Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

Plastic grocery bags are horrible for the environment, making them, filling landfills, getting in bodies of water where animals mistake them for food and can be killed by them. So I'm doing my part to help in my little way. I started saving reusable bags from whatever, a couple from a convention I went to, one that was a sample, one from work, basically anything that could be used as a grocery bag.

Occasionally though, I would find myself at the checkout without my bags. Usually when my husband took them out of the car to haul something and forgot to put them back (sorry honey). So I found myself with some plastic bags. Rather than sending them out to be recycled into more bags that could end up as landfill, I decided to turn them into reusable grocery bags. So I dug around the internet and watched several videos on turning the bags into "plastic yarn" and set to crocheting.

I did the bottom in a tighter stitch for support, then a nice open V stitch with double crochet until it was as tall as I wanted. Lastly I did handles with singly crochet and viola, another reusable grocery bag and about 80 bags kept out of landfills. As more countries outlaw plastic grocery bags, and stores start doing the same, it will be nice to be prepared with my own bags already.

A few take aways from the project
- If you aren't using bags from one store, pay attention to the thickness of the bags, and cut the strips a little skinnier for heavier bags.
- The plastic yarn is a little harder to work with, it tends to stick coming through and needs to be carefully worked through.
- When making the yarn, don't pull too tight or you can break it before you get started - once crocheted in, it's very sturdy though.
- If you want to work in a design, add the strips to the yarn one at a time as you go so your color changes land where you want them to.

We'd love to hear your experiences working with recycled grocery bags or other green crafty ideas.

Until next time, Happy Crafting!


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