The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish
November 1, 2010

Reusable Cloth Sandwich / Snack Bags Review

[January 2014 Update:  Sadly, my favorite cloth baggie company, Graze Organic, went out of business this year.  I’ll be working on an updated post about reusable cloth baggies in the near future.]

Disposable plastic sandwich and snack baggies are some of the biggest sources of lunchtime waste. When I was growing up, I brought at least two or three of them to school every day: one covering my sandwich and a couple more protecting my carrots and Cheese Doodles. But we have a ton of reusable cloth baggie choices now. All of them are better than disposables. But they are not all created equal. Here’s the rundown…

Graze Organic Cotton Sandwich/Snack Bags

I love the Graze Organic bags because not only is the fabric natural cotton without any plastic lining, but it’s also organic. The bags come in several different sizes to fit sandwiches and snacks. While they may not be as leak-proof as plastic-lined baggies, I believe they are healthier.

cloth sandwich or snack bag

Graze Organic is giving away a set of 3 bags to a lucky Fake Plastic Fish reader. See the end of this post for instructions on entering the drawing.

Update:  The winner of the Graze Organic bags is Denise Yribarren.  Congratulations!

Also, Graze is offering a 15% off discount from now through 11/14/2010. Use promo code: fpf at the bottom of the Graze Organic check out page. After entering the code, you must click on “Apply” to redeem the coupon.

UpCycled Cotton Baggies

Sustainable Homestead makes baggies from repurposed cotton fabric. Not only do these bags reduce plastic waste but also cotton fabric waste. I’m offering one Sustainable Homestead cotton baggie to a Fake Plastic Fish reader. See give-away rules below. Update: The winner of the upcycled fabric bag is Anna@Green Talk. Contratulations!

cloth sandwich or snack bag

Recycled Umbrella Baggies

My friend Cat lives in New York City, where she scrounges for broken umbrellas. They’re not hard to find. She brings them home, gives them a bath, and turns the fabric into Blustery Day Flip Flap sacks — leakproof snack baggies. These baggies are not plastic-free and not for you if you won’t want any plastic in contact with your food.  But I do love that they are made of a material that would otherwise have been trash. And I love that there is minimal processing required since Cat is taking already existing fabric and repurposing it, rather than, for example, grinding down a plastic bottle to make into fabric.

cloth sandwich or snack bag

I’m giving away this set of 2 recycled umbrella bags to a lucky Fake Plastic Fish reader. See instructions below. Update:  The winner of the Blustery Day baggies is greg.  Congratulations!

Cotton/Hemp Wraps Coated with Beeswax

Abeego snack and sandwich wraps are made from “hemp/cotton fabric infused with a blend of beeswax and plant extracts.”  I like the idea of using beeswax to waterproof the wraps instead of plastic.  I haven’t tried this product, but I’d probably recommend it whole-heartedly if the company would disclose the plant extracts in the coating.

Citing proprietary concerns, Abeego does not make public all the ingredients in its plastic-free coating.  And how can I in good conscience condemn plastics manufacturers for refusing to disclose the chemical additives in their products and let “natural” product companies off the hook?  Just because something is derived from a plant extract doesn’t make it safe.  I want to know what all the chemicals are that are in contact with my food.

That said, Abeego wraps are certainly a better alternative than those with petroleum-based linings and coatings.

Cloth Snack/Sandwich Baggies from plastic

Now, here is a list of many other reusable sandwich/snack bags I found on the web or that have been sent to me.  This is not a comprehensive list as new bags are popping up every day.  And all  have pros and cons and varying amounts of plastic. But the fact is that choosing these bags over disposable baggies will save a lot of plastic waste in the long run.

Insulated Sandwich/Snack Sleeves made from Recycled Plastic: Blue Avocado’s Fresh Pak is made from post consumer (PET bottles) and post industrial fiber waste.  Pros:  Insulated.  Reduces waste.  Leakproof.  Recycled fiber.  Cons:  Some new plastic.  Plastic in contact with food.

Cotton Sacks lined with Nylon: ReUsiesReSnackits, and WasteNot Saks are 100% cotton bags lined with Nylon for water-resistance. Pros: Reduce waste. Leakproof.  Cons: Some new plastic. Fabric not organic or recycled.  Plastic in contact with food.

Cotton Baggies with Polyurethane Coating: Lunchskins are made from cotton fabric coated with a “food-safe polyurethane liner.”  Pros:  Reduce waste. Leakproof.  Cons:  Some new plastic. Fabric not organic or recycled.  Plastic in contact with food.

Cotton Baggies with Nylon & Polyurethane Coating: Snack Taxis are made from cotton fabric with a polyurethane coated nylon lining.  Pros:  Reduce waste. Leakproof.  Cons:  Some new plastic. Fabric not organic or recycled.  Plastic in contact with food.

Fabric Wraps with LDPE lining: Wrap-n-Mat wraps fold out into a placemat.  They are made from fabric (the exact type of fabric is not listed on the web site) with a low-density polyethylene (#4 plastic) lining.  Pros:  Reduce waste. Waterproof.  Cons:  Some new plastic. Fabric not organic or recycled.  Plastic in contact with food.

