June 30, 2010

Plastic or plastic?

Am I the only person who finds those semi-disposable, plastic, eco-bags more ugly and annoying than the old-fashioned plastic bags stores used to give out (aka, the ones we pay 5 cents for)? They pile up (just like the old ones used to) and they get uglier over time. You can't throw them in the washer and they don't store as neatly. Don't get me wrong, I am all for the "death of plastic", believe me...but aren't they still made of...well, PLASTIC? Isn't that just a little bit ironic? They are made of plastic that weigh as much as a couple of dozen disposable plastic shopping bags and they don't seem to last all that long before looking ratty.

And then once you're done with them, what really happens to them? I found some interesting info at Green Living Tips you can check out if you have a moment. They discuss what kind of bag options we have that are best for the environment.
Then, to top it all off, as I was researching reusable shopping bags I came across this gross article. Disgusting. And a very similar finding at earth911.com.

I don't know about you, but as I consider functionality of the stuff I use, I also like a little bit of style. Shallow as it sounds, if anything will help me remember to bring my reusable tote to the grocery store, it's style along with durability.

So, I got to thinking...if I really want to get rid of plastic, then I should just get rid of it and use something that has the potential to last me years and years and years. This little line-up of cute basket-like totes would be great for any non-food shopping (non-food, because you can't really wash them), as well as fragile items (because they stand up in a trunk or on a car floor).

1. red polka dot basket from iaiamaria, 2. vintage bamboo from FiregypsyVintage, 3. picnic basket from Crate & Barrel, 4. Dolce & Gabana, 5. unknown, 6. Bolgatanga Tulip Basket from World of Green, 7. market basket from Saveur de Jour

Or if you want to be able to wash your shopping bags (if you're using them for lugging food around), try these washable and functionally cute totes:

8. cotton canvas tote from Amazon, 9. provence cotton mesh from southerngirlknits, 10. keep calm tote from By Order of the Crown, 11. khaki extra large tote from Bayan Hippo, 12. owl mesh produce bags from Miss Motleys, 13. blue blue stripe from Baggu

And of course we cannot forget the beloved Kimblee and Mich bags made by yours truly!! They are definitely washable...and reversible! ;) (I mean, this is a post about bags...I couldn't not mention the ones I make)

...and if you want to take it a step further and are a DIY-er like me, you can always make your own stylish shopping bag! Check out these incredible tutorials:

Market Bag Tutorial from scribd

T-shirt Bag from martha stewart

Pillowcase Tote from tipnut

T-shirt produce bag from between the lines (I love this one!)

Don't know how to sew but want to make something by yourself? You have GOT to try japanese furoshiki!! You can find extremely simple tutorials on youtube, and with practice, you can make all your totes out of thin (yet durable) silk/cotton scarves. It's pretty cool...and super cute!

Furoshiki Wrapping Shoulder Bag on youtube

Furoshiki Purse on youtube

There are, literally, dozens of ways you can fold fabric into purses, handbags and even use it for gift wrap.

So, what's your shopping tote of choice?

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