Bagging Wasteful Habits

It was another awkward moment at the counter, when the store clerk tried to helpfully place my items into a plastic bag before I could decline.These were just my refilled ink cartridges already in boxes, easy to carry without a bag. So I stumbled through a few words, trying not to offend him.  I blurted something about how I usually bring my own bags for larger amounts like groceries, sorry I had forgotten to bring one.

To my surprise, the clerk gifted me with a large, reusable shopping bag and explained that it was made with mostly recycled water bottles.  Inside was a tag that said it was made by

What an interesting coincidence when I saw the contest at, offering green bloggers the chance to win some of these eco-friendly bags.  Although I'm an avid do-it-yourselfer and love to sew things like tote bags, that tends to happen on a very small scale for myself or my kids.  As I'm invited to more festivals and other public events with, it would be nice to have something like this to share.

The message is more than just marketing with the products from  In addition to the customized imprints that can include thoughtful messages, the product itself is often made from items kept out of a landfill, recycled in an innovative way.  Besides the bags, there are recycled paper cards embedded with seeds for a flower garden, and even recycled plastic pens.

When my kids see the occasional plastic bottle thrown out by the side of the road, they'll ask me, "why do people litter?"  That's a tough one to answer.  Similarly, my oldest has wondered why we try to take our own bags to the store instead of using those thin plastic ones freely handed out.  When I forget my reusable bags, I'm reminded that every little bit does matter.  I like this quote from the website, "Purchasing eco friendly is not a costly expense, it is an investment in our future."

What choices to you make everyday about packaging and waste for your household?  How do you explain the concepts to your children?  It's a conversation we need to keep having.