The number of plastic bags we have is getting out of control. Every time we make a trip to the grocery store, we stuff 8 more plastic bags into this drawer in our kitchen, and we can't even close it anymore. We don't have a dog so we never reuse them for anything. We have cloth bags but we never remember to bring them. So I'm learning how to fuse our existing plastic bags and make reusable fold-away shopping bags that I can keep in my purse so that we can be more efficient in the future.
(When I say "efficient" I mean saving energy over time. When more shoppers bring reusable bags, the stores don't order as many paper or plastic bags each week becasue the stores want to save money. That reduces fuel to ship boxes of bags to stores, reduces never ending trash and bag recycling operations, reduces petroleum used to make new plastic bags and trees cut for new paper bags, etc. etc. etc. blah blah blah. But, I digress.)
I found out about fusing plastic from a crafty girl I met in Atlanta, So She Sews, who makes the coolest coffee cozies, hair accessories, and pouches from fused plastic bags. I found this great video from Make Magazine and Etsy that shows how to do it:
After bagging groceries for 1 year and 9 months, I have to say that the "chico" style bags are my favorite because they fold into a small pouch but are big when they're unfolded. They are very strong and fit comfortably on your shoulder when filled with food. I looked around for a sewing pattern similar in style, so that I could make myself a copy-cat version out of fused plastic grocery bags and found this great tutorial from Crafty Ady, a working mom in the UK who sews:
The Fold-Away Shopping Bag Tutorial
I'll just have to sew my smaller fused plastic pieces together to make "cloth" and then I'll start cutting out the pattern. I'll update you later on how it is going. Wish me luck!