Posts Tagged ‘reuse’

The Beginning of the Bag Wars

January 23, 2013

The county where I live is gently prodding its citizens to be more responsible. Grocery stores no longer offer plastic bags to shoppers, and charge a dime for paper bags. This is a good step – encouraging us to use fewer resources; to be aware that our actions (such as buying out the chocolate aisle because its going to be a really hard week) have consequences; to become more creative.

As a quilter, I have nearly as many tote bags as I do rulers. There are patterns for buttoned bags, zippered bags, pouched bags and fancy dress bags tucked among my quilting books. I can make a basic boxed-bottom tote with the same ease that I can sew a 9-Patch.

The fancy bag collection

The fancy bag collection

And yet . . . I’m going to miss my grocery store bags. For one thing, I used both varieties. The small plastic bags were stuffed in their very own holder for use in small trash bins.

bag holder

I think this was the very first tote-like item I made, which is probably not a surprise to any of you with a passing knowledge of fabric. The piece I used for the holder came over on the Mayflower.

The paper bags are great for the trash, for transporting items to meetings (especially when I don’t need the stuff back), and for recycling shredded documents.

paper bags

My grocery shopping habits won’t change, as I’ve amassed a collection of working bags over the years and started using them when local eco-friendly groups guilted me onto a higher plane of consciousness.

The working bag collection

The working bag collection

I don’t miss the status of being greener-than-thou (or at least greener than some of my neighbors). What I will miss is the convenience of lining my small bins with free plastic bags. Also, I can foresee the time when, after enjoying the treats my friend the fabulous cook gives me after a party at her house, I will be returning not only the containers but the bag she sent them in. It’s the right thing to do, and I suspect we’ll find new ways of getting rid of the stuff we simply can’t reduce, reuse or recycle. Until then, I will mourn the bag.