If you're playing along at home, you might have noticed a new Work in Frogress over to the right there - Nettie the Grocery Bag. Recently, I looked at my overflowing stash of plastic grocery bags and decided I have had enough. Here are a few facts:
1) Each year, the US uses 12 MILLION barrels of oil just to make plastic bags.
2) It takes 1000 years for a plastic bag to break down in a landfill.
3) Paper bags are heavier and bulkier, and, therefore, use much more oil in transportation. (Plus, you know, trees. I personally enjoy breathing.)
4) Plastic bags are taking over my dark and seamy undersink cabinet space.
Good reasons to go bagless.
Right now, I am all talk and no action, as I keep forgetting to bring my own bags to the store. Still working on that "distracted mom of 3" problem.
Fortunately, a lot of the bags I get are #2 plastic and recyclable in my area. I recycle the extras whenever I can. I've been saving bread bags and other unavoidable plastic bags to reuse for those really icky jobs that reused plastic bags are great for.
As part of the knitting class gig, I offered to teach a class on knitting shopping bags. I have a couple good-looking patterns bookmarked, but I am still looking into whether I would be legally able to use those to teach a class. In the meantime, a few days ago, I started working on my own pattern for a knitted mesh bag - Nettie. Once iPhoto and I are on speaking terms again, I'll show you what I've got going so far.
In the meantime, if you are interested in making your own knitted mesh bag(s), here are some patterns to get you started:
Lion Brand Eco-Friendly Expandable Shopping Bag - Lion has an organic cotton that grows in four natural colors. Basic dishcloth cotton yarn would also work.
Knit Shopping Bags by Jean Lampe
Saturday Market Bag, by Jodie Danenberg
If you have links to other free patterns for mesh shopping bags, hit me in the comments. If you have or know of a pattern I could legally use to teach a class (this would be a class people are paying to take), I definitely want to hear from you!
Here's a great little video about using your own bags: Click Here
Lots of other fun greenie videos on that site. Check it out.