Nylon Resuable Sandwich/Snack Bag: ReUsit bags are made from 100% Nylon.  Pros:  Reduce waste. Waterproof.  Cons:  All virgin plastic. Plastic in contact with food.

LDPE Reusable Sandwich/Snack Bag: The Kids Konserve Food Kozy is made from 100% LDPE (#4) plastic.  Pros:  Reduce waste. Waterproof.  Cons:  All virgin plastic. Plastic in contact with food.

EVA Plastic Reusable Baggies: Fresh Snack Pack is made from 100% EVA (Ethylene-vinyl acetate) and can be wiped clean. Pros:  Reduce waste. Waterproof.  Cons:  All virgin plastic. Plastic in contact with food.

Make Your Own Lunch Baggies

Why buy someone else’s lunch baggie if you’re handy and can make your own?  FreshLifeDesignCo provides patterns, pictures, and instructions for creating your own set of insulated reusable sandwich and snack bags.   The bags do seem to be lined with plastic. But the beauty of making your own is that you decide what materials to use.  If your priority is to do without any plastic, leave that part out.  If it’s important to you that the bags be waterproof, use what makes sense for you.

Support Etsy Sellers

As I mentioned, my list is by no means comprehensive.  In addition to the companies listed, there is a whole host of craftspeople like my friend Cat selling their reusable cloth sandwich and snack bags on Etsy.com.  Search for “sandwich bag” or “snack bag” and you’ll find thousands of listings.  You could spend all day perusing your choices.  But isn’t it nice that we do have so many alternatives to disposable baggies to choose from?

Win REusable cloth lunch bags

To enter the give-away, please leave a comment below with the order of your preferences (Graze Organic bag, Blustery Day Nylon umbrella bags, Upcycled fabric bag) and one thing you will do this week to cut disposable plastic from your life.  I’ll announce the winners in a couple of weeks. Update:  The winners have been chosen.  See updates above.

Disclosure:  Give-away products were provided for free by Graze Organic, Sustainable Homestead, and The Green Cat.

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86 Comments on "Reusable Cloth Sandwich / Snack Bags Review"


Guest

[…] of Plastic Free Life has a list of lunch packaging options and she states the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ […]

Guest

[…] Bring your own reusable container for take-outs at restaurants that serve in plastic or Styrofoam.  Even ask the butcher at your grocery store to package your food in your reusable container.  And pack your lunches in these reusable containers, as well.  A reusable container could come in the form of stainless steel tiffins or non-toxic sandwich bags made from cotton.  A couple of resources are http://www.happytiffin.com and a great review on various sandwich bags and wraps comes from My Plastic Free Life. […]

Guest

[…] 14. Can or dehydrate foods, or avoid plastic storage bags (really cool cloth bags are found here). 15. Make your own snacks (most all snacks come in plastic bags!). 16. Compost food waste. 17. […]

Guest
Plastic, Plastic Everywhere And In Our Air | Moms Clean Air Force
2 years 11 months ago

[…] utensils. Send kids to school with reusable lunchboxes or bags and stainless steel containers or washable cloth snack/sandwich baggies. Carry a set of bamboo or other utensils to avoid plastic ones. Bring your own food containers to […]

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Christine
4 years 4 months ago

I found the article really interesting, and would probably choose to have a number of cotton bags (with spares for laundry time) and store them in something liket he umbrella bags.
And I really enjoyed the various comments that I read.
One thing that did strike me, however, is the effects of the extra laundry. I personally do not fancy the idea of food, even sandwiches or whatever fairly dry, in the same bag even 2 days in a row. That seems, to me, to be inviting problems.
Don’t get me wrong – I do not believe that super-hygiene is the healthiest way to live. But nor do I think that it’s a great idea to potentially be inviting problems by lack of hygiene or cleanliness.
And extra laundry then begs other questions for green living!

Guest

[…] but I know a lot of people are, so I thought I’d link to this page that reviews several reusable cloth sandwich snack bags.  The site is a treasure trove of plastic-free ideas.  Cloth baggies can be a bit pricey, but […]

Guest

[…] Reusable Cloth Sandwich / Snack Bags Review and Give-away (fakeplasticfish.com) […]

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Yuki
4 years 7 months ago

My first choice is Upcycled fabric bags because they are truly plastic free and because i don’t really need something waterproof. If I want a waterproof container I will choose a glass or stainless steel container. Another cool thing: they are machine washable!

So here they are:

1- Upcycled fabric bag
2- Graze Organic bag
3- Blustery Day Nylon umbrella bags

I want to make my own for a long time now but but I never seem to get the time…

As for what I will be doing this week to reduce plastic waste is starting to use cloth wipes instead of toilet paper (for pee only). I do it more to reduce my paper consumption even if I buy only recycled toilet paper but where I live I have no choice to buy toilet paper wrapped in plastic so by reducing the amount of toilet paper I need, I will reduce that plastic waste.

Thanks for this awesome giveaway!

