Thursday, October 1, 2009

Birthday Past and Present

Remember the rash vows I made at the opening of the year,September button particularly #4, to spin sufficient yarn for a pair of socks before my birthday or else? Well, my birthday month is past, the handspun goal is not achieved, so it's time for a giveaway. I think of it as a reverse birthday present.

Sheep 2 Shoe kit

The prize: the pictured Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sheep 2 Shoe kit, colorway Purple Rain. The kit originally contained 8 oz. of beauteous handpainted Superwash Merino top, but I pinched off a tiny amount for a sample skein which I'm keeping. Otherwise, it's all there, including the "instructions on how to handspin yarn to meet our Socks that Rock™ standards." It's lovely stuff and I'd love for it to go to a good home.

Purple Rain top

The terms: To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post by October 15 saying what you do to reduce your use of plastic bags. Or sponsor me for the CROP Walk (there are sponsor options) and let me know in the comments. Or do both for two chances. Please, only those with U.S. mailing addresses are eligible for a prize. If there are a lotta of entries, I may toss in some consolation prizes. All winners to be selected by random draw on October 16; prizes will be mailed. In case of questions, my decisions are final.

Clear enough? Then let the comments begin.

61 comments:

AsKatKnits said...

Nice!! And, Happy Birthday!

I do not participate in those lovely plastic bags that the grocers are so fond of.

I purchased several canvas bags and use those. Every. Single. Time.

Add to that, if I have cans to take back. I use paper bags that I take home with me and reuse.

I am an avid recycler!

PlazaJen said...

OoooOOOooo, purty! I keep hearing about those kits & covet one!

We have a plethora of reusable totes. My favorites are the Envirosax, but the humdinger is the HUGE XL boat bag I got from LL Bean. Sent hubs to CostCo with it & he informed me on his return he could have sold it to at least three different women who coveted it. It holds a lot, so it's important to tell the bagger to keep it balanced between heavy & light stuff! (learned that one the hard way.)
I'm so happy we finally have recycling here in KC.

merlinthecat said...

We've just started using reuseable bags when we go shopping, the ones that I have her I use to clean the litter boxes, so atleast they don't get tossed away unused. I've also started saving the thick dog and cat food bags to make some more :)

Bezzie said...

HOnestly? I keep wanting to spin my bags. I knit the raincoat out of them shoot, three years ago? Wow. Forever. Now I spin. But then there's a tutorial out there somewhere to fuse the bags into fabric. I'll bet I could make a killer yellow shoprite raincoat for a little someone I know.

Hmmm...I guess this really isn't *reducing* my use. But *repurposing* my use.

For now though, I just toss them in with the curbside recycling. I don't know how your town does it, but B'field recycles #1 and #2 plastics. Take a close look at your plastic bags--they've got the #2 plastic mark on them.

Lucy said...

I'm not the best about remembering to bring in the reusable bags I keep in my car - but when I bike to several local stores I never let them bag things, I'm just putting them into my bike bags or backpack anyway....

Jaime said...

Happy belated birthday! :)

I try not to get bags at all if I can help it. I have a couple of canvas tote bags, and if it's a small purchase I just decline the bag altogether. We also can recycle our plastic bags here, so the occasional bag that makes its way home with me usually gets reused for a while (I put my gym sneakers in one so they don't get my gym clothes dirty in my bag, and I use them to hold my wet swim stuff after we take our students swimming on Tuesdays) and then recycled when it's on its last legs. :)

Awesome giveaway prize; I've been lusting after a Sheep 2 Shoe kit for a while!

dragon knitter said...

i do 2 things. i either go bagless (if it's just a few things) or i ask for paper, as i do recycle paper products in the house.

i've got bags, but they mostly get used for knitting projects, lol.

Jessica said...

I missed your birthday, so Happy Belated Birthday!!

To avoid plastic I use reusable bags and always take them food shopping. I decline bags on a regular basis (and get the hairy eyeball frequently) and sometimes, I just simply try not to buy anything I don't really need at all. No stuff = no need for a bag.

Cynthia said...

Happy (belated) birthday!

To reduce our use of plastic bags I've gathered up all the canvas tote bags in the house and use these for groceries. I also do my best to remember to take them into Target or other stores when shopping for sundries.

