Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Usable Reusable Bag

Green living. Earth-friendly. Eco-conscious.

There's no doubt that there is a lot of hype these days about one's carbon footprint, and a growing number products and practices that help people reduce their environmental impact. Whether or not you desire to "go green," some of these products can be quite helpful. Reusable bags come in all shapes and sizes, in all colors and patterns, and are beneficial in more ways than the obvious. Here are just a few non-grocery store uses.

  • Big-Box Stores/Aldi - Yes, it's still related to shopping, but when you shop at Sams, BJs, or Aldi, they don't provide bags for your groceries. Bringing your own bags can aleviate the frustration of moving your groceries one-by-one from the buggy into your car.
  • Gift bags - Most people I know reuse gift bags. That same "Santa holding a Coke bottle" bag has been present under the Christmas tree for at least five years now. But Santa has also shown up holding Father's Day presents and "just because" gifts. Today, I gave Santa (filled with health & beauty supplies) to some church friends who lost their house in a tornado on Friday. Now if the bag had been red or striped, I wouldn't have felt so weird as I did giving Santa in June. If the bag had been cloth, I wouldn't have had to add yet another layer of tape to the edges to hold it together. Yes, it worked, but a reusable shopping bag would have worked better.
  • Errand tote - Library books to return, envelopes to drop off at the post office, and birthday invitations to pass out at the play-date. Toss things into the bag as you think of them, then next time you go out to run errands, just take the tote and go. No more searching under the beds for overdue books, no more rummaging through files for the phone bill, and no invitations discovered in the bottom of the diaper bag a week after your son's birthday party!
  • Beach bag - Stuff in a few towels and sunscreen, and you're ready to head to the pool or the beach. Much more stylish than a plastic grocery bag, and easier to clean than your duffle.
  • Travel back-up bag - Keep one or two (most of them fold pretty small) in your suitcase when you travel. If you pick up extra souvenirs, you won't have to worry about how to fit them into your suitcase.
  • Mall bag - Instead of carrying 15 bags with rope handles, each of which contains only 3 items, bag all of your items into the same over-the-shoulder bag and save your wrist and your sanity!
  • Organize your trunk - We've all got stuff we like to keep on hand in the trunk, but piling your groceries on top of your emergency supplies is probably not the wisest decision. Use a reusable bag or two to store your items together so that you can easily get to them if needed. You can even color-code, with emergency supplies in a red bag, and baby/toddler supplies in a blue bag!

You don't have to get the dull, boring bags found near the check-out at your local grocery store. Be creative and make your own original creation using one of these 35 patterns from Tipnut, or check out the amazing selection of stylish reusable bags, bottles, and more at

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