Saturday, October 04, 2008

Need-a-Bag? Project Update 10.04.08

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.

Because, as usual, I haven't updated in 2 weeks because there was not much love happening at the farmer's market last week. This week, however, I noticed more items. Perhaps the produce famine is beginning to abate. This made me think that perhaps DG and I should get back on our game, so we did the whole shebang -- put out signs, put out all of the bags we had (including the 2 bags we brought), drop box, etc. It looked like the Need-a-Bag? project Saturdays of old. I hope Stace had more fun today, as official Need-a-Bag project associate and putter-awayer, putting away a whole ton of stuff instead of the paltry couple of bags left on the fence by the end of the market day. Yay! More work!

Also, DG sent out an email to her work associates, after someone sent an eco tip about remembering to bring your reusable bags to the market -- also, it was saying that you didn't have to buy the bags they have at the supermarket, now, you could use bags you already have. That's a major leap in conciousness in our consumer-driven culture.

So, here's the letter DG sent:

Dear concerned colleagues*:

Is this:

I’ve been trying to do this but I can never remember to bring the blasted bags!

a familiar source of shopping stress? If so, please take heart: there is an organization dedicating to eradicating URBIS (unused reusable bag irritation syndrome). It’s called Need-a-Bag? and it can help you!

If you have a bunch of those re-usable bags piling up unused in a closet somewhere and causing annoyance or guilt feelings, please bring them to the farmers’ market on Saturday any time from 8:30 AM to 11 AM, and drop them in the Need-a-Bag? dropbox. We will launder them and put them in circulation.

Furthermore, if you happen to forget your re-usable shopping bags when you shop at the Saturday morning farmers’ market, you need not go home with plastic bags because Need-a-Bag? is supplying clean, donated or thrifted, re-usable shopping bags free to all interested farmers’ market shoppers.

Consider spreading the relief to more venues by starting a Need-a-Bag? franchise of your own! (The Wednesday downtown farmers’ market? The plantation* market? The* supermarket?) Contact information and the latest installment of the story of the project so far are here: (Click the “Need-a-Bag?” link at the bottom for the full saga.)

Yours for guilt-free shopping,


*changed names

I like how she made up a new acronym, URBIS (Unused Reusable Bag Irritation Syndrome) to aptly describe that feeling of "d'oh!" when you get to the market and realize you've forgotten your bags. It rivals my own, "eco-fatigue," to describe how saving the earth can be a pain in the butt sometimes, and make you sleepy.
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