Saturday, July 26, 2008

Produce Prototypes

My husband and I have been using reusable bags for close to twelve years, so we aren't new to this "green" thing, but a few months ago we started to consider ways of cutting back on the plastic bags we were still using.

Plastic produce bags were still making their way into our home. I'd done some looking around online for alternatives and found mostly nylon bags and bags made from tulle. I didn't like the nylon, because you couldn't see into them, and the tulle bags...well, it seemed like stuffing a potato into a tutu. Then, on a discussion board I read, someone linked to these net bags. Aha! Now that's more like it! Even better, someone compared them to lingerie bags, and mentioned finding them at the dollar store. Bingo! Great idea! But the dollar store. --whine whine-- I hate the dollar store.

I hit a lot of thrift shops on last week's trip to my brother's house, and one thing I found was a big piece of mesh fabric for fifty cents! Fifty cents! I took it over to my husband and asked him if he'd feel weird using mesh bags for produce. Nope, he said he'd like to try it.

I made two bags yesterday, just as prototypes. I originally had two cords through the top of each one, so you could pull in opposite directions to close them. I liked that, but I took it down to one cord each just to keep them lighter and to use less twill tape. So what I want to do now is use these for a while and get an idea of what works and what doesn't. We don't have a single vegetable or piece of fruit in the house with a label on it, so I can't tell yet if you can read the numbers through the mesh. I figure if you can't, we can just put them on the belt open, and pull them shut once they're rung up.

The mesh was easy to work with. At first I was worried that I might have to encase the seams in bias tape or something, but I tried it without, and they seem to be okay. We'll see how they hold up to use and washing. The other thing I will probably change is the size. I made them about the same size as a plastic produce bag, but they seem really big. Oh well, I have plenty of fabric left to make adjustments!


k. said...

These look great! Very practical. Keep meaning to make some, but can't find a suitable weight fabric. I've only got fluro pink or black mesh - gothic carrots...? Must let us know how they get on.

Columbia Lily said...

this is a great idea, I've been looking for something to replace my plastic produce bags for things like lettuce that you can't just throw in your cart

Charity said...

Awesome! I need to get going on my goal to make reusable shopping bags. I seem to be spending too much time blogsurfing...