Yuki
yuki@michelf.com

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Lea
4 years 7 months ago

Holy Crike! My colleague just wrote a power point presentation on Plastics and Reproductive Health and it’s completely freaked me out – she mentioned your website so I’m grateful for the suggestions (sadly I read all this during lunch….)

What I’ll do this week – throw out ALL my plastic lunch tupperware and purchase glass lunch containers! And start posting information about going plastic free. And then I’ll have to get rid of the large plastic water bottle on my desk that I use for tea ……

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Corinne
4 years 7 months ago

I hope I’m not too late to get in on this. We are doing a slow but steady trek towards no plastic in our family. Our little girl is going to start going to a daycare soon, one that we chose specifically because they only use cloth diapers, and she’ll need some cloth baggies for her snacks. I could, of course, make her some. But if you’re giving them away that’s even better! :) We would love the Upcycled fabric bags, the Graze Organic bag and then last (but not least: yay to your friend!) the umbrella bags. Thank you.

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andria
4 years 7 months ago

Just found this site and love the info and ideas. Thinking unbleached wax paper wrapped when needed in a cotten baggie is a great idea! Thanks
And here’s my order of preference- Graze Organic bag, Blustery Day Nylon umbrella bags, Upcycled fabric bag

Guest
Vaughan Greene
4 years 7 months ago

Just found the site. Very interesting and informative. Maybe I’m just old but doesn’t anyone remember good ole wax paper? When I was a kid, that’s what your lunch sandwich was wrapped in. And that went into a lunch box. Still works great. Also, they make those little shower cap bowl covers that come in many sizes. Great for storing food in the fridge. I use these items and I recycle any of the re-closeable and sturdy bags that come my way.
Keep on trying to do better. Be aware.

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Kate
4 years 7 months ago

Packing a plastic free lunch for my kid is a bit of a struggle – I use glass and stainless steel but would love to have any kind of reusable bag for snacks. Having more options around the house makes it easier on my wonderfully understanding yet still stuck in his old ways husband.
Last week we started using soap nuts, and this week I plan on starting my “starter kit to be plastic free” Christmas packages which include mesh bags for produce, a mason jar of soap nut soap, a portable grocery bag, a stainless steel straw, a conditioner bar and a list of suggestions for around the house.

Kate

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Leslie
4 years 7 months ago

I’d love these for use for myself and my little brother in the order of

Graze Organic bag, Upcycled fabric bag, Blustery Day Nylon umbrella bags

Awesome contest! Thank you for providing it for us.

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Donna K
4 years 7 months ago

Just clicked on the 3 sites that you are offering giveaways from and whether or not I win, I plan to order the:
REUSABLE SANDWICH BAGGIE s from Sustainable Homestead! They are nylon lined and no BPA! Just saw the 20% discount from Cayce…will defenitely take advantage of that! Believe it or not, my youngest that is 17 still likes me to make her sandwich for school and this is something she hopefully won’t have a problem using! My family is used to me with all the “green” changes I’ve made in our household and everytime I put her sandwich and strawberries in those sandwich bags, I wonder what else I could use! I do have wax sandwich bags that I plan to use but as Erika asked, is that truly safe?! Also saw that Monique plans to buy butcher paper…my search will be on too!
After watching last Saturday’s Live Broadcast, I have been reminding my family NOT to heat anything up in plastic! I too will try to store in Glass! Our town recycles 1-7 which made me so happy but that doesn’t mean overusing the plastic! To me it means that if we do use plastic, at least we don’t have to Throw it Out!
Buying a Reusable Shopping bag for my husband to keep in his truck for those, “can you pick this up on your way home” grocery trips!

Order of my choices:
Graze Organic bags
Sustainable Homestead cotton baggie
Recycled Umbrella Baggies

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

Hi – I read your awesome plastic free guide and found what I was looking for! Thank you! I’ll definitely pass on the link on my blog- it’s a great resource!

Be well,
Jo

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

This is super helpful. There are two areas where I use plastic and would like to stop: I use plastic wrap. When I got married four years ago I got a giant roll from Costco (not thinking of all the plastic I’d be using) and I’m still using that roll. I think I can, and will, make the switch to wrapping cheese in wax paper (or foil, which I can reuse?).

The second area is with produce and wholesale grains/cereals etc. I’ve seen members at the local coop come in with fabric bags to put their flour/cereals/grains etc in, but I haven’t yet seen bags the right size online. I’ll look some more at your site, because I’ll bet you have a recommendation. Perhaps making them myself from left over umbrella fabric is actually not a bad idea!

