Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Reusable grocery bags

I could list a lot of facts here about plastic bags such as each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter each year. Or, according to the EPA, over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are consumed in the U.S. each year. And finally, according to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. (Estimated cost to retailers is $4 billion) But I am not going to do that! I am making re-usable cloth grocery bags for a very simple reason. I don't know what to do with all the plastic bags after I get them home. True, we use them to line wastebaskets and empty cat litter. And, sometimes we use them to carry our lunch in to work but the fact remains, I end up with more little plastic bags than what is needed. In fact, most aren't even recyclable because they have holes or tear when the groceries are put into them.

My husband, he who can't understand why I have so much cloth, mentioned to me that I really needed to clean out my closet or do something with the ever growing cloth stack in the bedroom. My mind starting whirling and I decided to make grocery bags with my fabric. My goal this week is to make 5-10 cloth grocery bags. Surely, that would help me tremendously in making a dent in the stash. By the way, I will make some really ugly bags because I have some really ugly fabric - can't imagine what I was thinking when I bought the fabric. The fabric in this bag matches my curtains in my classroom. I don't think it is ugly!

This is the first one I made. I took a Walgreen's bag (their bag is little bigger than other bags) and cut it apart for my pattern. I cut my cloth and started sewing. It only took me an hour to make this bag and I already love it. It is made just like the pleated plastic bags used in the grocery store. I might make some with square bottoms but this one was really, really easy to make.

I really want to keep sewing right now but I have to quit and run to the dermatologist office to have stitches removed. I hope to get several more made today. (I took the day off from work.) I just needed a mental health day and having stitches removed seemed like a good idea!


  1. Susan, I love your bag! What a clever idea to make the pattern from a plastic bag - you've got me wondering now if I could do that. I just do basic sewing, nothing fancy. :o)
    I hope you have a wonderful mental health day!

  2. Brilliant Susan!!

    Love the pattern on the material as well.


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