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Let me be your guinea pig, please!

Posted By Beth Terry On May 8, 2008 @ 10:25 pm In Expired,Green Businesses,Plastic Bags,tea/coffee | 15 Comments

Seriously, if you have created something that you think will help us reduce waste and won’t just add to the mountains of garbage, plastic or otherwise, littering our world, send it my way to try out. But don’t send any plastic packaging or I’m liable to ship it right back to ya. I received two nifty items in the last few weeks, both packaged sans plastic and both very cool.

The first was from Bibi Rogers, who has created a company called 4U2ReUSE. Bibi has sent me several emails explaining how important this project is to her and her vision for a healthier planet. While out on a kayaking trip with her son, they came upon a beach littered with plastic bags, the sight of which profoundly affected her. She wanted to do something to solve the problem. Experience told her that carrying reusable bags was the best choice, but often people forget to bring them. What if they had a cute carrier to store their old plastic bags in so they could reuse them over and over again instead of tossing them after one use? Might this be a way to transition people from plastic to reusable bags in the long run?

Her philosophy of bag reuse matches what I wrote all the way back in August [1] about how we should reuse the plastic bags we already have before running out and buying new reusable bags. Since then, cleaning out plastic bags has become a hassle that I subsequently whined about in December [2]. But you know, I think her idea is right on. Through her work, she seeks to promote the following:

  • Saying NO to new plastic bags
  • Reusing plastic bags already in existence
  • Once plastic bags have been reused, disposing of them at local drop-off points to be collected for recycling
  • Not disposing of plastic bags by picking up pet waste or dumping them in the trash
  • Reducing consumption in general, and making sustainable choices

Bibi called her first plastic bag carrier the Ridley, after one of the world’s smallest, most endangered species of sea turtles. She sent it to me wrapped lovingly in recycled paper with hemp cord inside a plain cardboard priority mail envelope. In her note to me, she says that this is how she will be sending them to all her customers. I’ll admit it took me a few weeks to actually open the package, being busy with so many other things. But honestly, I was enjoying just looking at the wrapping!

Inside is the bag, made from 100% hemp with piping of hemp & organic cotton and handle made from grosgrain ribbon remnants. All her other bags are made from either new organic fabric or recycled materials. Even the instruction tag attached to the bag is printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper and attached with a piece of twine. And the bags are sewn at a workshop in L.A. that employs fair labor practices.

The Ridley is meant to hold up to 10 plastic or biodegradable bags and has a little side opening from which you can pull them out like Kleenex. You can toss the Ridley into your purse or backpack or attach with the strap to grocery tote. Having the Ridley attached to a reusable canvas bag might remind folks to bring their own produce bags back to the farmer’s market or grocery store instead of taking new ones. And another bag, the Kemp’s, is made to attach to a dog leash for storing biodegradable poop bags.

So anyway, I wish Bibi all success in her endeavor. Hers is the kind of business we should be supporting!

And another entrepreneurial diva answered my call when I wrote about how I needed a non-plastic packaged reusable filter for my new porcelain plastic-free coffee maker [3]. Organic Needle [4] is that seamstress and she sent me a filter that works like a dream! Made from 100% organic cotton canvas, this #4 cone filter hasn’t gotten clogged once since I started using it daily a few weeks ago. I just scoop out the grounds into my compost container, rinse the remainder with cool water, and I’m good to go for the next mug.

Yes, it takes a bit more work than using a disposable filter, but think of all the trees saved. If you want to see what it looked like before I made coffee in it the first time, here’s a great photo of the filter [5] as demonstrated by Organic Needle’s trusty assistant. The Internet is just great, isn’t it!


Article printed from My Plastic-free Life: http://myplasticfreelife.com

URL to article: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2008/05/let-me-be-your-guinea-pig-please/

URLs in this post:

[1] what I wrote all the way back in August: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2007/08/be-careful-on-reusable-bags-bandwagon/

[2] whined about in December: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2007/12/im-tired-of-all-these-plastic-bags/

[3] my new porcelain plastic-free coffee maker: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2008/04/more-on-coffee-saying-goodbye/

[4] Organic Needle: http://organicneedle.com/blog/

[5] here’s a great photo of the filter: http://organicneedle.com/blog/2008/04/10/good-help-is-so-hard-to-find/

[6] Image: https://plus.google.com/+BethTerry

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