Let's consider the life cycle of the average plastic produce bag: manufactured from non-renewable crude oil, these babies are whipped up in pollution causing factories that send them to your grocery store (in pollution causing transportation.) This is where you meet, grabbing a convenient, grocery store supplied, produce bag to throw your weekly smoothie kale in to transport it home. That produce bag will proudly hold your kale until it is thrown away to its new landfill home where it will stay for at least the next 400 years. Depressing, huh?
Alternatively, you can whip up a couple flour sack produce bags that you can use over and over again and can eventually be composted at the end of their long life. Bonus, because they absorb excess moisture off your fruits and vegetables, they can help them last longer in the fridge! (We're looking at you lettuce.)
While you might be a novice sewer, this DIY is as beginner as they come; sewing a simple open square with a drawstring top. It can be whipped up on a sewing machine in about 30 minutes but, could easily be hand-sewn in just slightly more time.
You will need:
- Flour Sac Towels
- Cotton Thread
- Cotton String (or some other kind of string for the drawstring closure)
- Sewing Machine or Hand Sewing Tools
1. Begin by folding one towel in half, creating a wide rectangle with fold on the bottom.
2. Fold short end to short end, leaving a fold on the bottom and right side.
3. Cut along the right side fold. This creates two equal sized "bags."
4. Pin along the cut side, and the side parallel to it, leaving the top open. Sew along the pinned sides.
5. Fold the top/open side over about an inch and pin in place. You are creating the pocket for the drawstring to go into. Make sure to pin only through one side of the fabric to not accidentally enclose the top opening.
6. Sew carefully along your pinned lip, making sure to sew close to the edge of the fabric and not the fold. Leave a roughly one inch space open - this is where you will insert the drawstring.
7. Cut a length of your drawstring material that's 1.5 times the circumference of the opening of the bag. (You are also welcome to eyeball it's length, which is what I did. I also cut another identical length of string to give the drawstring a little more strength.)
8. Feed your drawstring through the hole you left sewing the lip. A good trick for inserting a drawstring is to attach it to a safety pin and feed that pin through the tube.
You now have your own reusable, plastic free, produce bag!