Earlier this month, I shared details on the Hefty® EnergyBag™ program. At the same time, I started using them in my own home. Since then, I learned a few things about teaching the whole family what goes in the orange bags.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Hefty®. All thoughts, opinions, and typos are my own.
Want to start using Hefty® EnergyBag™ orange bags in your home? Here are my tips for getting started:
Buy the bags
Seems obvious, but you have to know where to buy these special orange bags in Omaha. Hefty® EnergyBag™ orange bags are available at all Omaha Hy-Vee grocery stores. I shared a list of the locations here.
I recommend calling customer service before your visit to make sure your closest Hy-Vee has the orange bags in stock.
Hefty® EnergyBag™ orange bags are available in packs of 20. I estimate my family of four fills almost two bags a week.
Keep the Hefty® EnergyBag™ Non-Recycled Plastics list visible
A lot of plastics can be placed in the orange Hefty® bags. To remember what you can put in the bags, think of this: “If you don’t bin it, bag it.”
– Potato chip bags and other snack bags
– Candy wrappers
– Granola bar and energy bar wrappers
– Plastic and foam cups, plates and bowls
– Shredded cheese packages
– Salad bags
– Plastic pet food bags
– Frozen fruit & vegetable bags
– Pudding cups
– Stand-up pouches
– Squeezable baby food pouches
– Foam to-go boxes
– Packing peanuts
– Plastic utensils
– Plastic straws and stirrers
– Cake mix liners and other dry powder mix liners
– Plastic toothpaste tubes
– Condiment packets
– All other non-recycled plastic bags
There was a list inside the Hefty® EnergyBag™ pack I purchased, so I taped it on the wall near our recycling bin so everyone can refer to it.
If you have a family command center, wall calendar, or some other space in your home where you keep important family information and dates handy, I recommend adding this list to reference.
Remind everyone regularly
My family was used to throwing a lot of plastics away, so it wasn’t easy to change that habit. Straws, wrappers, salad bags always went in the trash because we knew they couldn’t be recycled. Now these items can go in the orange bags.
What works best for my family is gentle and frequent reminders of what can be put in the bag. I’m pretty specific about it, too, suggesting what should be placed in the Hefty® EnergyBag™ orange bags and what should be thrown away or put in the sink.
Put the full bags out with the recycling
The Hefty® EnergyBag™ program was easy to integrate into our weekly trash day routine, because it is picked up along with our recyclables. You can put the full Hefty® EnergyBag™ orange bags into your recycling bin; it will then be picked up as part of normal service and schedule. If you’re wondering what happens to those plastics next, read this post.
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Sunday 22nd of April 2018
Thank you for this information. I do not live in Omaha, but oh do I wish I did so I could participate in this program. Wonderful job spreading the word and participating in reducing our footprint.
Sunday 22nd of April 2018
Thanks, Angie! I've heard from others that they'd like a similar program in their city. Who knows? Maybe with that sort of interest, it will expand.