Saturday, October 1, 2011

October Simple Swap: Bagging Plastic Sacks

** October winner is Lecs'Miscellany! **

We all want to live healthier, more intentional lives, but sometimes it seems overwhelming and daunting to take even small steps toward our ideals because there are so many steps before us.

Simple Swap was born out of a desire and passion to encourage other women on journeys toward living healthier, more inspired, intentional lifestyles through implementing one simple swap per month.

Each swap will:
1. Take 30 minutes or less to accomplish
2. Be inexpensive to implement or boast overall, long-haul {health} savings
3. Focus on improving health/eco-friendliness, being good stewards of our resources and/or fostering a creative and intentional life.
Some weeks, all three will be accomplished in 30 minutes or less!
The beautiful and creative Robin from Diet Coke on the Rocks will make the Simple Swap first each month so as to show ease and perhaps sometimes another way to implement a Simple Swap. Check out Robin's October Simple Swap for more ideas!

October Simple Swap: Bag Plastic Sacks

In our house, we try to limit our plastic consumption, use and exposure in an effort to

1. improve health
2. decrease clutter within our house
3. support environmental wellness

I know that reducing plastic exposure sounds overwhelming -- after all, so many of our household items are plastic!

But, by taking baby steps, making one Simple Swap per month, the journey to eliminating plastics or simply decreasing the amount in your house, is so doable and so worth it.

Remember, plastics often contain some pretty gunky things -- like BPA, a chemical that is known to cause health issues. Plus, plastic that ends up in the landfill will definitely outlive all of us -- and that's a lot of space taken. So ANY effort we make to reduce our plastic consumption is beneficial in so many ways.

One of the very first steps we took in decreasing our plastic use centered around ditching plastic bags at the grocery store or any other retail shop, swapping them out for canvas totes.

We decided to make this our first step for a few reasons, number one being this:

Gah! So ugly! So unhealthy! Nothing to love there!
*Shudder* I couldn't take much more of having our front hall closet overrun with bags. Couple that with the health and environmental reasons, and we couldn't think of a reason why we wouldn't make the attempt.

We gathered out plastic bags and hauled them off to the recycling bin at Target, and we bought some canvas bags ...

and we pretty much forgot about said canvas bags the first few shopping trips out simply because we were not in the habit of remembering to remove them from their spot in the closet and bring them along.

So we bought a few more high-quality ones and strategically placed them in vehicles, the front hall closet, the hooks by the back door, the stroller compartments  -- anywhere we thought might give us easy access to reusable bags when we needed them. {And with pretty canvas, high-quality bags, you can actually put them on hooks in the hallway because they are quite visually appealing, unlike ugly plastic bags that would stick out like a sore thumb.}

So simple, clean and so much healthier!

And we found success mostly.

Once I discovered canvas bags that were pretty and durable -- bags that are accessory worthy like the ones Craft Culture Boutique is giving away to one person who makes the October Simple Swap -- I had a much easier time remembering to use them, too.

I sport this bag around almost everywhere.  Love it!
Yes, plastic bags have a way of sneaking into our home and overtaking spaces, but they do so much less quickly now.

And now that it's habit to grab reusable bags, we rarely even think about it.

So are you ready to cut your plastic exposure in a really painless, simple way?

Grab your camera, take some pictures of your swap, write about your experience and then link up.

As mentioned, someone who links will win two reusable canvas bags from Craft Culture Boutique -- this 100 percent recycled cotton extra large tote in the Love Birds print and another bag in the print of her choice!

If you're drooling over the designs at Craft Culture {like I am}, Victoria and Kimberly have graciously extended an offer -- when you purchase three bags, you'll receive a fourth bag of your choice for free! Simply contact the ladies via their Etsy shop, mention the code CCOCT2011 and they will set up a custom order for you so that you get four bags for the price of three. 

{No purchase necessary. Giveaway is open to all U.S. residents who are 18 years and older. The winner will be selected randomly Nov. 1, 2011 from the link up pool.}

*This post is linked with The Green Resource over at Sorta Crunchy.*


  1. We've been meaning to do this for a long time, but you know about my problem with procrastination. lol.

  2. tree, birds...i am in LOVE with those totes!

    there are so many cheap, crap "reusable" bags that are landfill destined just because they aren't made well--which is actually worse than plastic. those canvas ones look really nice. i have a few sturdy ones from reuseit, and tho they were pricier than the dollar cheapies, they've lasted years--and 3 or four will hold an entire cart worth of groceries.

    great challenge!

  3. I am bad at this...trying harder...I have many reusable bags but need to be better about keeping them in my van.

  4. We moved to reusable bags a while ago, though I can't get my husband to use them when I'm not around.

    I didn't buy any bags, though. I had accumulated enough from work conferences and thrift store shopping to take care of us. I also found some nice utility totes on super-low clearance (like $5 each) in a 31 sale.

    So anyone wanting to swap -- go with what you have. This isn't something you have to spend $ on!

  5. My mom was a pioneer in using reusable bags back in the 80's...I can't wait to blog about it! :)

  6. Hi! I just came over here from your post on the Green Resource linky. I'd say we're about half switched over to reuseable bags. I have 5 of the cheapo reuseable bags, but I need a few more in order to not have to use any plastic bags at the grocery store. This is a great giveaway! Thanks!

  7. Thanks, as always, for the virtual kick in the butt :) Love this concept, and you know what? I feel better for having participated. You guys are awesome!

  8. I love my reuseable bags!! No matter what store I go to, I take my bags in with me. I even have a large enough bag to fit the large pkgs of toilet paper. I can put so much more in the bags and have fewer trips from car to house, and no bother with the plastic that always breaks anyway. Once I empty the bags, I place them by the front door, and the next time I go outside, I simply take the bags and put them in the car so I always have them handy.
    P.S. I don't use the stores reuseable bags because they tear very easily. I got some from A.C.Moore, and walmart now has a large cloth covered square carrier. Costs about $4.00 but is very sturdy and holds a lot.


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