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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Upcycling! From Gloomy Curtain & Raggedy Skirt to a Blossoming Shopping Bag!

The dilemma:

Many of us have been working to help the environment get rid off millions of grocery plastic bags and millions of paper bags. We have opted for buying or making bags to reuse as we do our shopping.

I applaud all of our efforts but yet I think, we can do a little more.

The Texas Environmental Profiles has mentioned that: "Americans spend over $30 billion a year to manage the disposal of a single year's eight billion tons of waste." They also mentioned that "...the more waste that is disposed of rather than recycled, the more raw materials, like trees, must be consumed in making new products."

Looks that our effort for helping the world by not using plastic bags or paper bags, still has produce a new source of waste, which accompanies the creation of new products to fulfill the new need of "Re-usable" shopping bags.

The solution:

Thinking about this, I have been working on a couple of projects, one of them includes UPCYCLING. But what is Upcycling? Per Wikepida Upcycling is a component of sustainability in which waste materials are used to provide new products. It is generally a reinvestment in the environment. "Upcycling is the practice of taking something that is disposable and transforming it into something of greater use and value."[citation needed] This process allows for the reduction of waste and virgin material use.

Every store I looked had their own bags, which means for many, that we have to have bags for the different retailers, perhaps one Grocery Store may not like me carrying the bags from the competition, or at least it makes feel guilty! So my solution, ONE BAG FOR ALL!! Big enough that I carry many things in one, neutral enough that no one will feel offended, and pretty enough that I would carry it without frowning!

My Project:

First, I found at second hand clothing store a very heavy and gloomy gray curtain, that I would have not ever put up over my beautiful windows! I personally need tons of light! It was in a pretty good shape and the heaviness of the fabric would make it perfect for a Shopping Bag. Second, I saw this raggedy stripped skirt that had a beautiful Flower applique and ta da!! it was a match made in heaven.

Today, as paUpcycling, Reclycling, Reusing, Reusable bagsrt of my decision to stop carrying all sort of different re-usable bags, I sat at my studio and made my New Favorite Shopping Bag Ever. I sewed it off a curtain and a skirt. To give it extra body I also lined it with a striped fabric I had bough years ago.

I really like it and it was not that complicated at all! It just needs imagination, applying a few different techniques to brighten it up and all done!

Group Effort:

If you know how to sew, go have fun looking for used items to UPCYCLE, and make your own personalized Multi Store Shopping Bag. You will enjoy the experience.

If you are not too saavy at the sewing, find some local crafters that are offering products like this. If you like my bag, I just posted it at my etsy shop. I would love to share with any of you this rare and unique bag.

Spread the word, Upcycle, recycle and have fun!

THINK EARTH! That should motivate all of us to do our part!

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