How to easily make your own reusable produce bags

July 22, 2019 by  
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If you’re focused on sustainability and/or zero waste , you probably cringe every time you return home from the grocery store and pull out bag after bag of fruits and vegetables, each tucked inside plastic bags conveniently located in the produce section where you shopped. The good news is that it’s easy to end the cringe with reusable cloth produce bags. Fortunately, it’s easy to make your own cloth produce bags at very little cost. There are even no-sew options if a sewing machine isn’t your thing. The best part is that you likely already have everything you need to whip up a pile of reusable cloth bags this weekend. Related: RÆBURN upcycles North Face tents into one-of-a-kind bags Material An old, but freshly washed, bed sheet makes the perfect upcycle material for your cloth produce bags. Alternately, grab some lightly-used pillow cases. These work great since they already have seams on some of the sides. Ideally, you will want cotton or linen and organic is always best, but remember that turning one product into something else is already an eco-friendly action so give yourself a break if your sheets aren’t organic.  The linen closet is an easy place to start, but it’s certainly not the only place to find material in your home. Old clothing is an accessible option, especially when you look for shapes that make produce bags easier to make. For example, a child’s shirt will only need small adaptations to turn into a bag. Same goes for wide sleeves or a tight skirt.  No sew Sewing just might not be your thing. Perhaps you don’t have a sewing machine, or you don’t enjoy the whole needle and thread experience. That’s fine with us. To use no-sew reusable produce bags, simply use Velcro instead. Lay your fabric pieces out inside out. Glue Velcro to the length of each side and allow the strips to dry. Then press the Velcro pieces together completely. Use high-quality Velcro for a firm hold.  Sew Making your own produce bags doesn’t require extensive sewing experience. Simply cut and lay out two rectangles of fabric, back to back (or inside out). You can make bags in a variety of sizes. Sew the edges of three sides, leaving the top open. If you are using a material with existing seams, finish the additional edges. For example, cut a pillowcase in four quarters, turn each quarter inside out, finish the seams and turn it back right side out to see your completed bag. The top Now you have your upcycled produce bag ready to go, but you may be wondering how to keep it closed once you stuff your favorite produce inside. The answer is that you don’t really need to if your bag is deep enough. However, if you prefer to have a top that closes, there are several ways you can go about it. For those that enjoyed the sewing portion, go ahead and add a drawstring to the top. To do this, fold over the material at the top leaving about 1/2 inch before making a seam. The 1/2 inch gap allows room for a piece of rope or that non-partnered shoelace in the junk drawer. You can lay it into the space before stitching it up, but be sure not to stitch over it, which locks it into a stationary position and will inhibit the bag from pulling closed. For a no-sew option attach the two sides with Velcro. An even easier solution is to close the top while you’re at the grocery store or farmer’s market using a hair tie band. The elasticity allows the cashier to peak inside the bag hassle free. Plus, if you use your produce bag in the bulk section, you can attach the product number tag directly to the tie band.  Other Uses Produce bags are never just for produce. You can use them to store any number of foods . Beans are an excellent example. Rice, pasta and other pantry items also store well in fabric bags. Shopping bulk is a sustainable action that removes much of the packaging waste from the typical shopping venture. While glass jars are best for some things, fabric bags can handle the “bulk” of your dried foods. Outside the food realm you can use them to store art supplies such as markers, paint brushes and rocks. When it comes time to do laundry, throw small items such as kid’s socks inside and wash the entire bag. Care Fabric produce bags are easy to care for because they are machine washable alongside the rest of your laundry. It’s best to wash bags after each use considering the amount of germs they encounter in the shopping cart, at checkout and in your car. Bags can be hung to dry or tossed into the dryer if necessary. Remember to put your bags somewhere you will remember to take them with you for your next shopping trip, or take them directly to the car for storage. Congratulations on your step towards reducing plastic waste ! Images via Sean and Lauren , Pixabay , Laura Mitulla

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How to easily make your own reusable produce bags

