DIY reusable produce bags
On Awkward Duckling I’m all about living a healthy and sustainable life and I try to show all my readers that sustainable living is easy and fun by sharing recipes and useful tips. Today I want to share one of those tips that will come in very handy when you go shopping. One of the easiest ways to reduce waste while shopping is by using reusable produce bags. You can find these bags in all shapes and sizes and they are ideal for shopping for vegetables, fruits, nuts and even other dry ingredients. With these bags you no longer need to use those plastic bags from the shop and you can unpack the groceries at home and store everything in the right container. Think of all the plastic you would save on a weekly basis! You can buy these produce bags in different stores and online shops, but you can just as easily make these reusable produce bags yourself.
All you need to make your own reusable produce bags is:
- a fabric of your choosing
- a sewing machine (although you can get by with needle and thread too)
- a string
- a needle or safety pin (for inserting the drawstring)
Choose your fabric. You could use any type of fabric you wish, but I would recommend using scraps from old linnen or, if you want lightweight bags, a cotton muslin or something else that is flexible and light. This can make a big difference when weighing your groceries, so choose wisely. I personally use simple cloth bags for vegetables and fruits, because I weight them without the bags, and very light bags for anything smaller so I can weigh it with the bag and do not have to pay extra. Choose different sizes for the bags and cut the fabric in those pieces. Remember that you will have to fold the piece of fabric and you will have to sew it, so it will turn out a bit smaller than it looks at first sight.
Now comes the hard part. Fold the fabric with the outside inward and if you want, use pins to keep the fabric in place or mark where you want to sew. Use the sewing machine (or needle and thread) to sew the bottom and the side of the fabric together. Be careful not to sew it all the way to the top on the sides: you will need some fabric there to make the casing for your drawstring. Once you’re done sewing the bottom and side, it’s time to fix the top. Fold the top edge so it will fit your drawstring once it’s sewn together. Then finish this bit on the sewing machine too.
Now it’s time to turn your produce bag inside out and see how well you did. To finish the produce bag, you will need to add the drawstring. Attach a needle or a safety pin to the string. Guide it through the casing until it comes out at the other end. Now your simple, yet incredibly handy produce bag is done! You see how easy it is? You can make as many bags as you want and need and it will save a lot of plastic waste, everytime you go shopping!