"You just keep on using me, until you use me up…"

by Katie Pizzuto on May 10, 2010

in Recycling

I realize that everyone and their mother is doing their part to be “green” nowadays, and that trying to undo decades worth of damage weighs heavy on most people’s minds in addition to preventing any further pillaging and abuse. So when I’m sent products for review that make the most of the crap we leave behind in order to prevent more crap from getting left behind, I tend to run for the computer keyboard. You’ll have to both forgive me for preaching and indulge me for praising, because these two ideas are a welcome addition to my home and to my travels. That whole Reduce-Reuse-Recycle thingamajig is pretty much mantra in my home, because I just don’t care to beat the crap out of this planet any more than we already have. The fact that I get boatloads of styrofoam sent in my wine shipments that I can do absolutely nothing with (other than reuse by sending wine to someone else) pisses me off, but that’s fodder for another day.

Totes come with black elastic that hold bottle securely in place.

8point8 is a start-up company based in San Diego that focuses on wood reuse. Brian Behncke, the owner, also owns a local construction company so he’s got plenty of opportunity to reclaim pieces of wood that are discarded at job sites. The first set of products he designed with the reclaimed wood are for us wine geeks, though he’s now got plenty of other clever designs. Here’s what his Etsy page says: “Did you know that there isn’t a recycling facility in San Diego that allows us to recycle wood with nails in it? Due to the cost of taking the nails out of the wood it goes directly into the landfill. Although it takes a little more time to clean the wood up, we feel this is a small price to pay for keeping large quantities of useable wood out of the landfill. We know there is a more sustainable way to deal with the problem, and that is to repurpose it. We’re 8point8 and we’re committed to diverting wood from the landfill, employing local craftsman and providing unique products to our retail community…All of our products are made from a sustainable source, reclaimed cedar, something that is becoming more difficult to find and more expensive to buy.” Add to all this the fact that his wine totes are the coolest designs I’ve seen in a very long time, and that they are reasonably priced, and you’ve got a damned winner! Seriously folks, forget all the froo-froo, bead-studded wine totes you see out there—these are where it’s at. I love carrying this thing around to people’s homes or BYOs and looking way hipper and greener than all the other dorks. Website Here

Comes with small elastic band so you can roll & tie them for easy transport.

Then we’ve got ChicoBag’s Produce Stand set of totes. While most of us are already bringing our reusable totes with us when we go food shopping (God I hope this is the case, because if my readers aren’t doing this, they’ve got 30 lashes coming), we still wind up using plastic for our produce. Each bundle of asparagus, each head of romaine, each cluster of grapes gets put into those little plastic bags they dispense in the produce aisle, not only because it keeps like produce together, but also because they’d tend to get everything else wet in the process. And while if you’re anything like me you’ll wind up reusing those plastic bags for garbage or such, now there’s no longer a need for them at all. ChicoBag makes 3 different produce totes: A hemp-cotton blend that’s good for leafy greens, grains and green beans, a rePETe™ mesh bag that’s perfect for apples, oranges and potatoes, and a regular rePETe™ tote that’s great for squash, broccoli, carrots and celery. The different materials are designed to optimize freshness when paired with the right produce, and what’s cooler still is that the rePETe™ material is made using recycled materials (it stands for recycled PET, polyethylene terephthalate, which is the dominant material used in plastic drinking bottle production). According to their numbers, ONE shopper will use about 500 bags in ONE year—that’s a lot of plastic to keep out of landfills. These great bags are the perfect way to do that, and they’ve now become part of my family of totes that come with me everywhere I go. These are just becoming available at retail locations, and aren’t yet on their website, but stay on the lookout! Website Here

So get shopping, people, you’ve got no excuse!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 RJ Flamingo May 10, 2010

Another company I’m high on is Pacific Rim Winery in Oregon. Shipping is free with a 6-bottle order, all of their packing materials are recycled or recyclable & they even throw in a cloth grocery tote with your order! Just thought I’d bring them to your attention.

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2 Katie Pizzuto May 10, 2010

Pacific Rim gets bonus points simply for being Randall Grahm’s brainchild. Randall (the visionary maverick behind Bonny Doon Vineyard, which introduced its Pacific Rim Riesling in 1992), launched Pacific Rim because of his obsession with Riesling. Pacific Rim focuses exclusively on this grape and comes from biodynamically grown grapes, so you can mention them on this blog ANY TIME!!!!

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3 Linsey May 10, 2010

In the Uk, many supermarkets are hot on their own lines of eco-friendly bags.

Made of jute, they are emblazoned with the company logo and an eco message. Brilliant and strong, large, small, sectioned for wine, wooden handled or just all jute.
However they still give away the usual carrier bag in million year degradable plastic.

I have loads of the jute bags at home … basically because I keep forgetting to take the damn things with me and buy new ones. Downside is that they are kind of bulky and not easy to slip into the lil ole handbag for daily shopping.

Best little bag I have is a small tote bag that folds in on itself into a nice little pocket … but apart from being reusable, I doubt its creation is very eco. It does have a cute kangaroo on the side though lol

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4 Katie Pizzuto May 10, 2010

Most supermarkets sell totes here as well, Lin. Mine just stay in the back of the car at all times, no matter where I go. But as I mentioned, these produce bags (which you could of course use for whatever else if you wanted to) bundle up into a tiny little pouch, too, and get held in place with a small elastic band. You can see it on the beige bag on its top left corner in orange, and on the white mesh bag on its top right corner in green. They come as a set of 3 and all bundle up together in a cute little tote. They’re great and space saving!

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5 Don May 10, 2010

I see these bags as an argument to ride the bus. Yeah it would be great if we all rode the bus. Think of all the gas that would be saved, along with the $$ spent on infrastructure, but alas it is a convenience reason that gets us, and if you live in many parts of this country there is no bus available. Not saying there is not recyclable grocery bag available, but when you have 7 people at home you are shopping for the last thing you want to hassle with is toting around a mountain of recyclable grocery sacks. We do recycle the plastic ones, so I guess I feel a little better about it, but unless you are shopping for just a few or go to the store every day it just isn’t that accessable, like a bus whose nearest stop is three miles away, or in my case 20 miles away.

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6 Katie Pizzuto May 10, 2010

While I hear you to a certain degree, Don, there’s nothing wrong with keeping a couple of these in the car for “quick runs”. If you run to a liquor store for a bottle of whiskey, what do they put it in? A BAG. If your wife sends you for milk and bread on the way home, what do those couple of things go in? A BAG. Running to CVS for batteries and tampons? COME HOME WITH A BAG. There are always small ways we can save on plastic. So while shopping for 7 people is a bit of a stretch for using totes, there are times when it’s no stretch at all. No excuse for those, and every small bit helps. And like you said, at least you do reuse what you get!

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7 Don May 10, 2010

Good Point Katie. I’ll throw a couple in the car.

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8 Katie Pizzuto May 11, 2010

Wow, that was the quickest I ever won a debate, LOL…and you didn’t even complain about the tampons! 🙂

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9 Coupe 60 May 11, 2010

If you ran to CVS for some of the fine Massengill products, what would you be toting that home in?

…I’ll just quietly go away now

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10 Katie Pizzuto May 12, 2010

That pun was much more fun when I reviewed the DeuS.

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