I also bring my lunch to work in a canvas bag, use a reusable plate, bowl, and silverware at work, always bring my own mug to the coffee shop (and get $.25 off my coffee!!), and use my Nalgene for water rather than buying individual bottles. Oh, we also compost!!

Sarah said...

I carry a largish bag as a purse and decline a shopping bag if my purchases can fit into it or be carried by hand.

In season, I do much of my grocery shopping at the local farmers market and always use a canvas bag there.

Nancie said...

Happy belated birthday!

I reuse any an all plastic bags that end up in my house, to the point that they no longer hold together. Then I send the shreds to the recycling center.

However, I have some canvas bags and knitted bags and totes I use to try to avoid the plastic grocery bags.

Ellen said...

I have gazillions of cloth tote bags in every conceivable spot, car, home, work, closets, I think there is one growing under my armpits!

Karen Odle said...

I reuse plastic bags as trash can liners or bags to put the waste in when cleaning the litterbox! I do love a knitted mesh bag.....

Trina Brielle said...

Happy (belated) Birthday!!

I swore off plastic bags about a year and a half ago. Since then I've accumulated a lot of reusable bags (mostly free ones from city events). I carry a huge purse which lets me keep a bag or two on hand.

For Christmas this past year I boycotted wrapping paper and instead gifted everything in reusable shopping bags.

Also, I like to cut them up and knit them into cute everyday purses!

antecki said...

Happy belated birthday!

Our family has a stash of canvas bags that we use instead of those horrible plastic bags. When we forget to bring them, we usually just pick up the items if there's just a few and carry them. We get some funny looks when we tell the baggers that we don't want bags, but I feel much better than I would if I caved in and used the plastic.

On the rare occasion (yes, there are a very, very few) that we use the plastic bags, we save them and take them back to the store later. :)

Sherie said...

I'd love to be part of the drawing. I used up my old stash of cotton yarn and knitted a number of market bags. Now we use those instead of the plastic ones at the store. I haven't done it yet, but I plan to use the plastic bags I do have to crochet more re-usable bags. :)

InJuneau said...

We have canvas bags and nylon Chico bags and mesh bags. But the best thing is that I'm going to knit some farmers market bags this fall out of a cotton and linen yarn so we'll have even more reasons to not use plastic bags. (though the few we seem to end up with are reused and reused and reused and then recycled. I do use them to hold drafted fibers for spinning...)

Sara said...

I take canvas or knitted bags with me when I shop. Very few plastic bags enter my house. :)

Miss Judy said...

I use recycle bags that you pay extra for at the grocers. When I do have "blue bags" I use them to send home dirty dishes and clothes from the kids I watch. At least then they get used more then once.

And may I add: I love this " In case of questions, my decisions are final"

kitkatknit said...

Happy birthday!!! I have one of those XXL Ziplock Brand Big Bag made of xtra tuff plastic and has handles. So sorry still plastic. But I haul it around with me everywhere and use it over and over and over. I've had it for a couple of years. Grocerys, hardware store, fiber festivals - everywhere! I also use the reusable cloth totes but the XXL bag is my favorite.

Sara said...

Happy Birthday!

I have canvas bags everywhere I might need one- in the car, at home and at the office. I also have these tote bags that fold up tiny, and I keep that in my handbag for any unexpected purchases. I've gotten to the point where I feel so dirty if I have to accept a plastic bag, like I have a personality flaw or something.

Same goes for Rhinebeck- I bring all my own shopping bags! I guess when I buy a fleece, I can't help but take a plastic garbage bag though.

Melissa said...

What a great prize! Ihave been wanting to try spinning yarn for socks.

We use canvas bags when we go shopping. At first, I found myself forgetting to bring them. So, I keep them in the van now and that has made it much easier. If we purchase something small I don't get a bag. As a matter of fact, I will purchase quite a few things and tell them I don't need a bag because I already have a diaper bag hanging off of my shoulder!

Jan Quarles said...

Happy Birthday!

No plastic bags for me-- I tote my Trader Joe's reusables around everywhere!

Jan

organicstills said...

Thanks for the reverse birthday gift contest! I hope you got many wonderful gifts for yourself too though! ;)

I try not to get plastic bags where possible - if there's only a few small items they go in my purse, or a canvas shopping bag when I remember to bring them into the shop with me. The bags I do end up with though, I don't just throw them out. I'm very diligent to make sure we reuse them as trash bags, or to hold other recycling to be taken out etc.

