Vejibags with radishes

These Reusable Produce Bags Are Exactly What You Need for Buying and Storing Fresh Produce

Invest in these cotton, linen, or mesh options (and some storage boxes) to keep your fruits and vegetables organized and keep them in prime condition for longer.
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There's nothing better than bringing home a bounty of fresh produce from the farmers' market, grocery store, or even getting a good haul from your own garden or local CSA. And there's nothing worse than finding the lettuce has wilted in your crisper before you've had a change to use it or discovering squashed herbs crushed at the bottom of the drawer. Luckily, there are some really great reusable products out there that are much more environmentally friendly than storing produce in paper towels and plastic bags. What's more, some will even help extend the shelf life of your food.

When storing any heads of lettuce, leafy greens, or tender leafy herbs such as cilantro and parsley, we recommend trimming them and washing/drying in a salad spinner before transferring to any of these bins or bags right when you get home from the store. This will give your produce an even longer life, and your fresh ingredients will most likely get used more quickly if this extra step is out of the way before you'd like to use it. If you choose a fabric bag, keeping a spray bottle of water on hand for misting the bag every day or two—this keeps things neater and preserves the produce better than trying to drench the whole bag under the sink daily. 

Read on to learn why these are our top picks and you'll want to use them to extend the life of your leafy greens, root vegetables, squash, herbs, and more.

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OXO Good Grips GreenSaver Produce Keeper
Credit: Courtesy of Oxo

OXO Good Grips GreenSaver Produce Keeper

These bins are game changers for not only extending the life of your produce, but also for organizing your refrigerator. When you have a fridge full of leafy greens, it can become difficult to keep track of everything. These bins come in varying sizes; the small bin is great for berries, the medium will easily fit a whole head of lettuce, and the longer large size is the perfect solution for storing herbs or bunches of kale. The bins, which look similar to salad spinners but are long not round, maintain optimum humidity levels while keeping produce elevated to promote airflow. There is also a carbon filter that helps to trap and absorb ethylene gas which helps to slow down the aging process/reduce spoilage. The only catch with this amazing product is that the filters do need to be replaced every 90 days for maximum effectiveness, but they are inexpensive—it's just a matter of remembering!

Shop Now: OXO Good Grips GreenSaver Produce Keeper, from $12.99, oxo.com.

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Ambrosia bag with herbs
Credit: Courtesy of Ambrosia

Ambrosia Produce Storage Bags

Made from good quality flax linen that's designed to last, these bags have a zipper which is an important feature to keep loose leaves from escaping. They're made in California and are one of the more expensive bag options available but are a worthwhile investment: Linen can absorb and hold onto moisture better than other organic fibers and keep vegetables hydrated longer (you'll notice the bag stays damp for a few days, not a few hours). Linen fiber is also more breathable, allowing more oxygen in and more ethylene out. The eco-friendly linen used for these bags is responsibly sourced. 

Shop Now: Ambrosia Produce Storage Bags, from $24, ambrosiabag.com.

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Vejibags with radishes
Credit: Courtesy of Vejibags

Vejibags

These organic cotton bags are handmade from a French terry cloth that's super soft. Keep them damp and the bags create a humid yet breathable environment for vegetables. They are lightweight and available in a variety of sizes, which is really helpful for keeping a full fridge organized. 

Shop Now: Vejibags Fresh Vegetable Storage Bags, $40 for two, food52.com.

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swab produce bags
Credit: Courtesy of Well Earth Goods

Swag Bags

While also made of cotton, these bags are quilted and much thicker. They are available in a variety of sizes and are color coded for easy organization. Swag bags have a unique three-layer design; the first protects vegetables from drying out too quickly, a second layer draws moisture away from the produce yet allows it to hydrate as needed, and a third layer is breathable. The bags are a bit bulky, and though they do need to be remoistened often, but they do extend the usable life of produce.

Shop Now: The Swag Cotton Extended Storage Produce Bags, from $23, wellearthgoods.com.

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ecobags with fruit
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Eco Bags

If you want lightweight reusable bags that can replace the need for disposable bags, you've found your match. These bags in net or mesh are great for bringing to the store or market but are not intended to extend the life of produce. 

Shop Now: Eco Bags Cotton Mesh Bags, Assorted Sizes, $22.47 for eight, amazon.com.

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debbie meyer green bags
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

The Original Debbie Meyer Green Bags

They've been around a long time and that's because these bags really work. They are made of green colored BPA-free plastic and each can be used up to 10 times. They are affordable, come in various variety packs of useful sizes, and are translucent so you can see what is inside them—no digging around in the fridge when you've forgotten your color coding system! These bags also help remove ethylene gas and do not provide extra hydration, but they make a noticeable difference. They are also handy to bring with you to the market

Shop Now: The Original Debbie Meyer Green Bags, from $9.88 for 20 in assorted sizes, amazon.com.