RBURN upcycles North Face tents into one-of-a-kind bags

April 19, 2019 by  
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The North Face and British designer Christopher Raeburn of RÆBURN  have recently collaborated to launch a new line of accessories handcrafted from recycled tents. Introduced late last month, the unique collection consists of three distinct items—a tote bag, drawstring bag, and Rae Bag—that all feature RÆBURN’s iconic “REMADE, REDUCED, RECYCLED, RÆBURN” tagline. The partnership marks the iconic outdoors brand’s first sustainable collaboration and is part of both brands’ commitment to reducing waste without compromising quality. British designer Christopher Raeburn built his reputation on developing stylish streetwear with an environmental focus . From fashioning garments out of parachutes to breathing new life into unwanted military surplus items, Raeburn works his craft with unusual materials that raise awareness about the staggering amounts of global textile waste and creative upcycling. The RÆBURN brand has since collaborated with many leading brands to produce environmentally conscious apparel, including Disney and Timberland. “The North Face has been inspiring a global movement of exploration and conservation for over fifty years, and we couldn’t be prouder to be collaborating on this special project, applying our RÆMADE ethos to transform surplus tents into unique bags,” says Christopher Raeburn. “At RÆBURN we’re motivated to work with brands, other designers and individuals to drive positive change in our industry and it’s been fantastic to work alongside the talented team at The North Face to bring this project to fruition.” Related: H&M releases sustainable fashion line made from fruit and algae In The North Face collaboration, RÆBURN designers recycled different parts of the bright yellow, polyester-and-nylon tents so that every bag would be unique and vary in color and tent parts. Each bag also features the British brand’s iconic 4R’s tape used as straps and an internal pocket for additional storage. All items are extremely lightweight and packable. The limited edition collaboration launched March 26 and is currently out of stock online. + The North Face x RÆBURN Images via RÆBURN

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RBURN upcycles North Face tents into one-of-a-kind bags

UK’s Co-op to ditch single-use plastic bags for biodegradable bags

September 24, 2018 by  
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A popular supermarket chain in the U.K. is taking a step toward bettering the environment by putting a stop to plastic waste . Co-op recently announced plans to use compostable shopping bags, which double as biodegradable bags for food waste, in all of its stores. The new bags will replace the old single-use plastic bags. Co-op is introducing the eco-friendly bags over the next few weeks. Stores in England, Wales and Scotland will receive the bags first, followed by outlets across the rest of the U.K. Related: Kroger plans plastic bag phase-out by 2025 The chain has tested other versions of the bags since 2014 and is rolling them out in locations where local food waste companies can accept them. The company estimates that the new bags will save around 60 million plastic bags from ending up in landfills. The biodegradable bags are part of Co-op’s larger strategy to lessen its impact on the environment. This includes launching initiatives to tackle healthy eating, food waste and energy savings. The company plans to completely phase out plastic bags over the next five years and stop selling black plastic — which is difficult to recycle — altogether. Co-op hopes to be plastic free by 2023 and plans on using at least 50 percent recycled plastic in other products, such as pots, trays and bottles. Co-op is not the only supermarket in the U.K. that is removing plastic from its stores. This past week, Lidl U.K. announced plans to stop using plastic trays for fruit and vegetables by the end of September. The company also pledged to ditch plastic from its meat sections by Summer 2019. Asda also announced that it is halfway through with its plastic reduction goal for the year, while Waitrose has vowed to stop using plastic for loose veggies and fruit by Spring 2019. + Co-op Via The Guardian Image via Co-op

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UK’s Co-op to ditch single-use plastic bags for biodegradable bags