My favorite bag story was being at the grocery store buying a bottle of wine and I said to the cashier that I didn't need a bag. He looked me straight in the eye and said "Good, I wouldn't give you one anyway!" We both got a chuckle out of it.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

~Natalie~
(organicstills on Rav)

Heather said...

Wow! And yeah, Happy Belated Birthday! I've got a number of cool canvas totes (many from The Fold, which makes 'em doubly cool), and I've also helped to free my ma of plastic bags by making over half a dozen cotton string bags for her, too.

On the odd occasion that I do wind up needing to use a plastic bag, unless it has a huge honkin hole in it when I'm done, it gets folded up to be reused later as garbage can liners. Reuse FTW! :-)

Jenna said...

Happy birthday! I hope you haven't given up on sock-spinning entirely, its the best!

I just don't use plastic bags, plain and simple. I keep a hand-knit cotton "string bag" in my purse and use it for everything I can. At the grocery store, I bring lots of canvas bags, and tupperware if I know I'm buying something in bulk; I let my fruit and veggie purchases go bagless. Plastic bags are really unnecessary and its easy to go without them with a little planning. Its great that you're raising awareness through your blog!

Where Stillness Dwells said...

Happy Birthday! In Wisconsin we use canvas bags and make sure to put them back in the truck right after unpacking. We also use a market bag that we found the pattern for on ravelry. Even ravelry is good for the environment! I just created a recycling group on ravelry, hope you all join us.

The plastic bags I do have are used in felting for shaping and separation. We love to recycle, reuse, and renew. Thanks for such a great blog and a generous offer!

Namaste!

Katie - The Knitting Mama said...

Love (1)! Thanks for offering a prize! I've been using reusable shopping totes for a couple of years - I even bought the ones that Costco has so I don't need boxes when I shop there. I also look for foods with larger packaging and less individually-wrapped servings. I separate the servings with reusable containers like Tupperware and the ones on The Hunger Site that are made with recycled plastic. I also bought some mesh bags at Greenfeet for produce so I don't use the little plastic ones for my fruit and veg. I have yet to find a garbage bag that can stand up to the trash though so we do use a plastic kitchen bag, but we have greatly reduced how much we put in there by composting our food scraps and recycling. We manage to fit all our garbage for the week into one of those sacks and we are a family of five! To keep the compost container from getting super icky, we use the compostable Biobags which makes it easy to dump the whole thing into the compost bin.

Deneen said...

Neat idea and thanks for informing us on Rav.

I use the reusable bags at the store and even shopping bags I have made. I usually turn down the offer for a plastic bag if I am picking up a few things and just carry the stuff.

However, if we do get plastic bags in the house I use them for transporting wet bathing suits, etc and I also use them as trash can liners for the bathroom and computer room.

One grocery store near me has a place where you can bring them to be recycled after use also.

I haven't done the "plarn" yet because I just would never have enough of the plastic bags

Mestina said...

Happy belated birthday! I hate those stupid plastic bags and it makes me cringe to think of all the waste that goes into the garbage. Yuck. We have three of the reusable shopping bags that we take with us even when we go out the motorcycle to make a run to the grocery store. We keep them by the back door where so that we remember to grab them. I make sure to take them to the farmer's market too since the vendors always seem to use plastic bags...so market bags equals problem solved. :)

Adrianne said...

Plastic Bags: Aiee! I remember going to the grocery store in Germany as a kid many, many, many years ago. After paying for my items I just stood there stupidly while the cashier waited for me to pull out my handy dandy bag and load my things in it. I had no idea they did not provide bags and they had never met such an ignorant shopper! There was no way I could carry all my groceries w/o a bag--finally a nice person led me to some discarded boxes and I used one of them to take my things home. So mortifying.

Soon after this, my family started using cotton net bags for shopping here in America. Mortification again! Only Super Geeks used those things here in the 70s.

Now re-usable bags are very fashionable in the States and I am in style finally--it only took 35 years.

My family also avoids plastic bags by dumping the used cat litter way out back to decompose instead of sending it to a landfill encased in a petroleum product.

smilely said...

