Saturday, May 03, 2008

Need-a-Bag? project update 04.03.08

Note: The Need-a-Bag? project was created to promote sustainable bagging at the Hwy 441 Alachua County Farmer's Market each Saturday morning. We supply reusable tote bags reclaimed from thrift stores and garage sales. The Need-a-Bag? project also utilizes old tank tops as tote bags by sewing up the bottoms (these are called t-totes). We invite you to read the other posts on the project by clicking the "Need-a-Bag? Project" label at the bottom of this post.

It felt like coming back to the farmer's market for the first time in weeks, only because this was the first week I could actually buy any produce and not have it rot in my fridge. School, for all intents and purposes, is over for the summer and Need-a-Bag? was quite an eye-opener today. For one thing, we were down to less than 10 bags. I was tempted to start hanging plastic grocery bags. I know.

So, after doing our shopping DG and I started going around to the local thrifts looking for cheap totes. We have a couple of criteria -- the bags cannot be purchased new and they cannot cost more than a dollar. It is surprising how many thrifts stores think they will get 2.99 for a crappy tote bag. My theory is that since I've been scooping up all the cheap totes at the area thrift stores, the people who price the bags think that they're suddenly really popular and then price them higher. And forget about haggling.

Gainesville Community Ministries was definitely cheaper so we were able to scoop up more bags, along with a magic 8-ball that told us we would find cheap tote bags at one of the thrift stores on Main Street. And it was right! We found over 20 bags at this one place and the lady was really nice and gave them each to us for 1-dollar apiece. What a relief! We are now flush with totes once again.

Need-a-Bag? has definitely taken a backseat for me the past semester, but I am now able to devote more time to it. So, without even consulting the other N-a-B? associates, I am going to come right out with the three things I think we need to concentrate on this summer:
  • Totey the Tote Bag construction
  • New, updated literature
  • Tote bag drives at our respective workplaces
Item #1 is crucial, of course.
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