Monday, July 09, 2007

Will that be paper or plastic?

Isn't that a dilemma? Neither paper nor plastic is good for the environment.

I've been meaning to do this for a long time and today I finally made two cloth grocery bags. They are slightly larger than a large size paper grocery bag. I made them nice and sturdy and washable, from a cotton duck with cotton webbing handles that wrap under the bag for added support. Each has a corrugated plastic insert to give the bottom a little more support as well. I did not make them cute or pretty, so that I would not feel bad when they get dirty and worn and also so my husband, who is not into cute and pretty, will be comfortable using them. Ray thinks we should each keep one in each of our cars. I have seen the canvas bags that most of the stores sell, but they are quite small. I have several small canvas bags I can use for smaller purchases, but these will hold a lot of groceries. It is a small thing I can do for the environment. Or maybe a big thing—my house seems to be overrun by both paper and plastic grocery bags

If you would like my general directions, email and ask me to send it to you. I have put it together in .pdf format. I won't even care if you make yours cute and/or pretty.

13 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:52 AM

    Thanks for this tip Terry. I have a couple of colorful ones that do stay in the car but DH said he would carry the ones you've made.

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  2. I have to be retrained tho, I can't seem to get the bags out of the car and into the shop! I really like these.

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  3. Paper or plastic? I know the dilemma. When I have over $100 worth of groceries I often say plastic because I can carry in more bags at once because of the handles. But these with handles would solve that problem. Plus with a sturdy bottom, they would sort of stand up when filled.

    But too big might get too heavy, or some of the groceries might get squashed.

    I've made bags for other uses but I hadn't thought of making a bag for groceries. Thanks.

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  4. Jane Ann6:27 AM

    I've been surprised at the quantity mine will hold--I bought one at the grocery and I too thought it seemed a mite small. But I'm with Fitzy--I can't seem to remember to get it into the store from the car. I'm so slow at acquiring new habits (but once I get 'em down, they're good forever).

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  5. I used to work in the high tech industry and at every trade show *someone* was giving out canvas bags. I have 8 or 9 at any given time in the trunk of my car for groceries. Watch out on the larger ones, because the baggers think that the bigger ones can be crammed full of cans and heavy stuff and then you can't even pick them up. I like yours, maybe I'll make some when my freebies give out.

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  6. I had two canvas bags for about 15 years that I carried groceries home in. The clerks and baggers hated seeing me coming because the bags were big and floppy and hard to load. A couple of years ago they wore out. I have bought two of the store bags which I like because they have the stiff bottom and stitching up the sides to give 'em a little backbone. They won't last long, though--they're not even a woven fabric! So, I'll be emailing you for your directions.
    I feel better when I can do little things (canvas bags, cloth napkins, etc.)to help the planet.

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  7. That's a fantastic idea. I love that you have chosen fabric that menfolk will be comfortable holding.

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  8. I'd like the pattern please :) litlmelzie@aol.com
    xoxo melzie

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  9. They make great gifts too. One Earth Day a few years ago (I don't want to say how many because that will age me) I decided that everyone in my family needed to save the earth. I made a plain canvas grocery totes for each person on my Christmas list. Everyone was thrilled. A couple of years later after Christmas I picked up some really cheap Christmas fabric and made drawstring cloth gift bags to wrap their presents in. My Aunts and mother joined in and now every year we reuse fabric Christmas bags and every few years someone will make new grocery totes.

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  10. Yikes, Terry, these are soooo tasteful! Where's the stripes?

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  11. I'm definitely going to email you for the pattern! I've been wanting to do this for a long time-make big ones-because, yes, the canvas ones from the store are way too small. These look like a great size though, but with a family of 5, I'll probably need more than two! lol!

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  12. Jessica6:32 AM

    These look great. Just what I've been looking for. You are right, the other ones that I've seen are way too small for most of my grocery purchases. I've emailed for the pattern & look forward to it.
    Thank you so much for offering.
    Jessica

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  13. Thanks for the pattern offer; I'd love one. I've got a couple of cloth bags I use, and in order to remember to take them into the store, I hand them over the passenger-side head rest, where they're always in view. Your flat bottom ones will be much better.

    karyl@towse.com

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