Thursday, August 26, 2010

Speaking of Plastic...

I knew that there was a problem with plastic clogging drains and causing flooding in India. I knew that there is an island in the South Pacific that has shores completely covered up by broken bits of plastic and fish nets.

But I had no idea how big the issue really has become.

Then I watched a documentary on OPB that opened my eyes. And kept me awake that night. Then a few days later, still disturbed by what I had seen, I typed "plastic in the ocean" into the google search box. Click the link... I dare you. Then, if you want a little more in the way of statistics, read this blog post and the comments below.

I have never described myself as an Environmentalist. But I find that the more I know about the condition of the land, sea, air, the more concerned I am about the way we (all mankind) are treating God's Creation.

I have a love for the outdoors... the woods, the ocean, the rivers, meadows, trees, and I have always been curious about the animals that live here (including homo sapiens... I love watching and learning about people).

And I don't like the condition we are leaving the earth in for future generations of trees, animals, people.

I don't have a huge circle of influence politically or in my community, but I do have a voice, and I have a blog, and I have a few people who pop in to see what I have posted. So I am using this platform to try to make a statement to those who will listen.

Thank you for bearing with me as I stumble through trying to explain what has been ruminating in my heart and on my mind recently. I have an easy solution that just might help a teensy tiny bit.

Knowing that the majority of my blog readers are women who sew, and yes... I know about your fabric stashes... I have spent the last few days putting together a tutorial demonstrating how to make a lined, square-bottom, shopping bag out of fabrics from your stash. And I am going to give the tutorial to you for free. Why? Because it feels like it just might be a way that I can help reduce the use of plastic shopping bags.

You may already know how to make such a bag, or you might have a pattern in a stack somewhere. If that is the case, then let this blog post be a reminder to you to use those bags, that pattern.

I know that the download is a little on the large side, but I filled the tutorial with photos and options, making it a 7 page long pdf. Please, please, download it, share it with all of your sewing friends, spread the word. There really should be no excuse anymore for using those plastic bags.

And for those of you that have lasted through this entire monologue, I have a little giveaway for you... leave a comment on this post, and three of you will win (my Random Generators will draw names on Monday morning, August 30) one of these...

Made from a thrifted bedsheet, thank you very much.

I will be adding a permanent link on my sidebar to the cloth bag tutorial. Feel free to take it and post it on your blog and share it with as many people as possible.


Jeanne said...

Wow, thanks so much! Lovely bag. I do try to use my reusable bags at the grocery store. I find that if I keep the bags in my car trunk I have no excuse not to use them.

staci said...

What a Wonderful reusable bag! We try to use them as much as possible. One day, when I learn how to sew, I will be using your fantastic pattern.

PS. Making the bag from a thrifted bedsheet makes it even more awesome!

Catherine said...

I have some of the reusable bags from the grocery store - not as cute as yours of course. After looking at some of those pictures, I am going to try harder not to forget them in the house when I go to the grocery!

Thanks for the chance on such a cute bag!

Patti said...

Well said Beth!
I agree whole heartedly! This year I found little nylon bags that fold up teeny tiny to keep in your purse (No more forgetting bags at home). They can hold as much as a big paper grocery bag plus. I've gifted them to my family and friends and have made 2010 the year of going plastic bag free!

Please enter my in your sweet giveaway :)

Blessings, Patti

Marilyn said...

Oh, that's a great idea.
Thank you for the chance.

Kim said...

Love your bag and your blog! Thank you -

CATHI said...


You are perfectly right regarding all the plastic in our oceans. Here in Germany, we had some documentations about that as well. And like you I didn't know that plastic is in the oceans! I was really shocked. I will post a call on my blog to use less plastics. And if you don't mind I will put a link to your tutorial for the cloth bag... I am not so good in sewing, but many of my blog readers... :o) By the way, my family and I using the plastic bags only for gathering plastic garbage (e.g. for empty yoghurt pots and that stuff).

Please count me in your giveaway!


Jacque said...

Thanks so much for the reminder and a chance at your darling bag.

If we all do just a little it will make a world of difference.


Heather said...

Thanks for the pattern and the reminder. By the way the pink bag is lovely.

anneke said...

as a country we're active about using less plastic for years.Our gouvernment is active: all our plastic waste is collected and reused in new stuff. I always carry a firm backpack-bag for my groceries and go on my bike. Since I can remember. But I applaud the effort everyone is making to use less plastic, it's for a better world for us all.

Dora said...

Great post! For years now, I have always used cloth bags for grocery shopping. Last year, it was good to see Whole Foods eliminate plastic bags, instead they encouraged shoppers to bring their own reusable bags. I'm seeing more and more shoppers bring in their own bags.

I'd love the chance for the giveaway. A new stylish tote bag sounds wonderful!

Melissa said...

Well said, Beth. We've switched to re-usable bags for quite awhile now and it makes such a difference. Remember the days when you had too much of these bags and didn't know what to do with them?

Thank you for the pattern and the giveaway. It's a very generous offer and I would love a chance to win one. Thank you!

Shana said...

Well said Beth! Thanks for the pattern, I am going to try to make some soon!

Carol said...

Thank you for sharing your pattern, Beth. I am not a great seamstress, but I'm going to give it a try :)

I'd love to have a chance at winning one of your pretty and useful bags--thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the pattern. I am going to make one for sure.

Please enter me in your drawing

BettyC. said...

Love your blog (and designs!)!
I would love to be entered in your giveaway. I use my Walmart bag when shopping, but it's not near as pretty as yours!

BettyC. (no blog)

anna s. said...

Thank you so much for the opportunity! I love the pink on this bag, so much "me"! :)
I use reusable bags as much as I can and I'm trying to remind my partner to do the same. Alas, he keeps forgetting them in the car before going shopping, but at least he's very supportive of the idea - and I'm promoting it in the family as well! Both in Norway and in Poland, you now have to pay for the plastic bags in the shop, but it doesn't seem to discourage people really.

Anonymous said...

Hi Beth. I watched the video you linked and it seems to me our problem with plastic bags isn't near as troubling as our problem with slobs. The plastic junk that lazy irresponsible people dispose of is disgusting. If everyone recycled or used proper trash containers, our environment would be much cleaner and safer for our wild friends. Thank you for bringing this to our attention on your blog and thank you for the tutorial.

Alice said...

Fabulous bag and great idea to make it oneself. It is a worthy cause to make a difference and keep the planet clean. Plastic is just about the worst thing man invented. Thanks for a great tutorial. Even I cannot get it wrong now.

Sandy said...

I agree. I use my own bags all the time. Please enter me in your drawing. You can never have too many bags!!

CalamityJr said...

Great blog - we all need reminders from time to time. I'll use the pattern if my sewing machine and I ever get back on speaking terms, lol! Thanks for the chance to win that beautifully recycled bag!