Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Mother Earth

title
A typhoon has found its way to my doorstep again. The sky is gloomy and the rain is steadily falling. Days like these call for hot soups, or hearty braises, or something roasted whole. We will go for the roast I think. A roast chicken dinner sounds just about right.

And hopefully there will be leftovers for me to use and post about!

Meanwhile (if there are leftovers...C loves roast chicken), I am bursting to share with you something we (I and a group of three other fabulous girls...Christine, Angela, and my best friend K!) have been working on for a while. It’s been so much fun and so satisfying planning this little project with them...now that it has actually come to fruition, and I can hold the tangible results in my two hands, the delight is immense!

Avoiding food waste is just one cause I am trying to champion in my own personal corner. The other has been avoiding plastic. Again, I am by no means a lean, green, eco-machine, but I do try to do all my shopping in reusable shopping bags***. You all know the tune I’m sure, and I’m not going to stand on a soapbox and talk about the evils of plastic. There are experts out there to do that and I wouldn’t want to get my numbers wrong. Suffice to say that by opting to tote our own shopping bags, we are helping our planet out of plastic’s evil clutches! :)

So it is with great pride and excitement that I present you with our Mother Earth bags!!! When Christine shared the idea with me I was all for it. Before we knew it things magically came together (as most good things do) and we found ourselves with the finished product sitting happily in front of us. I couldn’t be more thrilled with how everything worked out (and is still working out...we get more good news everyday!) :)

The bags are made in a livelihood centre that employs the elderly, disadvantaged women in a neighbouring city (D'Livelihood Shop in Taguig). So this venture helps these women earn their living, as well as helping our planet breathe easier :)

You can check out the different bags (with better pictures!) at our website. They’re available in Metro Manila only for now until we can sort out shipping. You can also find all sorts of interesting links there – from information about the threat plastic poses to our environment, to other eco-friendly products made locally.

One bag line is made of canvas and the other is made of recycled flour sacks. Yes, we’ve been badgering our favourite bakeries for more than just their cakes! ;) I’ve already taken both out for a spin and I can say (with no bias whatsoever, heehee!) that they perform commendably! They can both lug around quite a load :) Lots of space for all your shopping, boys and girls!

Hope you get the chance to take a peek at our site :) While you do, I'm off to roast that chicken...

***Aside from being kinder to the earth, reusable shopping bags look much nicer than plastic bags do. Plus, it is so much easier to carry three of these bags on your shoulders, than five plastic grocery bags with your hands. Trust me. I live on the third floor and my elevator is, uh, “charming” at best. I know what I’m talking about.

26 comments:

Manggy said...

I have a few reusable bags but my dad tells me not to overdo it... Because we need to use the plastic grocery bags as trash bags! It's strange, considering there are now biodegradable trash bags. But the reality is these grocery bags get reused quite a bit in the metropolis. It's good, though, that Rustan's has incentives for using the Fresh reusable bag. I don't have a Fresh card, however!

You are right, these bags can take a lot of abuse! I love the designs you have! (I have an obvious affinity to the flour ones, hee)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I only use reusable bags! But whenever I get grocery bags, I use them as trash bags!

Cheers,

Rosa

veron said...

Great project! I'll sure to let my relatives know about it.

Erin said...

I have several canvas bags and one insulated bag for perishables. How cool is that? I can buy meat or something and do a few more errands before going home. Ahh. . . this world we live in.

Good for you, I'll be linking to that.

katrina said...

I think it's just terrific what you guys have done. When I saw them, I liked them so much that I wanted to give them as Christmas presents! But believe it or not, I've gotten quite a bit of my holiday shopping done already, and there's no one left on my list to give the bags to (I checked the list twice)! You can bet I'll be ordering for myself, though...just as soon as I decide which one I want! :-)

zeph said...

Hi Joey, first thing i learned about pinoys in Netherlands, is to bring your own shopping bag, because a plastic bag in the supermarket costs .10 to.20 Euros. Good thing I have a canvass bag that I can use and reuse. Hooray for Mother Earth!

Marvin said...

How very admirable that you all have taken on this project. The plastic vs. reusable bags issue seems to be a hot one here, yet I never see anyone using the reusable bags in the regular grocery stores. At the farmer's markets for sure, but no where else really.

I've even heard that a new law may be passed that will require stores to charge people (maybe 25 cents or something like that) for using platic bags in hopes of encouraging the use of reusable bags.

You guys should also think of selling flour sack towels, as those are great for washing dishes and leaving little, if any, lint on wine glasses. They even sell flour sack towels at Williams-sonoma here for something like 20 bucks for a pack of four!

Patsyk said...

I have been using resuable bags for my grocery shopping for about a year now. My grocery gives back $0.05 for each canvas bag used instead of plastic.

