Thursday, October 8, 2009

Shop til you drop (the plastic bags)

During our recent move, we had to empty out and clean (ugh) two refrigerators and a large freezer. Since we weren't very bright at the time and chose the hottest few days of the summer to move, quite a bit of the food became spoiled. (Actually a lot of the freezer stuff thawed out & we couldn't use it up quick enough - dogs loved it though!)

The point to this whining is that hubby & I had to go on a MAJOR grocery store trip this week. I have been slowly phasing out any boxed mixes, processed foods, etc. that we should have never had in the pantry to begin with. So this was a re-stocking and changeover type of shopping spree.

I was actually very proud of us as we followed my list almost exactly and didn't stray too far from what I had budgeted for this adventure. Our fridge is full of fresh fruits and veggies (that we don't grow ourselves) and the pantry is now stocked with lots of new basics such as brown rice, wheat flour, and rolled oats. (I've always had rolled oats, just needed lots more since Christmas cookie season is fast approaching.)

The other good move on our part was that we BOTH actually remembered to take in all the fabric bags from the truck. ALL 15 of them! No plastic bags for us now! Our grocery store gives you a 5 cent credit for each bag you bring in to use. Might not seem like a lot, but it does add up over time, especially when you think about how many plastic bags you DIDN'T use.

The bag pictured above is the one that started it all for me. I won it in a drawing from The Green Bag Lady a while back. I have collected and made several of my own since then to come up with our grand total of 15.

Teresa aka Green Bag Lady is amazing. She has organized the stitching of and distributing of over 6500 bags and counting. That is just through her own site and events. She has her entire family involved in this wonderful endeavor and the project is dedicated to her late mother who taught her to sew. Teresa has inspired many others to jump on the bandwagon and do the same with their extra fabric and time. She offers a free video tutorial here and the free bag pattern here so that the rest of us can start doing our part in reducing and ridding the world of the dreaded plastic bags.

One of the other great aspects of Teresa's shopping bag blitz is that the bags are made from donated materials and recycled/re-purposed fabrics such as curtains and sofa covers. She also supports local animals shelters by making pet beds from the scraps and materials that are too heavy for the bags. What a great way to help our environment and our animals.

Green Bag Lady's motto is "When they ask Paper or Plastic? Say Fabric!" Pretty good words to live by huh?


  1. we try to always have a fabric bag or a jute bag in the car for when we go shopping. better for the environment and easier to hold as well :)

  2. I love my fabric bags - although mine aren't as pretty as the one in your picture! I use the ones that the stores sell usually. I still forget from time to time, so I really have to move the bags to front of my car!

  3. Yay for healthier eating and saving our earth! :D



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