BYOB Program


Ditch the paper and plastic

What in the heck is BYOB?

Bring Your Own Bag is a program where we charge $.05 for small and medium paper bags and $.10 for large paper bags and funnel those funds directly to the Woodstock Area Community Food Shelf. Since we launched the program in 2016, we’ve collected thousands of dollars for the Food Shelf for use in their operations. Whether it be monies to purchase new coolers or new fixtures or using some of the monies to purchase fresh produce, the BYOB campaign has been an important financial resource for the Food Shelf.

What’s Our Vision
Where reusable bags are used exclusively for all shopping throughout the Upper Valley community.

What’s Our Goal

  • To eliminate the use of single use paper and plastic bags at the Farmers’ Market.
  • To help our local Food Shelf by passing the monies generated by the BYOB campaign directly to them for purchase of fresh fruit and vegetables.

How You Can Help

  • Bring: Bring reusable bags with you every time you shop! If you do need to use a plastic produce bag, make sure to save it and bring it with you next time.
  • Borrow: Left your bags at home? Check our “Bag Library” to see if there are any donated reusable bags available. If you have any kicking around at home, bring them in for others to use!
  • Buy: 
    • We have our famous Farmers’ reusable bags and canvas totes for sale.
    • Purchase a mesh bag for veggies/fruit and use it over and over. You can even wash your produce in it.
    • Shop Naked! Consider going without plastic bags at all! Let your produce go naked in your shopping bag. (not recommended for green beans, Bussels sprouts, peas and other small items).
    • Or purchase a paper bag for either $.05 or $.10 cents and that money goes directly to the Woodstock Area Food Shelf to help fund their operations. The Woodstock Farmers’ Market does not keep those monies.

The Impact of Bags

In 2015/2016, we spent $10,066 on paper shopping bags, which equals 146,800 individual bags. In 2016/2017 we reduced the bag usage to 66,300 – that’s 48% less paper bags! Paper bags are easy to recycle, but have a high environmental cost to manufacture, releasing heavy metals and greenhouse gasses into the environment.

Our plastic produce bags are also problematic. While theoretically they are recyclable, they are not recycable in our area. Consider that the average American uses between 300-500 plastic bags per year, for an average of 12 minutes, before throwing them out. That adds up to 100-150 billion bags used last year in the US alone.

Many cities across the country are looking at measures to reduce and eliminate single use bags in stores. Many countries around the world have already gone bag-free for years.