August 10 2009, 11:13 AM
One corner of my kitchen is filled with reusable grocery bags in every size, shape, and color. Why so many? Because every time I go to the market and forget my reusable bags, I feel so guilty that I buy new ones. A group in Lafayette, in turns out, agrees with my penitence. They're hoping to eventually ban plastic shopping bags, which means shoppers there will be buying a few more reusable satchels if they're like me and forget their stash. But I've also got a problem with the reusable options sold at grocery stores. Though the prices remain the same, the bags seem to be made out of thinner and thinner material. Between the tears in my reusable bags and my own forgetfulness, I've bought enough grocery totes to endanger my green cred. My solution has been to find ways to make my own reusable bags, in search of a cheaper, sturdier alternative to the markets' options. Enter Tipnut.com, which has compiled a list of 35 patterns for reusable grocery bags. My favorites are the repurposed T-shirt pattern and the simple pillowcase pattern (pictured). For sturdiness, I think the bird-feed-bag conversion is brilliant, and I'm going to try my hand at one of the knit-your-own patterns. Readers, I'd like to hear your solutions. Share any DIY grocery-bag ideas with us in the comments.