Living sustainable isn’t expensive, mostly it is about not buying, using and storing things you don’t need. Todays tips is to not use the disposable bags when buying fruit and vegetables. We have for the past couple of years used reusable ones that I made from scrap fabric. For me it was important that the bags where light, easy to close and didn’t take much space in my already overflowing backpack. I decided to only use leftover bits of fabric, only using leftovers restricted the size of the bags: some are square others more triangular and one is a tiny sort of triangular that is perfect to keep all the other bags in when they’re not used.
How to make the bags
– Cut out 2 mirrored pieces of fabric or one pice with a mirror plane.
– Sew with a straight stitch 7 mm or 1/4″ from edge so as to enclose all but one side.
– Cut the corners and press the seam open then fold it the other way and pin so that the cut edge in toward the inside. Sew again with a straight stitch this time 1 cm or 3/8″ from edge on the same edges as before. You have now made a french seam.
– Choose whether you want the french seam on the outside or the inside and press the bag accordingly.
Sew 2 buttonholes on the centre on one side of the opening 4 cm from edge, if your fabric is fragile you can add a patch or interfacing behind the button hole to reinforce them.
– Press the opening edge down 1 cm and then 2 cm to create a double fold, pin down. Sew a strait stitch along the entire opening just inside 2 cm.
– Thread elastic or cord through the first buttonhole past the second all the way around and through the second one this way there is a small overlap, cut the elastic/cord a little longer then opening and tie the ends together. To close the bag simply pull the string no knots needed.
At first I tried to make them approximately the same size that the disposable bags in the store are but using leftovers the size ended up being a bit different, some big other small and after using them for some time I love that they are all different sizes because I have a few small bags for raisins and dried mango, medium sized for onions and tomatoes, little larger for zucchini and cheese and big ones for potatoes, apples, oranges and bread.
You don’t have to wash them between every use, only when needed but you do want to wash them before you use them the first time if you haven’t already washed the fabric before. Fabric is often treated with things you don’t want near your food. Everything doesn’t need its own bag if you are buying one or two onions you don’t need a bag for that, but 20 oranges can be a little difficult for the cashier to manage quickly and easily so a bag is of better use for that.
Good luck with your continual improving sustainable home. If you have tips on smart solutions please leave a comment.