Saturday, August 8, 2009

Woman on a mission

DID YOU KNOW? 1 MILLION plastic bags are consumer PER MINUTE!!! globally

That is insane!!

For quite some time I've felt guilty about all the plastic bags we use. We have a few cheapo cloth ones from the grocery store that I always forget to bring. Since I love to sew, I've thought many times that I should use some cute fabric and sew up a bunch of shopping bags to have in the van for all types of shopping needs. Yesterday I did a Google search to find some free patterns and stumbled across a really cool website called Morsbags. Besides having a free bag pattern, this website has a mission to eradicate (as much as possible) plastic bag use. It is based in the UK and the really cool thing is that it has a tracker to keep data on how many bags have been made through their site. You can set up what's called a "pod" and get a group of friends together for assembly-line bag making. Then you log in your number of bags. And here's the totally cool part: you arrange to go to a local store and pass out your bags to customers FOR FREE to promote reusable bag use. That is my favorite part. I was motivated enough to try stitching up a bag last night using their free pattern. They state that you can sew it in 20 minutes when you are organized :0). It took me about 35 minutes (not including cutting out the pieces), but I'm sure I could make future bags faster now that I've done one. I didn't make it to their exact specifications because I only had a 1/2 yard of the 2 fabrics I used.

Using fabric bags has to become a habit for me. For example, this morning my little boy and I made a quick trip to the grocery store. As I was in the check-out line I realized that my lovely new fabric bag was hanging on the door at home and of no use to us whatsoever!! UGH! As soon as I got home with my (gasp!) 2 plastic bags, I tried fitting their contents into my 1 fabric bag. They totally fit. I am already planning to make up several more for myself soon. I found another pattern that I'd like to try using a pillowcase. It looks WAY easy.........and it makes me want to immediately head to the thrift store to look for some cool pillowcases.

My new "chicken" bag with "egg" handles. I was going to use these fabrics to make napkins, but decided this was a better use.

The handles and all the seams are reinforced making these bags really sturdy.

I am thinking about starting a local Morsbags pod. If anyone locally is interested in joining me, please let me know. You do NOT need sewing experience...........when we assemble bags we will need people to cut out pieces and iron.
Interestingly, the city of San Francisco, California banned the use of plastic bags in supermarkets and large pharmacies over 2 years ago. I am not sure if other cities have since followed suit.


Kerry said...

Edmonds, Washington passed the same law on July 29 of this year. A bill was also introduced into the State House of Reps to ban them throughout the state...I don't know what happened with it, though.

I think its great that you have made your own bags. I also forget to take mine into the stores. I need a better way to remember before I leave the car!

Krystal said...

This is a great idea! I have several "green" shopping bags that I have purchased and they are wonderful. Some of them are from the grocery store, some are from Whole Foods Market (100% recycled material) and also Walgreens (100% recycled material). I have actually become pretty good at remembering them because I put them right back in my car when I empty them out. I have even walked back to my car to get them if I get to the store and realize I don't have them. I also started taking them to the mall and other places just in case I make a clothing purchase. Also, my husband's mom gave me a nylon bag that wraps up really small and can fit in my purse!

It just really irritates me how much plastic bags not only are used, but wasted. Recently, I bought a six pack of plastic bottled pop, which had a plastic carrying handle. The cashier put it by itself in two plastic bags!!!! I was really tempted to just take it out and give her back the bags . . . I probably should have . . . I should also quit drinking so much pop!!

Anonymous said...

I hang my bags by the back door. It usually helps me to remember them on the way out. I also just have the person bagging at the store put my stuff right back into a cart with no bag when I forget to take them in. I've either forgotten the bags in the car or if they are at home, then I just put the stuff in the car and bag it when I get home.