Lately, I’ve been noticing that more and more people at our local Market Basket have been using reusable grocery bags. I think it is great! We’ve been using our cloth bags exclusively for some time now and have been very happy. Recently, I’ve decided that it is time to go whole hog and I’m no longer going to use those little plastic produce bags.
I’ve been putting larger or single items right in the top basket in my carriage, but it is hard to buy several lemons or green beans without putting them in a bag. Why not use a reusable bag for these items as well as the rest of my groceries? It’s a great idea and there are several mesh, gauze and tulle bags for sale out there specifically for this purpose.
But,before I buy anything I look to see if I have something that can serve the same purpose, or can be crafted to my needs. (then I try to find it secondhand from Freecycle or a Thrift Shop and lastly, I buy it new) In this case, I knew that I had some tulle in my fabric box that would fit the bill. It is a dark, hunter green tulle that I was especially happy to reuse. In fact, it has lived a couple lives already! It started out as a little shawl for my friend Joanna’s wedding. I wound up with three bridesmaid’s shawls and once we got back home they shawls quickly became window valances in our ‘office/sewing room/ nursery. They hung in the windows for the next five years! One of the three had a brief career as the arms of my Princess Fiona costume, Halloween 2006. They’ve been in a box since we moved just waiting for the perfect opportunity to be used again.
I made myself several little drawstring bags from the shawl/curtain/sleeves. Then I tucked them into my shopping bag where they sat until their maiden voyage today. I am happy to report that my new produce bags worked out quite nicely. The cashier didn’t even bat an eye as she rang up my tomatoes and other veggies. The tulle is strong enough to carry produce in and translucent enough to read the PLU numbers on the veggies’ stickers. Nice.
It will probably take a few more shopping trips before using these bags becomes second nature. I’m sure, though, that like recycling, shutting off the water while I brush and using canvas shopping bags, soon I’ll have forgotten how ‘new’ it was to bring my own produce bags.