I take my cloth bags to the market with me so I don't get bags. When I forget the bags and receive plastic bags, I recycle them to my church thrift shop. Sorry I will be sponsoring my daughter for the CROP walk, but have a good time. Happy belated Birthday!

Monica said...

We reuse plastic bags as garbage bags. I have also knit up som emarket bags to use them as reuable shopping bags.

Nancy said...

I use canvas bags whenever possible - I even have a couple with the good 'ol Glen Ridge gaslamp printed on them :o)

As for plastic bags, they're saved for doggie poo pickup and for lining small garbage cans in my home.

I've repurposed several paper bags recently as covers for my kids' textbooks.

Sharilyn said...

Most of my plastic bag accumulation was coming from grocery store so I bought pretty reusable ones (conveniently from the same grocery store) and in order to get me in the habit of remembering them, I would treat myself to brief trip to the dark chocolate section of the bulk food section IF I remembered to bring in the bags. Good old positive re-enforcement. :-) I've no problem remembering my bags. Thanks for the reverse b-day event -- and Happy belated b-day to you

itsjustmeghan said...

happy birthday!
i don't use plastic bags anymore. we have cloth bags we take to the market. if we forget them, we either carry the stuff out to the car sans bags, or we ask for paper. at least then it can be recycled.
i have also been washing and reusing plastic bags when i can.

Mommab@sbcglobal.net said...

I have several canvas bags to take to the grocery store. Some made some bought. If a plastic bag enters our home it becomes a kitty litter poop bag or a doggie poopie bag. I have 1 20lb cat and 2 doxies and beleave me if the bags come in they get used for that!!! Also do you mind if I tweet about your contest? Marion

Eileen said...

I have a set of reusable bags that fold into their own pouches. They take up almost no room and store nicely in my glove compartment so that they are ready for use when we go shopping.

Malia Arguello said...

Happy Birthday!

I also am a user of canvas bags. THough we have a ton of the plastic ones still from before we started using the canvas. I on occasion will take my lunch to work in them so they aren't sitting around and use them all week. Eventually once they get holey and not usable I take them to the recycling box at the grocery store. Though I did see some knitting patterns for them....

meglarz said...

We use the reusable bags at Wegmans all the time - even have my 85 year old father toting his bag with him when he goes to the store. I use them there, at the Farmers Market, Joanns, all over the place! Heck, I've been toting LLBean bags since the early 70's!Also, I don't use ziploc bags at all when packing lunches for my kids, just reusable lock-lock boxes, & insulated lunch tote.
This is a wonderful idea, thanks for getting all of us thinking about more ways to reduce, reuse & recycle!

lizzzknits said...

Like most of us now, I use the fiber bags instead of plastic. I take them also to the farmers market, and to hold my knitting!

CathyC. said...

I shop at aldi's where you can buy strong reusable plastic bags or strong paper bags. We keep them in the trunk of our car so they are always at hand!

Barbara said...

It's two days after your birthday but I just spotted this link on ravelry. I hope you had a good day on the 1st and I hope you have many more happy and healthy years.
I cut down on my use of plastic by always bringing canvas sacks to the market. Sometimes this requires getting the checker to take things out of the plastic bag so I can put it in the canvas ones. Those guys are quick sometimes and they seem to be on automatic.
When I purchase small things at other stores, including my LYS, I stick the item in my ever present knitting bag.
BTW, I went to the North Jersey Fiber Arts festival in Ridgewood last night and they gave out wonderful bright green reusable bags to each entrant.
Another thing I do that I think is important is use a stainless steel water bottle, refilling it from the tap rather than buying bottled water.

Lauren said...

happy belated birthday! I came over from your link on ravelry...

I haven't used a plastic bag in years now... I don't know when I really switched over, but I've been carrying tote bags with me and refusing store bags for a long time. I live in the city and have to have them with me at all times in case I stop by the store on my way home, etc, so I really appreciate my lightweight ones!

sewwhatsports said...

Happy belated birthday!!

I have just started doing more recycling and have purchased the re-useable bags for my grocery shopping. The store I go to gives a .03 rebate for every one of the re-useable bags you use with your grocery order. It may obly be .12 or .15 each time but it will add up and pay for the bags over and over again. Plus--no plastic to take home. A win-win situation if I ever saw one!!