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Sonja
4 years 7 months ago

I’m proud to say that this week I gace up shower gel. I still have some wich I keep for emergencies (when I just really want to smell that stuff), but for the daily wash I completely changed over to bar soap. I found it very difficult to chose one because the vast majority for bar soaps here are made for hand washing, but I think the one I’ve got now is good. (and organic)

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Carla
4 years 7 months ago

I would love to win the baggies, any will be great, but prefer: 1) Graze Organic bag, 2) Blustery Day Nylon umbrella bags 3) Upcycled fabric bag. One thing I will do this week, is to be adamant in refusing straws when out and about.
thanks

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Karen
4 years 7 months ago

I have a website offering eco friendly AND fair trade products as fundraisers for schools and other non profits. A big seller is many of the items listed…I do try very hard not to have any plastic at all for sale on my site. One you have left out that I really love…ecolunchgear. Their wraps and snack sacks are organic and lined with nylon. Check them out! My kids have been bringing plastic free lunches to school for over 7 years and we still have lots of comments from parents, teachers and other students about the “cool” stuff their food is in. We are also still using some of the original items I purchased all those years ago in preschool!

Guest
Majeeda
4 years 7 months ago

Beth -thank you, thank you. Just the advice I needed. :)

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Majeeda
4 years 7 months ago

@ Sylvia – Me too!!

I notice that my veges don’t last as long in the fridge unless there are in a plastic bag ): I have been meaning to try one of my nylon (plastic, hmmph) produce bags to see if it makes a difference but I’ve been putting that off since I only have a few of them. Have you tried anything like that and did it work?

If anyone has a solution, please share :)

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Sylvia
4 years 7 months ago

Graze, Upcycled, Blustery Day… Now if I could only find a good substitute for produce bags in the fridge!

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

Thanks, Beth, for including my Etsy shop, SustainableHomestead, in your giveaway! You are such an inspiration and have so many great ideas. It’s amazing how many people think that if your sandwich isn’t wrapped in plastic then it’s going to be rock hard by lunch. Not true! I love using our upcycled cotton baggies for all sorts of things!

If you mention that you saw my items on this blog when you place your order, you will receive a 20% discount – good through Dec 10.

Buh-bye single use plastic!

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Majeeda
4 years 7 months ago

We’ve just started using these bags and are finding them very useful. I find the waxed cloth a very interesting idea though I haven’t tried it. I found a link for instructions to make your own the other day too.

At my children’s school unfortunately when they are in the first grade we are actually told to bring part of their lunch in throw-away wrapping rather than reusable! Fortunately once they move up into the next grade, and for the rest of school, the parents then have the choice.

Guest
Rosa
4 years 7 months ago

Oh, I love the idea of the umbrella bags. If I don’t win them I may have to make some!

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Angie
4 years 8 months ago

I don’t use plastic bags, but I have been using cloth napkins lately to wrap up my kid’s sandwiches. I’d love to try the Graze bags… they’re great.

What I’ve been doing to cut down on plastic is buy only non-plastic packaging as much as possible (glass ketchup, milk, etc). A new step I’ll be doing is to gather up plastic grocery bags that seem to accumulate at my workplace and take them to one of the many recycling centers.

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

Graze Organic bag, Blustery Day Nylon umbrella bags, Upcycled fabric bag

I am going to a conference this weekend. I am bringing my reusable water bottle and using a stainless steel container for a sandwich and snacks for the road.

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

Umbrella bags, graze bags, upcycled cotton bags.

I will cook homemade meals every night this week rather than buy ready-made meals packaged in plastic!

Guest
Cat
4 years 8 months ago

I’m going to commit to not buying anything in plastic packaging at my trip to the grocery store tonight. Then I’ll get a chance to see which things I normally buy aren’t packaged in plastic and which are and I can plan for the future trips to continue to aviod the packaging. Thanks! The bags in order of my preference are: Graze Organic bag, Upcycled fabric bag, and Blustery Day Nylon umbrella bags

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

1-Graze; 2-Upcycled; 3-Recycled Umbrellas. One thing I now do to reduce use of one-use plastics is to put plates instead of cling wrap over bowls of food when microwaving. Keeps the microwave just as clean with no fears of melting plastic infiltrating my foods!

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

Great way to get rid off the plastic bags.
I would like to buy it for me and support the cause for anti use of plastic.

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Pat
4 years 8 months ago

I would love the blustery day flip flaps . What a cool idea. I already do a litterless lunch but would give these to my daughter for her lunches at college. I am planning to make shopping bags out of the dog food bags we are getting now. I hate to waste those big heavy woven bags. I hope to find more uses for them too.

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

Thanks for including my FlipFlap sacks in your post Beth. What a great compilation of options! Remember that reusable bags are great for all kinds of things–not just your snacks! I keep my sewing supplies in one when I am traveling. For anyone who wants to avoid fabrics with plastic in them, some of the original FlipFlap Sacks in my shop are made from cotton fabrics (leftovers from other projects).

I’d also like to offer a special discount to all Fake Plastic Fish Readers: Order any FlipFlap Sack before the end of the year and take 10% off. Just use code FPF10 in the Notes to Seller section. And if you don’t see a FlipFlap in the size or color you want, contact me and I’ll make one for you.