Glowing labyrinth made from plastic waste pops up in Buenos Aires

June 22, 2018 by  
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Over 15,000 plastic bottles were temporarily given a new lease on life as a glowing labyrinth in Vatican Square, one of Buenos Aires’ most celebrated public spaces. Designed by environmental art collective Luzinterruptus , the Plastic Waste Labyrinth calls attention to the staggering amount of waste generated everyday in a thought-provoking installation. Commissioned by the Department of Environmental and Public Areas of Buenos Aires City Government, Ciudad Verde, the immersive artwork was installed for one week and open 24 hours a day as part of Global Recycling Day. Previously installed in Madrid and Katowice, the Plastic Waste Labyrinth is a site-specific piece constructed from waste collected from the surrounding area. To show which beverage brands generate the highest amount of waste in Buenos Aires, the architects left the bottle labels on. More than 15,000 plastic bottles were collected from the city with the help of several urban recycling cooperatives. After the plastic bottles were cleaned and sorted into clear plastic bags , Luzinterruptus built a labyrinth that stretches over 650 feet in length and covers an area of 1,550 square feet. “We created an immersive labyrinthine piece where visitors would feel disoriented and anxiously look for an exit,” explained the arts collective. “This experience intended to beget a thought, a conversation, or perhaps an intention to improve our way to use or get rid of plastic. We want to take the opportunity here to bring attention to the uncontrolled use of bottled liquids which is causing great problems in poor countries while reservoirs are being privatized and bought by large corporations and their selfish interests, thus owning water, Earth’s most important resource and a fundamental right of all its inhabitants.” Related: Giant glowing bottle walls light up Singapore for “plastic binge” awareness The labyrinth is illuminated with cool white LEDs that turn the labyrinth into a glowing space at night. At the end of the event, the Plastic Waste Labyrinth was dismantled and all the plastic was recycled. The bottles, cleaned and sorted by color, were sent back to the city’s recycling cooperatives, while the bags were returned to the manufacturing plant, where they would be melted. + Luzinterruptus Images via Luzinterruptus

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Glowing labyrinth made from plastic waste pops up in Buenos Aires

Freitag’s "Zippelin" is an inflatable suitcase that rolls up for storage

September 14, 2017 by  
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Rolling or non-rolling, hardshell or soft-sided, compact or capacious; there are only so many ways you can build a suitcase, right? Freitag begs to differ. The Zurich-based apparel and accessories brand claims to have created the world’s first one-of-a-kind luggage that expands to accommodate several weeks’ worth of clothing yet flattens into a tight roll for storage. Think of it as your own personal air ship. Dubbed the “Zippelin,” the luggage is designed for long-haul, intercontinental travel. Clad in recycled truck tarpaulin and featuring a pair of skateboard ball-bearing wheels to scoot around on, the Zippelin boasts 85 liters worth of space at full sail. Deflated and coiled into itself, it takes up no more space than the “two liters of booze you bought at duty-free,” Freitag said. The trick lies with a hidden garden-variety bicycle inner tube, which you can inflate with a standard pump. Accidental blowout? A zippered pocket makes easy work of replacing the tire. Freitag is currently accepting preorders for the Zippelin on Kickstarter , where it has already doubled its original funding goal of $120,000. Although the company expects to retail the Zippelin at €520—that’s $618 in American dollars—early-bird pledgers will be able to snag 100 of the bags for €380 ($451) for delivery next April. Another 300 pieces will be available for €420 ($499) for a May 2018 delivery. The campaign runs from now through October 12. + Freitag Zippelin on Kickstarter + Freitag

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Freitag’s "Zippelin" is an inflatable suitcase that rolls up for storage

