuse again for your next outing.

5. Fill Them With Your Workout Clothes

The next time you head to the gym, as an alternative to a duffle bag or backpack, put your workout clothes in a reusable bag. Don't forget your reusable water bottle and organic protein bars.

If you're stuck on ideas for more alternative uses for your reusable bags, you can always count on your cat to find a use for them.