The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly Truth About Shopping Bags
I love bags, and have collected quite a grand assortment of reusable shopping bags.¬† Unfortunately, they never end up back in the car when I am out shopping.¬† So I confess, I am not as green as I would like to be, or should be.¬† But I was shocked at what I have been learning about shopping bags: from the plastic kind, that in most places are what you are given if you don‚Äôt have any other bag, to the reusable bags that you can purchase for a $1 and up.
The first thing that surprised me was that on average, a plastic bag is used for 12 minutes and then thrown away.¬† I do try to reuse these bags as trash can liners, or take them back to the store to recycle (only to get more).¬† There are days that I feel like I am drowning in plastic bags and if I bring one more bag into the house, I am going to scream.
So the alternative is to purchase the inexpensive non-woven bags.¬† However, with reports of them containing high levels of lead and fostering bacteria growth, they don‚Äôt sound like such a great idea.¬† I do have piles of these bags already, but I didn‚Äôt know that you were supposed to wash your shopping bag every time you use them.¬† Now, I have not tried to wash them, but they just don‚Äôt seem that they would wash all that well.
So what to do?¬† I thought it would be a great idea to just make a few out of old fabric that I have had laying in my stash for years.¬† While surfing the net one night, trying to find some ideas on how to make a great shopping bag, I stumbled across a blog called Green Bag Lady.¬† This blog is written by artist Teresa VanHatten-Granath.¬† She, with her team of 15 ‚ÄúBagettes,‚Äù have been making fabric bags, and giving them away in exchange for a promise to use fabric bags instead of the plastic alternative.¬† To date she has given away almost 14,500 bags!¬† You can find her blog at http://greenbaglady.blogspot.com/.
You can find a pattern and a how-to video on her site to make your own green bag.¬† I look forward to seeing everyone‚Äôs new bags.¬† You can post your photos on the Totally Stitchin facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/totallystitchin.net.