>> Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I knew that I should be using cloth bags a long time before I finally switched. Regular readers of my blog know that this was the story of my life for years: I knew that what I was doing was hurting the planet, but the alternative cost too much. So I stuck with what I'd always done.
Back then, the only cloth bags I'd ever seen cost a fortune. $5 per canvas bag meant $40 to $50 for enough bags to go grocery shopping. Or double that for a collection of those cool European style string bags. It didn't matter how much I wanted to go green...I couldn't afford it. Or could I?
Then and now, there are plenty of low-cost options for people who want to switch to cloth:
- The ubiquitous recycled plastic cloth bag. You can find these at any grocery store, in every color imaginable, with every logo you could desire, and they only cost $1. If you shop at a grocery store that rewards you for bringing your own bag, you'll make up the investment pretty quickly. These are the bags I went with when I finally made the switch several years ago, and I've been happy with them. But they aren't the perfect bag - they're not as strong as other fabrics, and they're still made of plastic that will end up in the landfill eventually.
- Free canvas tote bags. Long before those recycled plastic bags were the big thing, every event passed out free company-logoed canvas bags. I'm sure you've still got a few stuffed in the back of some closet somewhere. Condo Blues has a great post explaining why she likes the swag canvas bags.
- Make your own bags out of thrifted sheets or pillowcases. Depending on the fabric you use, these could be very cheap.
- Crochet a string bag. I love the look of string bags, and it's nice to be able to see what's in the bag. If you're a knitter, here's a knitted string bag pattern for ya.
- Turn your old t-shirts into tote bags.
- Make your own produce bags. I have a tutorial over at The Green Phone Booth about how to make cloth produce bags out of an old shower curtain.
You have hereby been challenged to go green in a year without going broke! Check out the latest challenge, or view the whole list of Challengicious Mondays.
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