Thursday, December 9, 2010

Green Grocery Bag Challenge

The Green Bag Lady and Sew, Mama, Sew have teamed up for the Green Grocery Bag Challenge.  The Green Grocery Bag Challenge is a project to encourage sewists (Don't you love that "word" instead of "sewers"?  I do.) to wrap their holiday gifts in reusable cloth grocery bags, thus reducing the amount of wrapping paper entering the waste stream while simultaneously getting multi-use bags into the hands of consumers (the gift recipients.)

Did you know?  US consumers generate 4 million tons of wrapping paper and shopping bag waste during the holiday season alone.

Did you know? The US alone goes through 100 billion single-use plastic grocery bags every year.

Isn't that mind boggling?  It is to me!  I have started using cloth bags for my shopping again. Years ago, I used cloth bags for my grocery shopping. I remember getting my bags out to go shopping the day that Erin was born and she is 16! So I had them at least that long ago! (I might add that the bags I had back then were sturdy canvas....I still have some of them and they are in excellent shape as compared to the junky ones they sell in the stores now.)  Over the years though, I got away from using the bags because I shop at Wal-Mart a lot and their bagging area is less conducive to that.  I started using cloth bags some again this year when I got a few free ones that they sell in the stores and bought a couple insulated ones which I LOVED using in the summer.  (I have found that some checkers are not that happy to see me with my bags.  :( I try to help bag so they aren't annoyed with me.)

About a month ago I heard about The Green Bag Lady and made up a bunch of bags using this video tutorial.

Katie snagged this one for her organ music.

Some of the bags I whipped up about a month ago.

bags folded up

bags folded up inside another bag I made

I have a few of these.  I love them.
They are made from old drapes!

Another plus was that all of the fabric was given to me.  It didn't cost me a dime to make any of these bags! A couple of bags that I never took pictures of I made from pre-quilted fabric and I LOVE them. They are more sturdy and are easier to fill in the store.  I loved doing my Christmas shopping in my fabric bags. When I came home from the stores no little eyes could see through the plastic bags!!

So, after seeing this challenge to use fabric instead of wrapping paper I wasn't sure how it would go over with the family.  Well, honestly, it went over like a lead balloon. They want to rip open their packages. I always buy wrapping paper 50% the day after Christmas so I already had paper for this year but not a whole lot so I figured I could do at least a few bags while I used up the paper I have and maybe break them in a little.  This way, I'll use up my wrapping paper then maybe I can purchase Christmas fabric on sale the week after Christmas to make more bags for next year.

Here are a few of the bags I've made ready to give...some are for Christmas and some for an upcoming birthday.  I did use tissue paper in the bags. If we want to be really green it can be re-used or saved to make paper or color on or something right?

Anyway, here they are:
Love this fabric!  When I was making this bag
Emma(7) asked me if I would wrap her present in this.  I had
already wrapped a present for her in a different bag so I just
took it out of that one and put it in this one.

This is a shopping bag. I used it like wrapping paper and even
put a little tape on it to make it more like a regular package.

another one

a tube shaped was a little long so I tied it with some ribbon,
stuffed some tissue paper then the gift, more tissue and another ribbon

This is my favorite.  It is for an oversized package.
The fabric is satiny.  I tied it with a gold star ribbon and
a large jingle bell.  I don't think the picture does it justice.

A shopping bag used to wrap a gift.  I just
tuck the handles inside and fold up the top in pleats...then
tie with ribbon.

nice ornament fabric

This one looks like a gift bag (no handles though).
I love how versatile the bags are!

So, if you are at all inspired I'd love to hear from you. (Or if you have any questions feel free to ask.) I am hoping that over time the kids will become more receptive to the idea.

For more information and lots of bag making tutorials join the Green Grocery Bag Challenge on Facebook.


purple squirrel said...

These look great! I was hoping to join the bag crowd this year, but my sewing machine is VERY out of order! :( Maybe next year....
Thanks for sharing!
Lis in MA from FIAR

Leslie said...

Cute bags! I'm not sure I'll get around to doing that this year though. *blush* Might make a great after Christmas project too when the fabric goes on sale.

Karen said...

No need to blush Leslie. Most of my gifts are wrapped in paper. It's a process! :)

Thanks for the comments Lis and Leslie!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...