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claire
4 years 8 months ago

oh my! what an awesome post. i am on the website today to print the Berkeley Farmer’s Market list of how to keep produce fresh in your fridge without plastic. this week i am contacting my CSA box to say i don’t want the box to come lined with a big plastic bag — i just found out that’s actually an option — and i cut out the use of plastic in my fridge for the first time, by lining my two crisper drawers with moist towels before loading in the fresh veggies. i also put my chard and celery in water on the counter instead of in the fridge in plastic.

yesterday, i finally made my own laundry detergent, out of borax, washing soda, and soap…. but i made a powdered version, and i think that since i’m washing in cold only, i may have to try to make the more complicated liquid recipe next time around… so there’s another chunk of plastic i avoided!

i am thinking of buying my family reusable bags for xmas… so thanks for this timely post.

the order of preference for me is: graze organic, upcycled, umbrella bag.

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greg
4 years 8 months ago

I love the bags made from recylcled umbrellas what a wonderful service Cat is providing. I have a new baby and the hospital gave us one time use plastic bottles that you throw away as soon as the baby uses them. While convient for use we refused them and are using glass bottles we can use over and over. Also I am using G diaper while not perfect they use less materials and break down rapidly. In fact the wet ones I can compost. greg

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

Sorry I didn’t have time to read all of these good posts. Keep in mind that recycling is not working!!! Especially for little things like plastic baggies. Not much of a solution regardless…downcycling. Growing up we used waxed paper for sandwiches. Today, I use the liners from cereal boxes. Not sure of their “purity”. Keep telling the stores that we don’t want plastic! So hard to find things in bulk and in glass here in San Diego. Many companies are experimenting on biodegradable plastics, but I don’t see anything yet that I trust. Beth, Have fun on Tedx. We are with you in spirit.

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surviving and thriving on pennies
4 years 8 months ago

I recently bought new Thermo soup containers that are all metal. These replaced our old plastic ones my kids have used for a few years now. Now i’m proud to say they are 80% plastic free lunches now. Next to replace will be their water bottles which are bpa free but still plastic.
We use upcycled bags my friend made my girls but also I have bought several. SnackTaxi makes great bags and I also have bought some from New Seasons. We have not used zip type bags for 3 years now.
I would love to win any of these bags because my twins will be in first grade soon and I have not bought them any fabric bags just yet . Thanks Beth!

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Sharonus
4 years 8 months ago

The one thing I have done this week to cut disposable plastic from my life is to start carrying a Klean Kanteen insulated bottle with me! I had been trying to carry two separate bottles – a non-insulated Klean Kanteen for water and a steel coffee mug. I kept forgetting the coffee mug and the non-insulated Klean Kanteen would burn my hand if I tried to put coffee in it. The guilt of getting “just one more coffee” in a paper cup (with a plastic lid!) got to me. I started using the Klean Kanteen insulated bottle yesterday and I love it! It was actually a gift for my mother so I’ll have to get her another one. :)

My order of preference for the bags is: Graze Organic bag, Upcycled fabric bag, Blustery Day Nylon umbrella bags.

Thanks, Beth! :)

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Nicole-Lynn
4 years 8 months ago

Wow, didn’t know they made these. I’d love to win the snack bag!

Seasidesmitten@aol.com

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Diane Hudson
4 years 8 months ago

Growing up we had our sandwiches wrapped in greaseproof paper and put into a paper bag (all bags were saved from shopping). We had to make our paper bag last all week. Even if we had something like tomato in our sandwich it wasn’t too much of a problem. My mother hated plastic wrap when it became available because she could never find the end of the roll but she followed the herd and bought it. I now use re-usuable plastic containers (until they fall apart – then I will move to metal) for all my lunch requirements. I have sewn muslin and calico bags for fruit and vegetables. Mushrooms and carrots keep better in the muslin compared to paper bags.

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

Order of preference: Blustery Day Nylon umbrella bags, Upcycled fabric bag, Graze Organic bag

I’m not quite ready to completely get rid of plastic out of my life but I plan on working towards it in small steps (kind of like my other green projects: bokashi composting and reducing meat consumption). This week I will buy a non-plastic compost bin for my composting needs (and remind the boyfriend to bring in the reusable shopping bags for our grocery run).

Thank you for encouraging us to go green and for showing us the ways we can cope with our less-plastic and plastic-less lives.

Guest
Sara Jennings
4 years 8 months ago

My preference: Upcycled, then Graze organic. I would love these bags as I have been meaning to make my own but have not had time yet. One thing I am focussing on already this week to reduce plastic…

– I am looking after my parents house and dog while they are away for four months and just moved in yesterday to do so. They have a lot more plastic in their house than I do in mine. So to start, I am removing all the plastic items they use that I don’t wish to have around and packing them away for the next few months. Mostly in the kitchen right now.

I am expecting a baby in the spring and would love to start them off with cloth snack bags, once she or he is on solid foods of course!

Thanks for all the great info on this site.

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

Thanks for this post! My order of preference would be: Organic Graze, Upcycled, Umbrella bag.

Two days ago I froze chicken stock in a glass jar instead of a plastic baggie, and I’ll be doing the same thing tonight after I wash out a new jar!

