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Topic: Canvas Bags

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Subject: Canvas Bags
Date Posted: 3/6/2009 5:15 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 214
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I am trying to get rid of the plastic bags in my house, and I just made a big step forward with it.

Someone on Freecycle advertsise a lot of 100 to 150 canvas bags, silk-screened with teir logos from a conference, and other businesses. I jumped on it! I got them, and am now keeping a bunch in my car for when I go shopping. I want my husband and children to do the same, but they haven't yet - maybe they will start this weekend :-)

I was slightly embarassed using them yesterday at the vegetarian health food store. You see, the company they came from are the Meat Sellers, and the other businesses are mostly dealing with meat! Oh well. I would rather be using these bags than eating their meat :-)

Date Posted: 3/7/2009 2:47 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,426
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Heh. If the logo bothers you can you turn them inside out?  Some of ours that would work on, some wouldn't.

I try to keep several in the car and one inside.  I pack the one inside with things I need to take out (such as PO books!), but the others in the car means they are where I need them.  I also keep one in my backpack--had to find one that folded really flat--as emergency overflow when I'm taking my backback b/c I'm walking/biking.  Tucked it into the laptop flap.

Subject: Grocery bags
Date Posted: 3/7/2009 9:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/8/2008
Posts: 5
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I live in Florida, and the Publix grocery chain encourages customers to bring their own bags.  In fact, they sell them in several patterns.  My husband couldn't resist MIami Dolphins bags!  I keep all of them folded up inside one, then they are ready to go when I go shopping.  I have other canvas bags, but they aren't as big. 

Now I smugly pull out the bags at the checkout, and feel virtuous.

Date Posted: 3/8/2009 10:41 AM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2008
Posts: 30
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I wish stores would start charging for plastic bags...I bet people would then use a lot more canvas bags or do without! That or give people a discount for using the canvas...
Date Posted: 3/8/2009 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 189
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VG's gives a discount for using plastic bags.  For years, I've been opting not to have a bag with my groceries if I can carry them out... and I've never gotten a discount... but I've found recently that if I bring my own bag, I usually get $0.03-0.05 off of my bill for every bag.  I just have trouble remembering to bring them.

Jari, you might want to further support freecycle by purchasing a couple of their patches to cover up the meat logo.

Date Posted: 3/9/2009 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,426
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We have one store that gives us a nickle for every bag (they pack them, so we can't bring in one per item or something).  I like that--if I wasn't annoyed at the store for other reasons we'd shop there more.

It isn't as consistent as I'd like--it's become reliable if we are using the canvas bags, but we tend not to get our nickle if we are using a backpack.

Date Posted: 3/10/2009 11:02 AM ET
Member Since: 1/16/2008
Posts: 397
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I have tons of reusable bags in a variety of types.  I love Chico bags because they are so compact when not in use but they can't hold as much weight as the other bags I have.  I keep those in my glove compartment for random things like a quick trip into the store for 1-2 things, bags to hold accident wet clothes (gotta love potty training), cleaning up the car, etc.  I use a Chico bag to hold my current knitting/crochet project also, I love that I have the tiny storage bag with drawstring inside the bag so I can have my small accessories in there & don't have to have them floating somehwere in the bag with my yarn.  I also have a bunch of bags that fold up like paper bags that get used for large grocery trips, taking books to the PO, holding toy sets with lots of parts, etc.  Then I also have pack-n-tote bags that are great for trips to the warehouse clubs as they're the largest & hold the most weight -I can actually fit multiple large packages in each one. 

I only wish baggers would realize how much you can actually put in a reusable bag, I spend 5min in my trunk every time rearranging things & cutting down the number of bags I'll actually be taking inside with me.  On the other hand though, the way the baggers do it I do get credit for closer to the number of plastic bags I've saved them instead of the number of my own bags I'll actually use.

Date Posted: 3/11/2009 10:49 AM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2007
Posts: 119
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Chico Bags are great!  I bought several of them and gave them away to family members for Christmas.  I love that they are so compact.  I usually just carry them in my purse.  I don't use them though when I go shopping for groceries.  I usually only use them when I only have a few items like when I shop at CVS or Target.

I use reusable shopping bags that the grocery store sells when I go shopping there.  They give me 5 cents credit for each reusable bag that I use.  I also find that these types of bags are excellent for carrying books when I attend a book sale.  They really do hold a lot!

Date Posted: 3/11/2009 10:53 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 12,003
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Check out Target's $1.00 section.  They have a fantastic canvas bag there that folds up pretty flat and zips into a pouch.  Only 99 cents and it really folds flat enough and compact enough to put in an average sized purse.  I love mine and carry it everywhere!  Sure helps cut down on plastic bags.

I don't use reuseable ones at the grocery store and always ask for paper bags because I resue the paper sacks.

Date Posted: 3/12/2009 4:40 PM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 5,297
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Could you put an iron on patch over the logos?


Date Posted: 3/12/2009 5:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2006
Posts: 54
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Does any one live in or near South Carolina? My husband is a Gamecocks fan. I wasnt to find a few reusable Gamecocks bags. I haven't been able to find any online yet.

We have pretty boring bags where I am, unless I order online. We have walmart, kmart, and Joe boxer at kmart. Occasionally I see Alabama and Auburn team bags at kmart also.

Date Posted: 3/22/2009 12:17 AM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2009
Posts: 869
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Here in San Francsico, they've banned plastic bags at chain stores such as Safeway and Walgreens.   Now they only offer paper.  Safeway and a few other stores give you back 3-5 cents ... Whole Foods gives you 5 cents back or if you want, you can put a chip at one of the little organizations they are partnered with.

I bought bags from resuseablebags.com which has a great varity of bags to choose form along with BrightandBold.com who has free shipping ...


