Monday, June 30, 2008

Reusable bags

Here's a posting I just put on CoolMoms:

My favorite reusable bag

I have fallen in love with Envirosax bags, and thought I'd post about them here in case anyone else is looking for reusable bag options.

Envirosax are nylon (?) bags that fold up really small and are easy to carry in your purse. I have mine in my purse 100% of the time; if I use it, when I get home, it goes straight back into my purse. This is a key thing: my other bags often get forgotten in my car so they're not with me when I need them most! Additionally, I had been finding that I was in good habit for bringing bags to the grocery store, but what about the pharmacy? Target? the hardware store? Funky Jane's? In those cases, I was accepting their bags, because I wasn't willing to carry around my clunky grocery store bags everywhere or get a purse the size of Texas to put things in.

Envirosax work because of their folding size (small) and their volume (large). They're really strong, and I've been using mine for about a month and it doesn't show any wear and tear. I can stuff a ton of stuff in one.

They come in cool colors and patterns, and they have wide straps so that you can carry them over your shoulder without them cutting into your body because of the weight of the contents.

They are starting to be widely available - in West Seattle I've seen them at PCC ($10 each and a wide variety of colors/patterns to choose from), Edie's ($12 or $12.50 each), and Wild Rose Antiques ($12 or $12.50 each). Pharmaca advertised them but they haven't been able to get them in stock yet, but in their opening flier they said they'd sell them for $7.50 each or 5 for $35, if I recall correctly (not sure if they'll honor that special because their grand opening is over; I keep checking to see if they have more but not yet). Capers was carrying them (that's where I got mine) but a lady who works there said they're no longer carrying them because so many other stores have picked them up and they like to carry unique items.

I like them so much I gave them for teacher gifts at the end of the year, and I've been buying them for my girlfriends, too.

As a result of carrying a bag with me 100% of the time, only two plastic bags have entered my house in the past two months.....and I have no idea how many bags entered my house previously, but two a DAY would be more typical. Finding a bag that works for me (and is cute to boot!) was a part of this success, so I'm sharing.

I still have my half dozen Trader Joe's bags for grocery shopping, but I use my Envirosax for all other shopping.

And no, I'm not affilliated with Envirosax in any way, size, shape or form. I'm just a fan!

Are you wondering why I care about carrying a bag with me? The short version is that one-time-use bags use up precious resources, add to landfills, and put toxins into the environment during their production. Many cities globally are moving to ban plastic bags or to tax plastic bags to discourage people from using them, and I support such a ban. (I'll be attending a public meeting in Seattle on July 8 - want to come? Mayor Nickels is proposing a 20 cent tax on plastic bags, and I support that. San Francisco, Ireland, and China have all done similar things.) Plastic is particularly toxic to the environment, but paper uses resources, too.

Check out these links:

There are THOUSANDS of articles out there, this is just a sampling.

Articles about the banning/taxing of plastic bags:

Articles about the environmental impact of plastic bags:

New York Times articles on the subject of plastic bags:


KikiRiki said...

When looking for reusable bags I considered the Envirosack but was put off by the price of them. I did some web research and found the Chico Bag. Here is my write up about them:

I agree, now that I have bags that fold up and fit in my purse I've gone from probably 20 sacks a week entering my house to maybe 1!


Green and Lovin' It said...

Hi there - When I read about taking bags to the pharmacy etc.. I was on the same page. I have a set of bags from They have avariety pack with grocery ones, small foldable ones, bottle ones and a (my fav) the retail shopping one that folds up as well. It is the perfect batch and I love it. The foldables are in my purse and the grocery bags are in my car - simple!

Keep writing about good stuff - I love it.


Kristina said...

Ryan has a Chico bag, purchased from West Seattle Thriftway for $5. He carries it in his work backpack, and when he runs errands he's got it. It is equally functional to the Envirosax for less money, I agree, so a good option. Can I confess, though, that I love the pure style of Envirosax? I like that they fold instead of stuff into a sack, so they look crisp....and the cuter-than-cute paterns (I have a black and white one with a links pattern, and a green one with foliage patterns) make me feel comfortable not only when I'm in my mommy clothes running errands, but also if I go shopping with "the girls" or if I am downtown.

In the end, I am not an Envirosax rep so I don't have any investment in their stuff...I'm delighted to hear that kikiriki and green are using bags, that this is catching on, and that it's so popular to carry one's own bags that there are a lot of great choices.

It's a small change in the world; it won't cure global warming, but it's a nice big step in the right direction. I'm thrilled that I'm nowhere close to alone in this quest!