Going green: my new lunch bag and cloth napkins for the boys

by Patricia on January 20, 2009 · 3 comments

I’ve been making small changes over the last year or 2 to “be greener”. And at Resolution Time, I thought about what I could do this year to continue to green my life.
Last year I converted almost completely to reusable shopping bags. The endless supply of plastic bags that I used to hoard under the sink is now just a dozen neatly stowed in the broom closet and reserved for special tasks like quarantining my dirty running shoes in my suitcase (well, until today but more on that later). I have also stopped buying paper towels. I went cold turkey one day. I was out of paper towels and challenged myself to go without. There were plenty of kitchen towels in the drawer, rags for dirty jobs, and I had just made some durable, but cute cotton napkins. So I thought I was set. Turns out I was right. There are very few times when I really wish I had a paper towel and I manage to work around those with very little effort. As I look back on 2008, I realize the small changes I made have added up to make a noticeable impact on my life.
And that brings us to this year. What are the next steps? What can I do in 2009? This year I want to be greener in the kitchen which means not wasting food, finding a better place for “green waste” than the garbage can, and buying more local goods. Overall, I’d like to find more (creative) ways to reuse stuff which brings us back to those plastic bags… :)
I made myself a lunch bag using the plastic bags I had lying around. A friend mine had sent me this tutorial from the Storque over a year ago and I finally put it to use today. Here’s my new lunch bag:
fused and reused plastic bag
Isn’t it cute? I fused 8 plastic bags together and sewed it into this lunch bag. I didn’t really follow a pattern… I just measured my favorite lunch container and made it big enough for that + many snacks :) The pink trim and flower button all just sort of happened organically — I didn’t like the raw edge around the top so I found some fabric in one of the bins of fabric under my bed. And then it sort of gaped open when it was done so I added a little elastic loop and found the yellow flower button in my random button collection :)

My other green craft project was making a set of cloth napkins for D. and his boys:
cloth napkins
It’s only a set of 4 napkins, but that was all I could get from the piece of stripey fabric I had picked up from the remnants basket at my local quilting shop. The napkins are durable cotton so can be used and washed often and stand up to 3 boys. The napkins I made for myself are flowery and pink and girlie, but for the boys I thought the blue and brown stripes would be better :) The napkins were inspired by the “mixy-matchy napkins” in Amy Karol‘s Bend the Rules Sewing.


1 Justine January 24, 2009 at 10:23 pm

Yay cloth napkins! My mom had used them since forever. Not only do they add a more nice feel to whatever you’re eating, they’re also great because of all the trees you save (as you know).

2 DLAW January 20, 2009 at 6:26 pm

The lunch box is really cool and very strong considering it’s made from recycled plastic bags. Thanks for the napkins, they are awesome! I see you trying to make me greener. ;) Very nice!

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