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

Reenie, if you’re looking for some eco-friendly suggestions for the holidays (plastic-free inherent, though membership cards are often plastic, though I’ve been seeing a growing trend towards those that are non-plastic), I wish to share my blog post from last December: http://liberatedspaces.wordpress.com/2009/12/13/skip-the-malls-and-retail-folly/#more-61

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Reenie
4 years 8 months ago

Graze. Upcycled. Umbrella. Am going to start my draft for an article for the online paper, Epoch Times, on ways to give your Christmas a plastic free touch.

Guest
Sonja
4 years 8 months ago

Are readers from Europe allowed to enter too?

If yes, I’d love to have a graze organic cotton bag.

My challenge this week is to do applications with as little plastic as possible. I was already angry that I had to buy fresh, white paper to print everything; I normally only use recycled paper, but I don’t dare send in applications printed on that.
I bought a stack of applications files, which means there is only once the waste of plastic wrapping. Usually every application file that you buy is wrapped individually.

(applications are far more insane in Germany than in the US)

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Missy
4 years 8 months ago

My preference order is: Graze, Blustery, then Upcycled.

I have recently started buying bulk grains. This week I will take the Ball canning jar I have and use those, rather than the plastic tubs I have been using. :)

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

I bought the Fresh Snack Packs for snacks like banana bread and PB&J sandwiches. I haven’t used a ziplock baggie in months. I bought these because they were fairly close to a regular sandwich bag and I thought my husband would complain less.

My personal preferences would be Upcycled, Blustery Day and Graze. I am not that certain that I am concerned about plastic touching non-liquid items so I will have to go with the items that recycle fabrics first rather than use new fabrics.

Guest
Virginia
4 years 8 months ago

In order of preference: Graze Organic bag, Blustery Day Nylon umbrella bags, Upcycled fabric bag — though I would be so all about any of these!

I have recently begun saving all my glass jars (peanut butter jars, jam jars, olive jars… we are swimming in jars) to use for leftovers and other storage needs where I would have gone for plastic in the past. But there are some things where you really need a bag, not a jar… and these are so great! Thanks for hosting the giveaway.

Guest
Cat Martin
4 years 8 months ago

Graze Organic bag, Blustery Day Nylon umbrella bags, Upcycled fabric bag

Before this site, I never paid attention to how much plastic consumed so much stuff. Now I pay more attention and I am overwhelmed at how much plastic there is. So I have pledged to take baby steps to cut the plastic out. This week: I will refuse plastic bags if I forget my reuseable ones.

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Linda B
4 years 8 months ago

Graze, Upcycled, Blustery

This week, I plan to use my last plastic-encased yogurt as the starter for homemade yogurt in reusable glass jars. Made from organic milk in the paper cartons. There’s probably plastic in them, but less than a plastic jug and far less than all the yogurt packaging.

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

I want the blustery day ones! I will bring my own produce bags to the Farmer’s market. I already do that, but lately I have been forgetting. From now on If I don’t have enough bags I wont buy stuff.

Guest
Nicole
4 years 8 months ago

I love this idea! I like the Graze Organic bag best, then the Upcycled fabric bag and the Blustery Day Nylon umbrella bags.
I am a firm believer of the new “R” – refuse. On a daily basis I refuse all plastic bags, cups, plates, wrapping, everything I can. I do not buy food that has been packaged in plastic materials that I cannot somehow reuse. I reuse all of my yogurt containers and now I have just received a set of stainless steel utensils and chop sticks that I ordered online which I have put in my purse to use in place of any plastic forks or spoons. :)

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

These would be great for my kids’ lunches! I like the umbrella bags best, then upcycled, last Graze organic.
My kids’ shampoo bottle is nearly empty. My change this week is to not buy more shampoo for them – Mama has successfully no-pooed with baking soda for a few months. They can too!

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

Upcycled (I love a reuse story), Organic cotton, and then Umbrella. Are you offering tiffins? (Just kidding.)

Guest
Issa
4 years 8 months ago

This week I’m going to try to make some of my own bags! My favorites above (in order) are the Graze Organic bags, Blustery Day Flip Flap Sacks, and the Upcycled fabric bag.

Guest
Jessica
4 years 8 months ago

Graze, Upcycled, Blustery

This week I will make yogurt for my yogurt crazy children. Both kids love it and so do I. I’ve got my thermometer and my gallon of milk. Wish me luck! Now… if only I could convice my husband I’m not crazy, he might even try some.

Guest
Connor
4 years 8 months ago

ohhh, I think I’m going to have to go with Graze, then Upcycled, then Umbrella.

as for cutting down on plastics, we have been taking our own containers to the local Chinese take-out when we pick up dinner on Fridays. I also scored some mesh bags to take to the grocery store with me, so no more plastic veggie bags!

Guest
Denise Yribarren
4 years 8 months ago

I am hopeful for a graze organic bag!

Recently, I made some fabric (remnants) bags to wrap gifts in. I reflected, why not use these bags when I buy loose produce? I was shy about taking my floral and plaid bags to the market using them to purchase lettuce and apples. I was apprehensive about the checker rolling her eyes at me since she would have to look inside my bags. Surprisingly, she thought the bags were charming ( she didn’t look too carefully at my crooked seams) and said she would like to do the same thing! I shouldn’t be so hesitant about trying new ways to be green!

