So you are going green on a budget, or just want a bag that makes more of a statement than the branded shopping bag from your local store? Reusable shopping bags are an eco-friendly solution to a growing waste problem. Each year, 38 billion plastic bags are thrown away in the US alone. Only a tiny percentage of these bags are recycled – the rest:
- Make their way to the ocean and kill thousands of marine creatures each year.
- Some float through the air, endangering birds and littering the streets.
- Others sit in landfills and decompose, contaminating the water, soil, and food supply with harmful micro-toxins.
Plastic bags also increase our dependency on nonrenewable oil – the material polyethylene is derived from oil and is used to manufacture bags. Some grocery chains are doing their part by offering a green alternative to disposable shopping bags at checkout lines while others have decided to add a fee for the use of bags to encourage shoppers to bring their own tote. A number of areas are banning plastic shopping bags completely.
How to Make Your Own Reusable Shopping Bag
Handmade eco-friendly bags make wonderful shopping companions and are just as much fun to make! Some are extremely simple – perfect kid-friendly crafts – while other shopping bag patterns are more time-consuming and require a little skill. From recycling harmful plastic bags to reusing old clothing, these do-it-yourself ideas are as eco friendly as they are creative.
Green shopping bags are stronger and roomier than their harmful disposable counterparts, not to mention much better looking. Be sure to make a few for friends and family too – consuming fewer bags saves oil, saves animals, and improves the landscape as well.
Make a Tee-Bag
This reusable shopping bag pattern is so easy a child could make it – in fact, the 10 year old behind Tee Bags contributed the simple steps needed to make your own eco friendly bag from a t-shirt!
A Rogan Gregory Exclusive
A fashionable crocheted tunic can create a one of a kind reusable shopping bag that looks chic and sophisticated, even when its brimming with your favorite fruits and veggies. While this pattern is a bit more involved than the tee-bag above, its stylishness makes the extra effort worthwhile. Visit TeenVougue to learn how to make your own Rogan Gregory eco tote
Reuse Colorful Sheets to Make a Unique Shopping Bag
Morsbags have taken homemade reusable shopping bags to a whole new level. Not only are these eco friendly bags easy to make, they cost next to nothing! Best of all, Morsbags encourages us to spread the environmental love by forming a pod and donating bags throughout the community.
Another Way to Reuse Your Favorite Tee
Another way to reuse your old t-shirts, this green shopping bag pattern includes pocket designs to make your tote more functional. Durable straps and a fold-over flap add to the appeal; rescuing old t-shirts from the garbage makes it even better!
Reusable Totes Made From Recycled Bags
Crocheted shopping bags typically expand easier than cloth totes. This pattern offers even more elasticity and is stronger than 50 plastic shopping bags. Turning plastic bags into recycled yarn is a tedious process, but the eco friendly shopping bags they create are stylish and extremely durable.
There are hundreds of reusable shopping bag patterns available online – these are just 5 of our faves. Feel free to share your own resources and thoughts on eco friendly shopping bags in the comments!