JerzyDevil said...

Happy Birthday!
I usually bring reusable bags everywhere I go. If I forget and theres only a couple items, I'll decline a bag all together. Those plastic bags that I do end up getting despite my best efforts are either used to clean up after the dog or get recycled in the bin in front of the grocery store.

J.D. said...

this is really sweet of you, and fun. What I do to help with wasteful plastic bags, is always re-using them. Usually for bringing my lunch to work. And then I give them to my boss, who uses them at his foodbank for giving away food. I also re-use them for cleaning out the cat box :) We also have canvas totes.

checkersmon said...

Like most everyone else, I too have several of the reusable bags. My favorites are the ones from Trader Joes's, they hold so much and are very easy to carry. I've also begun to make some plarn with bags that I've had here for quite some time. My ultimate goal is to make a project bag with them.
Hope I win ! If I do it could be a birthday gift for me since my birthday is the 15th :)

Skittl1321 said...

To reduce plastic bags we use reusable bags at the grocery store.

It's not plastic bag consumption, but I've also recently switched to bar shampoo to reduce plastic use in the house. I'm loving the shampoo bars!

icicle said...

My husband brings home canvas tote bags from conferences so I use those for shopping but I've also just whipped up some reuseable cotton drawstring produce bags. The cashiers have to open them for the SKU on the fruit & veggies, but I mostly shop at co-ops and no one there seems to mind.
Happy Belated Birthday!

Rowen said...

canvas bags....as much as possible....also at our local health food store, i often ask for cardboard box , recycled from their products, and then take my groceries home in a box. i then either reuse the box to ship fiber stuff or compost it!

thanks for the contest!

Specedt1 said...

We also use canvas bags or wheel everything to the car in the cart without bags and stow them in the plastic storage tubs we keep in the trunk. My sister has also cut plastic bags we do have into strips and crocheted them into shopping bags - a great way to use some of the current stash of bags!

Anyway - happy birthday and thank you for having such a fun and worthwhile contest!

norichan said...

I purchased a number of those Chico Bags: http://www.chicobag.com/p-35-chicobag-original-repete.aspx

They are made from recycled plastic bottles and they scrunch into it's own pocket to fit into my purse! I carry a couple of them everywhere I go... including department stores, grocery stores, yarn stores, etc. It's incredibly handy... I have to say moreso even than those really heavy duty canvas bags purely because I forget to bring those with me! Even if they're in the car sometimes I forget. On the other hand, these are always with me in my purse. :o)

I will also keep a few paper bags in my car in case I buy more than I have bags on me.

Nancy said...

I take reusable shopping bags whenever we go to a store, so we don't have to use their plastic bags.

smilely said...

I use the canvas bags. Of course there are times when I forget them, but I take the plastic bags to my church's thrift shop where they will be used for peoples' purchases.

Lisa said...

Reusable canvas bags, paper bags which I reuse or I reuse the plastic ones again and again, eventually using them as a garbage bag.

needlefingers said...

Well, since several have posted the same thing I do to 'purpose' the ones we do have (kitty litter disposers), how about this . . .

I go to Walmart once a month. No shopping trips two to three times a week = no bags.

Tada! :)

BeckyS said...

What a pretty giveaway. Happy be-lated birthday!!

As for those nasty plastic bags. I admit I still get some on occasion, but only to have some for trashcan liners. (My dh is fanatical about having the trashcans lined..) Other than that, I make my own shopping bags. Either crocheted out of cotton yarn, or sewn out of re purposed or second hand thrifted fabric. I try in my own little way..

Chrissie said...

I buy those reusable hemp bags and carry one in my handbag all the time so I can use it for groceries. I do have a US mailing address.

Amy said...

I really need to do something like this for my spinning stash!
I have an endless supply of reusable shopping bags. To stop using plastic bags for kids snacks I have made snack bags. I use oil cloth for lining and fabric on the outside.
Here is the tutorial I used http://blog.craftzine.com/archive/2009/02/reusable_snack_bag_tutorial.html

Jenn said...

Hello! I have been recycling for as long as I can remember, I was raised that way! And I am teaching my 2 yr old all about it! He helps me put items in the bins!

We have made cloth bags for everything!!! They are fun & cute!! We have given them to our family... it is catching on everywhere!! :) Love it!!