Guest
Kari
4 years 8 months ago

Graze, Umbrella, Upcycled
Thanks so much for all the great info on these bags. This week I’m remembering to pack my own napkins and utensils along w/ my lunch.

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

Ugh, the day after Halloween is a bad day to think about disposable plastic–the waste of that holiday (my 9-y-o son said last night, “I’ve been waiting all day for you to give us some fact about how much plastic waste there is at Halloween.”). In any case, I love the graze bags…so cute. Followed by the umbrella bags, because I think that’s so cool. And then the upcycled bag. In our house, we wash (and wash and wash) plastic bags until they fall to tatters…it’s kind of a big event when a new zip-loc comes into our lives.

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

Love these bags! All of them are stellar, but in order I like: the Graze Organic bag, the Blustery Day Nylon umbrella bags, and then the Upcycled fabric bag.
As far as reducing my already-low plastic consumption: I’ve hidden the plastic wrap! I very infrequently use plastic wrap, but sometimes it’s just the only solution that makes sense. My husband, on the other hand, LOVES plastic wrap and will wrap anything in it… to that end, I’ve hidden the wrap. The less convenient it is to use wrap, the more likely I am to find another alternative!

Guest
Laura Higgins
4 years 8 months ago

Although the Graze bags would be the best choice because they are organic, (and the ones I would most like to win) they take energy and resources to create so I will have to go with the upcycled cotton bag as my top preference–because it is reusing existing material rather than creating a new product. Then I like the Graze bags second–organic all the way is awesome, and the Blustery Day recycled umbrella bags third–because I wouldn’t necessarily want nylon in contact with wet food but it is a great way to keep things dryer. Maybe a cotton baggie could go inside the nylon one if necessary to provide a little more of a moisture barrier. I too had thought the umbrella fabric could be reused and have been saving them to make tote bags out of for grocery shopping.

My plastic-free resolution for the week is to find a way to get organic whole-grain pasta in bulk so I don’t have to deal with all those individual small bags of pasta that end up in the garbage. Next challenge—making my own bread without a bread machine so I don’t have to deal with those bread bags! Tough one but I’ll try to find a way.

LOVE your blog. Love your site. I’ve been mulling over how to go plastic-free for a long time and then a friend directed me to your site. Thanks for all the ideas.

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

This week: freezing homemade tomato sauce in mason jars. I know they take up more space than “flattened” ziplocks, but I’m ready to take the plunge!

p.s. Here’s hoping I can Graze (on a) Blustery Day (from an) Upcycled bag!

Guest
Alyssa Lee
4 years 8 months ago

Thanks, again, Beth for a great post! It was reaourlly the whole idea of using snack wraps that started me on my green kick, and it has been kicking ever since, with much much help to you. Your blogs are always so much fun to read; I marvel at how much time you must spend on us! I’ve been researching ways to get involved on my campus at UCLA and am hopefully going to be a part of the California Student Sustainability Coalition soon.

This week, I am going to continue to forego all paper napkins and towels, continue bringing my lunch, and a new step I’ve undertaken recently – go vegetarian! For the past two weeks, I’ve eaten meat only once a week, but I’m going to try to go meatless all week. Not having much money and not having a meal plan makes it difficult though, since most of our non-meat food is junk food, but I’ll get by! I’m really inspired to forego meat after watching Food, Inc. Thanks for all your advice with going veggie – it’s helped me make the change!

Graze Organic bag, Blustery Day Nylon umbrella bags, Upcycled fabric bag

Guest
Shay
4 years 8 months ago

Blustery Day Nylon umbrella bags, Upcycled fabric bag, Graze Organic bag,

This week I’m researching carbonation systems for my home. I love a little seltzer water to break up the montony of water, but I have to buy many plastic bottles to get it.

Guest
Michael Irvine
4 years 8 months ago

Thanks Beth!!

Your blog inspires me on a regular basis to cut as much plastic out of my life as I can. Thanks to your many tips and real life advice I feel like I make improvements every day. I have been encouraging my wife to make changes as well, which she has. Now I am working with my wife, a second-grade school teacher, to see how we can encourage her students and school to cut their plastic. The word is spreading Beth, keep up the good work.

Graze Organic bag, Upcycled fabric bag. I will respectfully pass on the nylon bags.

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

This is a great idea! Unfortunately plastic bags contribute to polluting our waters. If more people used these reusable cloth bags, it would reduce our waste and protect our waters! To learn more ways on how to prevent stormwater pollution check out lastormwater.info

Guest
Olena
4 years 8 months ago

Graze Organic bag, Upcycled fabric bag, Blustery Day Nylon umbrella bags.

As my older ones just started kindergarten this year – I am faced with the “packing the lunches” and realized that that involves lots of plastic. So since September I am exploring other options. So far bought kids reusable bags from: http://hyenacart.com/agreenerway/ and we like them, metal utensils and metal thermos, cloth napkins.