Date Posted: 3/23/2009 7:14 AM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2006
Posts: 229
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I wanted to chime in because hearing about people using canvas bags makes my heart happy! =0)

Just a tip for those looking for great priced canvas bags: I have found all of my canvas bags at Goodwill!  They were typically $1.00 a piece AND it's further reuse of donated items! =0)

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 11:14 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
Posts: 1,520
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I've bought some at Goodwill; gotten some free ...the liquor store was giving away nice heavy canvas ones that were donated by a vineyard as a promotion...not sure it worked since I can't remember the name of the vineyard!!! lol  I bought 3 6-packs of beer (on sale...stocking up) and the checker gave me three of them!!!  Plus others I've acquired over the years.  My favorite...from Goodwill...Cats Books Life is Good!  Use that one to tote books to the PO!

Date Posted: 4/4/2009 10:47 AM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2008
Posts: 26,670
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I'm told that the Walmart here in Jersey will soon be doing away with plastic bags altogether, so we'll have no choice

but to use canvas there.  We get a good selection of styles from the stores.  I've got some really pretty ones from the

ShopRite supermarket (including a couple of NY Giants!)  The ShopRite also sells the bags in various sizes, which is

handy. I really want to get the one from Barnes & Noble next

time I actually buy a book (instead of swapping them).  Theirs are really pretty too.

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 6:50 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 83
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I want to make the switch to canvas bags as I don't have any.

Date Posted: 4/11/2009 4:36 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 706
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I have a few canvas bags - and I think I will work at getting more so that I can use them at the grocery store. The plastic bags are so thin now days and there is talk here about being charged for bags soon.   I would prefer to bag/box my own groceries anyway and usually my husband does it when we go.   Putting stuff in the van is easier if it's in stronger bags or boxes anyway.   

Date Posted: 4/11/2009 9:04 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 69
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Our King Supers started selling 1$ bags and I bought half a dozen of them. They all fold up pretty well, and I can fit all of them into one, so I keep it in my car and take it in whenever I buy groceries. Supers will give you a discount (I think .05) for every bag you bring with you, even if the bagger ends up not needing one, which has happened to me before.

Plus, today I made the rounds of used book stores, and I took one of those bags into each store with me. No discount, but no wasted plastic bag either, so I'm happy! :D

Subject: i switched over a year ago
Date Posted: 4/13/2009 3:21 AM ET
Member Since: 8/2/2005
Posts: 11
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I made the switch more than a year ago to cloth bags. I had a few bags that I had gotten for making donations, or gotten free. Since then I've made several bags. I use them every where - the mall, drugstore, walmart, target (now that we have one), and supermarkets. I bring a few with me even when I travel so I use them while on vacation.

It's especially useful for me since I live in a condo on the 14th floor. Often times I bike to the store, and the bags hold up better in my bike baskets. And they are tons easier to carry!

Go canvas!




Date Posted: 4/15/2009 11:24 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2005
Posts: 392
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I use canvas bags all the time for groceries but often forget them for anything else or run out since we tend to do all the shopping in one day so we don't have any left after getting groceries. But we reuse plastic Target bags and such around the house anyway. I'd like to make my own fused bags for carrying my knitting and books in when I go to my spouse's bike races and I have two heavy duty recycled plastic bags that I use for my thrifting expeditions.

Subject: Thanks!
Date Posted: 4/20/2009 6:04 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 214
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Thanks for the suggestions about the logos on the bags. I think I'll try to not be embarassed about them, as they were free and I Am being green by re-using them. :-) People know I'm weird anyway, so it won't be a surprise to anyone :-)

I have put more than a dozen in my vehicle, and I keep a couple in my purse. I've been using them often! I have also been giving them away, by singles and handfuls. Other than theones who I give them to, the people don't look at the logos, so I think I'm safe :-)

Over here, Albertsons grocery was giving a nickle for every bag of your own that you brought. Sometimes they gave it for the number you actually brought, while other times it was for the number you used. The store is now closed, so I can't get my nickle anymore :-(

Date Posted: 4/22/2009 7:05 PM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2009
Posts: 104
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My favorite reusable bags are the ultracompact varieties that fold into a tiny pouch about the size of a small fist. I've got a bunch of them that I keep in a stuff sack in my car, and their size makes it easy to carry one in a purse, backpack, or even a pocket. I've also got some reusable produce bags in the stuff sack.

ReusableBags.com has a pretty broad selection for folks who can't find good stuff locally, but there are also online instructions for making your own ultracompact bags at sites like http://www.chicaandjo.com/2008/03/21/make-your-own-reusable-shopping-bags/.


Last Edited on: 4/22/09 7:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/22/2009 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2007
Posts: 1,051
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At Safeway, I get my .03 credit per bag when I bring my own. DH and I carry two empty backpacks and a whole handful of Acme bags for grocery shopping, then we tote is all home via the public bus.

California is trying to get AB 2058 passed, that bill would that would add a tariff on each plastic grocery bag. http://tiny.cc/zR2f9

Date Posted: 4/23/2009 1:04 PM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2009
Posts: 104
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I have a bunch of those Acme bags, and I like them. I also have some Take Me Totes and reusable produce bags.

Last Edited on: 5/9/09 4:55 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/25/2009 12:47 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,426
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I finally got a bag with the local food co-op logo on it.  They give them away, but they were out.

Now I have to remember to take another bag in.  They have a take-a-bag, leave-a-bag hanging area when you come in. I think it's a neat idea.  I didn't have a bag to drop off when I got one of theirs, but I see it empty way too often.

Maybe I'll watch for them at rummage sales this spring and take in any I find.  I feel silly buying one elsewhere to hang up, but I want to encourage the idea. :)