{Green Living} Recycled Shopping Bags

I went home to Canada for a visit 4 years ago and had a revelation. I was so impressed with Toronto’s recycling directives. There were recycle stations on the street corners, grocery stores had “green” bags and supplied recycle bins for canned goods, and they even recycled their food waste with a compost pick-up service! I was very impressed and disappointed. Where I was living at the time was behind in the recycle revolution. My local grocery store didn’t have green bags. We did have recycling pick-up, but there were few on my street that actually used the service.

I went shopping after I got back from my trip armed with my new green grocery bags. I showed them to the store manager and suggested supplying them for customers. A couple of months later they started selling the recycled bags. Then the next store I went to started selling them and so on. It was like a domino effect! I would like to think I had a part in helping spread the “green” bug in my neck of the woods. It might have been a coincidence, but it made me feel good, like I made a difference.

Now, 4 years later, I am glad to say everyone has recycled bags to offer. Now we just have to get plastic bags off the menu! Happily, they come in all shapes and sizes, simple and stylish! Here are some great bag ideas from our friends on Etsy! Just click on the bag to go to their shop!





I am happy to say I am on my way back from Toronto once again with a hand full of new reusable bags! For more articles on Green Living, check out this article by ECOKAREN.

Kim Johnson

Ekofabrik, http://www.kimjohnsonstudios.com

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  1. Thanks for all of the great comments! I just returned from Canada a couple of days ago and what they are doing now is charging customers 5 cents for each plastic bag! What a great idea! Hopefully the trend will pick up over here!

    Happy Recycling!

    Kim :)

  2. I have made an interesting observation at markets over the years. I used to take recycled bags for customers when they purchased something from me. A few years ago I stopped and at first some people were amazed that I did’nt supply bags and then gradually each year after that I observed more and more people bring their own bags and backpacks to the market. No one ever asks for a bag anymore.
    I also wanted to point out that my Kootsac bags are designed especially for buying bulk food items form bulk bins – they are made of the lightest weight ripstop nylon, silk or cotton. I started making them a few years ago when as a textile artist I saw the need for an alternative to throwaway plastic bags for bulk food. I figured that this was something I could do to address that need.

  3. That is such a great thought. I have a huge bag of shopping/recycled bags in the trunk of my car and use them all the time. But really? I don’t need 34 of them. I will start giving them away…such a fabulous idea!

  4. I wanted to share a little reusable bag story. I have a few extra reusable bags, so I decided to bring them grocery shopping to give away. Last week I offered one to a woman and she could hardly believe me when I offered. Her excitment was wonderful and afterwards she waved at me in the parking lot with a huge grin and again as she passed me on the road. The gesture filled us both with joy!