Next thing is to get (research-price-buy) metal water bottles for older ones and metal sippy cup for baby.

Also, thaks to this blog, made my first yogurt last night! It needs a bit of adjusting but will defenately make our own now, we eat lots of yogurt.

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

Upcycled, Recycled, Graze.

Thanks for the great information! I still use some plastic bags, particularly for messy things. (However, I DO use them until they fall apart, and I’ve been known to bring home sandwich bags discarded from the lunches of the preschoolers I work with. I wash them and they’re good to go!)

I’ve been doing a good job of remembering to take my water bottle into restaurants so I don’t have to order a drink that’s served in plastic!

Guest
johanna
4 years 8 months ago

Blustery, Upcycled, Graze.

This week I won’t buy anything wrapped in disposable plastic. (I know this sounds small, but even though I use cloth for my lunch [& my period! Though different cloth, obviously… !], buy in bulk, decline buying things w/large amounts of plastic packaging, etc. I still fall prey to buying midafternoon snacks at work more than I would like. Even bringing stuff from home doesn’t always help.)

Guest
Erin
4 years 8 months ago

I think what I like most about these bags (in addition to the obvious environmental reasons to use reusable items) is that they change the *human* environment in which they’re used. We pack these in my daughter’s lunch for preschool and always get positive comments and feedback from other parents. They’re a friendly way to bring more sustainable practices into the conversation. My favorites are: 1) Graze; 2) Upcycled; and 3) Recycled Umbrellas.

Guest
Bridget
4 years 8 months ago

These are all great; anything to get away from plastic bags. I especially like how Cat finds umbrellas that would probably end up in the trash and repurposes them, however, my preferences would be #1 Graze Organic bags, #2 Upcycled Cotton Baggies, and #3Blustery Day Flip Flap Baggies.

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

Awesome post! I started making my own little cotton with velcro ‘zip-type’ baggies about a year ago, then added lunch totes for the wee ones to cart it all in….. been selling quite a few of them just to friends. :)

Guest
Elizabeth
4 years 8 months ago

Thank you for bringing us all these great alternatives to plastic, wherever and whatever it’s used for in our homes and offices. So far I have switched to bamboo utensiles and nesting steel lunch pans and a glass straw at work. We reuse all plastic bags and recycle everything we can in our home for the greater good of our larger home, Earth.

I really like the Graze Organic containers.

So: Graze, Upcycled, Blustery.

Thank you!!!

Guest
Sam
4 years 8 months ago

umbrella, upcycled, cotton

I started using glass ‘tupperware’ and bringing my own bulk containers when buying bulk dates, oats, etc.

Guest
christy
4 years 8 months ago

I like the Graze Organic most – the pictures on the fabric are a nice touch. My toddler just started nursery school and this week, thanks to reading your post, I am going to pack his lunch without plastic bags!

Guest
Ridley
4 years 8 months ago

But did you notice that the first product, the Graze bag, is being filled (or emptied) of little cut baby carrots, which I’ve only seen as a processed product sold in plastic bags?

Guest
sui
4 years 8 months ago

Graze, Upcycled, Blustery!

This week I will overcome my own insecurities and just TELL the cashier that I don’t want ANY plastic with my food, just so we can avoid even accidental plastic… and make it a huge point.

The biggest use of plastic in my life right now is when I eat out, even when I try to minimize it (bringing my own utensils)… but then they give it to me on a styrofoam plate. I even told this one place I didn’t want ANY plastic or anything right as the cook was reaching for a styrofoam plate… but he still gave us our food on styrofoam plates! Augh!

I’ll be doing the Show Your Plastic challenge this week (and hopefully this month, too! woo-hoo!).

Guest
Erika
4 years 8 months ago

Makes you wonder how people transported food before plastic was widely available, doesn’t it?

I remember reading a book set in an office in NYC in the 1950s. If memory serves, the main character used to wrap her sandwiches in waxed paper.

What’s in waxed paper these days? (It’s plastic, isn’t it?)

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

I’m in! I like the Blustery Day Nylon umbrella bags, because I find that some water-proofing is really helpful in my 5-year-old’s lunch. Somehow, kids manage to get wetness on everything, even if you haven’t packed them anything wet. They’re magic like that.

As for what I will do this week – I intended to go grocery shopping today, but I forgot my reusable bags. So, I didn’t go, I’ll have to do it tomorrow. I’m not allowing myself to use ‘forgetting’ as an excuse to bring disposable plastic into my life.

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

I like these options in the order of: Graze Organic Cotton Bags; Upcycled Cotton Baggies; and finally, Blustery Day Flip Flap baggies.

I definitely prefer not to have any kind of plastic touching my food!

This give-away has inspired me to do what I have been thinking of: I’m going to buy a roll of butcher’s paper to use for wrapping food for the freezer! I hate to keep using plastic bags for all the reasons that this blog promotes avoiding plastic… Besides, it never made any sense to me to use a product who’s molecules persist indefinitely for “throw away” usage!

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

very fun we love our bags for taking snacks along for the littles, I always feel good about using them, less in the landfill and smaller than tupperware.