I love having options on different types of bags to use! Yours look like they would hold up nicely.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Manggy! I don’t have a Fresh card either, hehe (although yes it’s great that they give incentives to use their eco-bags)! We also use whatever plastic bags we can’t avoid for the trash...yup almost everyone I know does! :) I like the flour sacks too...I love the vintage-y look of their designs...and it’s the cheapest one!

Hi Rosa! It looks like the grocery bag as trash bag thing is really popular...I do too!

Hi Veron! Thanks so much!

Hi Erin! Thanks! So cool! I have to look for one of those insulated bags...this is what I’ve been wanting! What I do now is take a small cooler in my car for perishables...

Hi Katrina! Thanks! We are having fun to and it feels great :) You are so good about your Christmas gifts! Yikes...I gotta get cracking on those!

Hi Zeph! I remember (from some other European cities too)...I used to take my backpack :)

Hi Marvin! I know what you mean – that’s why we’ve tried to keep our prices down and offer incentives for buying more, so that families who used 20+ bags in the supermarket will switch to our sacks :) 20 bucks for a pack of four flour sack towels??? That’s wild! Great idea though! We’ll keep that in mind...thought not for 20$! Wooo.

Hi PatsyK! That’s a great incentive your grocery is doing :) I love having options too and I have collected quite a lot...including one for wine bottles! :)

Bordeaux said...

Excellent initiative. I love shopping bags made from recycled materials and it is a trend that you see all over Asia nowadays. If only South Africa would catch onto it. Good luck with the project!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Joey that's a wonderful plan. I had such a hard time when I first started out to use re-useable bags. I left them in the car repeatedly now I'm really getting pretty consistent! Great bags.

Anonymous said...

Hi Joey,

Do give us a shout if & when you do out the international shipping and payment logistics - I'd be really keen on a few... !

Ling

Barbara said...

That's great Joeuy. Good luck with the venture. I'm sure it will do well.

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Bordeaux! I do hope more and more people start using reusable shopping bags over plastic...good for the planet and much cuter looking too :) You are the master bag sewer though...I’ve seen them on your blog and they are lovely!

Hi Tanna! Thanks! I too had to keep reminding myself to bring them...now it comes easy :) Especially since they are much more convenient for me to carry my shopping in!

Hi Ling! I definitely will! :)

Hi Barbara! Thank you :)

Erin said...

Funny, that's what I used to do. The insulated bag is much easier to manuver.

Rico said...

The wife has a couple of reusable bags. Like most people, we use the plastic biodegradable ones for trash.
We even go as far as using organic soaps and shampoos to be more earth friendly.

Suzana said...

A really interesting perspective on 'Mother Earth'! I mostly use reusable colorful bags that are so much nicer than plastic ones. Love, love the flour bags!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Erin! Really need to find me one of those insulated bags!

Hi Rico! Legaspi market has a great supply of organic soap :) One my sidebar under News you’ll find a link to the girl I buy from...her soaps are really lovely! And she carried eco-friendly laundry detergent as well!

Hi Suzana! Thanks! I love the flour ones too :)

Lael said...

I love this! So glad it came together smoothly for you all. Wish I could hop back over to Manila and pick one up...I really love the flour sack ones. I stuffed an empty basmati rice bag in my suitcase after studying in Oxford for 4 months and brought it home to redesign into a big purse/book bag. It's my favorite bag, and I receive compliments on it all the time. Best of luck with Mother Earth!

mtan said...

Marvin's got a good idea there, the tea towels at Sur le Table are made of flour sack cotton and they sell for $9 (plus tax), so why not come up with mother earth tea towels? They're good for all sorts of projects.
Looking forward to seeing the bags when I get home!

marye said...

These are great!
I love my reuseable bags. Theya re so much easier to carry.

Chili, Chocolate & Co. said...

That's a great idea. I have been living in Legaspi City for almost six months now, and I am still amazed at how wasteful Filipinos are on plastic bags matter.

My husband's colleague, an Italian guy, also complains about it constantly how people shove you plastic bags no matter what you buy.

christine said...

Lovely post, partner! :)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Lael! Thank you! I can imagine it making a cool book bag...they are stronger than they look! If ever you are in Manila let me know!

Hi M! I can’t believe those tea towels! But I agree, they would make nice ones :) See you soon!

Hi Marye! You said it! Much easier to carry than the plastic grocery bags...

Hi Chili Chocolate & Co! It’s a little harder to make the message stick but I’m sure it will...every time I go to the market I see more and more people opting for reusable bags...now the supermarket, that’s a different story! But they are already encouraging customers not to use plastic by coming up with reusable bags of their own and crediting rewards points to the customers that use them...a good sign :)

Thanks partner! :)

Helene said...

I love your project. I do have over 30 bags & now I am sewing new ones. That's my little project. I'll be sending these to my family that lives over 3000 miles away for Xmas.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Helene! That will really make a special gift...I love gifts that are hand-made by the giver :) Makes it all that more special!