I had another posting on reusable bags which I will post again as well.
I will also add a post on cloth gift bags, which we have used for a good 21 years.
Wednesday, 04 March 2009
I am so sorry for the long, overdue, post on cloth shopping bags. My daughter told me some time ago, I needed to update, so here is the first update on my blog, cloth shopping bags.
First, I want to say, I don’t have all the answers. A few people have expressed interest in this topic, and I want to share what I have learned along the way, but I do not, by any means, have it all worked out. I do have thoughts on the subject since we have been using these bags for about 19 years, and since our sons have both worked at grocery stores, I have had time to ponder the improvements of cloth shopping bags. I thought I could give you some things to consider if you are wanting to move to the route of cloth grocery bags. I also want to note that I did not make these bags, but they are very easy to make. They are made of outdoor fabric, ripstop nylon. They wash up easily and I hang them to dry. If you want to know dimensions and such, just drop me a note and if there is enough interest, I will be happy to give all the particulars on how to reproduce this bag.
Things to consider when choosing to purchase or make cloth shopping bags.
- Take into consideration who will be carrying these bags. Will there be small children, medium sized children, big children or adults carrying these bags?
- What types of things you will be purchasing, should help to dictate the type of bag you want to bring with you. Groceries, books, jars, canned goods, etc.
- What type of food items will go into what types of bags.
- If you are purchasing meat, you will need to wash your bags so as to not cause cross contamination with other goods, as well as causing the bags to stink.
- Are you packing your own groceries or will the clerk be packing them for you? This makes a difference as to how the bags are handled.
- If a clerk will be handling the bags, do they have a ‘bag stand’ for the bags? If so, you will want to take that into consideration with what bags you will be using. With the elimination of plastic bags, they may bring in other ‘bag stands’, but until that point in time, we should work with what they have now, and what clerks find work best for them to get their work done quickly and efficiently.
- Fabric you want to make for your bags. What you will be carrying in your bags and how easy it is to wash them should help dictate the fabric you choose to make these bags.
Handles for your bags are very important. If you get too large of a handle/handles, it will make it impossible to carry your bags for little people. Also, if the bag is full of heavy items, it will make it impossible to carry. Having two, shorter handles, verses one long handle, is a much better option when carting groceries. A shoulder sized handle is better suited for light weight items, clothing, shoes, etc. and some books, but they don’t work very well for carting groceries. If you are like me, and you like your little people to help bring in the groceries, you want to make the process as easy and pleasurable for them as possible. Realistically, our family has been using cardboard boxes and crates, more than the cloth bags, since the bulk of my shopping is now done at Costco. However, my handy red cloth bags are still my favorite grocery bag.
When traveling to other countries, in particular, make sure you bring your cloth bags with you for carting around your treasures. This is where I find the longer handles/shoulder handles come in handy. You can put your newly purchased books in there, put your extra sweater, lunch, water bottle and map in there as well, while you walk and walk and walk.
Happy cloth bag shopping!