Reducing plastic was a big New Year’s resolution for me this year.
When it comes to over-using plastic, for me food shopping is a big culprit because:
1. Many fruits and veggies are packed unnecessarily in plastic. Does everything really have to be packed in plastic?? According to many grocery stores, the answer is yes. Even avocados apparently! Don’t get me started. *Insert rant here*.
2. At the end of the trip you get loaded up with very un-eco-friendly plastic bags to get it all home. I have a collection of BIG reusable grocery bags, but these don’t suffice when it comes to buying loose fruit and veg.
As most of my weekly meals are made from fruit and vegetables, my food shopping seemed like the perfect (and easiest!) place to start with my resolution, and begin reducing plastic in my home.
I now shop at a farmer’s market where I can buy unpacked fruit & veg, so I made these super easy little reusable grocery bags from material I already had! Sustainability win!
I haven’t used a sewing machine since (or even before!) one school term in grade 8. I wasn’t very good. But I can sew a straight line and that’s all you need for this little DIY! I don’t own a sewing machine (clearly, since I haven’t used one in forever), but in the name of sustainability, I borrowed my sister’s! Easy peasy!
How to make DIY Reusable Grocery Bags
These reusable grocery bags are quick, easy and only require basic sewing skills.
1. Find some old, light material in your home.
I found a stack of old scarves I’ve been holding onto but was never going to wear again. Old T-Shirts or off-cuts would also work.
2. Go through your ribbon box and pick the perfect match!
(Surely everyone has a ribbon box? I reuse most ribbons I get on gifts. That’s another lil sustainability tip for ya!)
3. Lay your piece of material inside out on a table and fold it in half (so the good side is covered).
Figure out how many bags you want to make from your material, depending on the size of bag you want and the size of your material.
I am going to turn this particular scarf into four bags.
4. Pin the material up along the sides, and two lines down the middle.
5. Cut the scarf in half, and in-between the two lines of pins.
6. Take one of the rectangles and sew up both sides. Remember to pull the pins out as you go!
7. You should have a “bag” with a rough top!
You’re now going to fold the top down about a centimetre and pin it all the way along the edge, creating a seam.
8. Sew along the pin line, but leave a 2 centimetre gap between the start and finish of your seam.
9. Thread your ribbon through the hole.
The easiest way to do this is to attach a safety pin to the end, or tie the end in a knot to help you feed it through. Tie your ribbon into knots at the end, and voila! Turn the bag out, and you have made yourself the perfect fruit or veg bag!
When I went shopping last week, I took my bags with me and managed to get all but 2 items without plastic! One was celery, and the other strawberries. I also had to buy large tomatoes as the cherry tomatoes come in punetts. My solution to that? Buy a small cherry-tomato plant and give it lots of love!
Have you successfully reduced plastic in your life? I would LOVE you to share your tips with me in the comments below!
Plastic reduction is a big change in mindset but I’m excited to begin to reduce my eco footprint!
Love DIYs like this? Make sure you follow our DIY board on Pinterest – we’re always saving tons of ideas and hacks, not only from our blog but also from all around Pinterest.
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I like easy DIYs .. this article is written for me 🙂
i hate plastic bags, sometimes i put some handy grocery in my hand bag to avoid plastic bags.. at the same time i have just bought a sewing machine and it seems that this would be my first project.. if you can help me with other DIYs using sewing machine it would be great 🙂
Klara Donovan says
Thanks Menna. This is our very first sewing machine DIY! Hopefully we will add some more basic DIYs like this in the future 🙂 So glad you like this one though!
Arfa Moore says
Loved this DIY…..
very interesting idea and easy to execute. i totally agree with not using the plastic bags. thank you so much for sharing this information.
Klara Donovan says
So glad you like it! Single-use plastic bags disappeared from our major stores (in Australia) THIS WEEK so this DIY is now extra handy to have on hand!