Elon Musk sets tentative date for Tesla Semi truck unveiling

September 14, 2017 by  
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We’re getting closer to the debut of the Tesla Semi truck. Elon Musk tweeted a date and place for a reveal of the much-anticipated vehicle, and also said, “Worth seeing this beast in person. It’s unreal.” The all-electric semi truck is set to debut on October 26 in Hawthorne, California – and it will reportedly will have a range of 200 to 300 miles . Tesla Semi truck unveil & test ride tentatively scheduled for Oct 26th in Hawthorne. Worth seeing this beast in person. It's unreal. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 13, 2017 Musk is keeping us in suspense: he didn’t give out many other details, and there’s no invite on the Tesla website. Last year, in his Master Plan, Part Deux , Musk hinted Tesla was working on a heavy-duty truck, saying, “We believe the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate.” He also said the semi should be ready to unveil the following year. Related: Tesla’s electric truck will have a 200-300 mile range Musk hasn’t stayed quiet about the Tesla Semi since then. He initially said back in April of this year the company would unveil the truck in September. He gave a TED talk not too long after, with a teaser picture of the semi. In the talk he said the heavy-duty truck would basically be single speed, lacking any gears. He said of the semi, “This is something which people do not today think is possible. They think the truck doesn’t have enough power or it doesn’t have enough range, and then with the Tesla Semi we want to show that no, an electric truck actually can out-torque any diesel semi. And if you had a tug-of-war competition, the Tesla Semi will tug the diesel semi uphill.” Musk apparently has already taken the semi truck for a joyride in the parking lot, and said in the TED talk, “You can drive this around like a sports car .” Via Elon Musk on Twitter and New Atlas Images via screenshot

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Elon Musk sets tentative date for Tesla Semi truck unveiling

This PaperJohn backpack could make shopping by bike a breeze

July 20, 2015 by  
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Wish you could do more shopping on two wheels but don’t have the bicycle basket or gear to carry the bags? Meet the PaperJohn , a paper bag design that can be worn as a backpack . Designed by a Hamburg-based startup, the bag is made from 100% recycled paper with reinforced handles, making it sturdy enough to tout around town and easy to wear for shopping trips by bike . The PaperJohn wasn’t created for individual sale; rather, the team is currently working on making the paper backpack available as an alternative bag option at popular supermarkets. + PaperJohn The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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This PaperJohn backpack could make shopping by bike a breeze

Amazing Natural Packaging: Cork, a Sustainable Classic

October 2, 2012 by  
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Photo: Background pattern of wine bottles corks via Shutterstock If you are involved in the creative community, you will have noticed the slowly-but-surely growing preponderance of cork as a material used in design. Just in the past few months, my boyfriend bought a cork iPhone case , I was coveting a beautiful cork totebag I saw at Brooklyn Flea , and just a week ago, in consideration of replacing my (very old and crummy) vinyl kitchen flooring from the 80′s, I came across cork as an eco-friendly option. I had seen cork floors used in commercial applications, but hadn’t thought about it before for my own home. Cork is everywhere, and, as I’ve quickly figured out – for good reason! Read the rest of Amazing Natural Packaging: Cork, a Sustainable Classic Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bags , benefits of cork , cork , cork floors , cork in building , cork in design , cork material. cork textile , cork oak , cork properties , flooring , green packaging , packaging , packaging the future , portugal , sustainable cork , Sustainable Materials , uses for cork , wine

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Amazing Natural Packaging: Cork, a Sustainable Classic

The Indlovu Centre is a Fireproof & Bulletproof Community Building in South Africa

October 2, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of The Indlovu Centre is a Fireproof & Bulletproof Community Building in South Africa Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , architects without frontiers , bullet proof , cape province , community center , community centre , Disaster-proof design , earthbag , eco design , eco truss , ecobeam , fire-proof , green architecture , Green Building , green design , humanitarian design , indluvo centre , itn architects , lani fender , planet wheeler foundation , sandbag , shaster foundation , soup kitchen , South Africa , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , waterproof , zvi belling

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The Indlovu Centre is a Fireproof & Bulletproof Community Building in South Africa

Traditional Sandbags Become a Colorful and Interactive Installation by Antenna Design

June 28, 2012 by  
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Sandbags aren’t an obvious choice when it comes to furniture, but these unlikely cushions  get a colorful redesign by  Antenna Design . Created for an installation called SPECTRE, and located in a cell of a former Torino, Italy prison, the bags were covered in soft felt cases and stacked up like furniture for visitors to interact with and enjoy. Read the rest of Traditional Sandbags Become a Colorful and Interactive Installation by Antenna Design Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “green furniture” , antenna design , art installation , eco design , green design , prison installation , sandbags , soft furnishings , sustainable design

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