Since starting this journey I have found a gap where people want to minimise their personal waste but not knowing how to. Single use plastic is everywhere, particularly in our food shopping. It can sometimes seem impossible to gey away from it.
From that I combined my love of craft, food and sustainability to create a range of reuseable produce, bulk food and bread bags for people to use in their daily shopping. The very first bags I made we’re for my own personal use, then everyone in the family got a set for Christmas and now I am bringing them to you!
The bags are all made from re-purposed materials, including the drawstring and the cotton (where possible), right here in my living room. No two bags are the same as I try to maximise offcuts to minimise waste. Once I run out of a fabric I source more secondhand fabrics.
I have been using my reuseable fresh produce bags around Melbourne for years and since starting this audit, I now use both the bulk food bags and bread bag in my shopping.
These were made from old shirts destined for the bins.
These were made from old lace curtains – also destined for the tip.
This one is made from a vintage tea towel.
At first I found it a little daunting to waltz into a store and rock up to the checkout with my daggy (yet awesome) homemade bags and declare “my bags are cooler than yours!”. I had to pluck some courage and gumption from the inner pits of Minimal Sam, but now that I have broken the ice I can never go back! And yes my bags are cooler than theirs.
From my experience I have found you can use the produce bags pretty much anywhere including Coles, Woolworths, Aldi, green grocers and markets without anyone batting an eyelid.
I have used the bulk food bags at Coles and The Source. I have only had compliments about using my bags when approaching the checkout – rather than people tutting their disapproval of the loon with her food in her husband’s old shirts that I had imagined in my head. I’m sure any bulk food store will be happy to let you use your bags – just make sure you get them weighed first (this is the downside of supermarkets, you can’t tare them first). I use a little tab of masking tape in the corner with the weight of the bag and the product code (I’m very predictable and get the same stuff every week).
Until I find the need to wash the bags, I keep the masking tape on them – 5 months in with weekly use I still haven’t washed them – saving water and power too!
I usually make my own bread but on days I’ve barely had time to shower, let alone bake, I pop down to Bakers Delight to get a loaf. I am positive pretty much any bakery will let you bring your own bags in.
So there you have it, it’s that easy. Whether you buy my bags or not, I encourage you to either go without or try reuseable, instead of single use plastic bags next time you’re shopping, well actually, every time you shop!