Reusable Bags

As taken from my actual life, this illustration is derived from my experience, as most are. Months ago I've ditched using plastic bags at the supermarket and bought reusable bags, it is my small effort to help save the planet. There are a few of us who bring our own bags to the grocery store, other people look at us and some send off hostel messages "just who do you think you are?" while others think "I can do that too, wow that's cool, chíck even!"
Either case many local politicians are talking seriously about making it mandatory, such is the case in the city of San Francisco, CA when they banned plastic grocery bags.
As trendy New Yorkers sport reusable bag from shops like Trader Joe's which markets its 'designer' reusable tote, this phenom is becoming more about fashion and heck, if it's good for the planet BIG thumbs up.
Not only does this effort stop the use of these polyethylene bags that some experts say are one of the biggest sources of pollution, and environmental hazards, they are also costly to discard (recycle), they are made from petroleum, which is oil based, as all plastics are. As my small effort I urge everyone I know to pick up a few cheap cotton, hemp tote bags and follow suit.
I bought a few from my local grocery store very inexpensively, 99 cents to $1.99 for the insulated ones. I've also discovered that I had a bunch of tote bags laying around, which are now being used, thank you very much.
On a side note: Kudos Mr. Al Gore on your Nobel Peace Prize!

Painted on illustration board with acrylic paint, I am enjoying working with acrylic and have mumbled to myself that my gouache days are over, don't get me wrong, I do love gouache but now I've evolved to appreciate two things 1. under painting and 2. dry brush; a bit difficult to do with opaque water color.
11x14 acrylic on illustration board © Heidi Younger 2007

Dachshund update: Cookie, my 9 year old long haired dashie, still enjoys walks in the park despite her condition. She gets quite a lot of attention and completely enjoys all the new friends she has met.


nick said...

Thanks Heidi, I've been thinking about bringing my own shopping bags recently. I don't care what people say. I just wonder if I can find some nice bags in black.


Art said...

Okay, I'll do it. That's the final straw, even though I live in San Francisco, land of banning (certain types of) plastic bags, I don't have a cloth bag.
An artist I met recently started a group that sews bags out of discarded rain jackets from Goodwill stores, screenprints a logo on them and then offers them free to shoppers coming out of stores if they'll trade in there plastic bags.

Heidi Younger Illustration said...

Hello Art,
It's that spirit in SF that I love. Heck, DP you can certainly find anything in Black. 10 years ago I had a net one, very european. I used it for a while, but then forgot to carry it around and lost it. See, I could have been doing this 10 Years ago!!!

peter said...

Dating a European chick, I discovered early on the future when I visited Europe. Supermarkets in Germany charge for bags. Customers bring their own tote bags as a matter of course. Wouldn't it be great if someone invented a multi- purpose bag that can carry around my art portfolio as well as carry my groceries, pick up dog waste, Non-pourous compartments would be advisable. A man purse with ecological consciousness and networking with an art director at the frozen food section and relieving my pet on the way home. Heidi, thanks for inspiring me. Peter Fasolino.

Cathie Bleck said...

Good to keep reinforcing this idea. Cleveland Heights, OH where I live has encouraged this concept for the past 10 years so it is pretty common to see people with their own bags. No wonder so many people from this city have gone into recycling businesses as I think they embraced all of this a long time ago. I usually opt for paper bags when I forget to bring my cloth bags. I had no idea the hazards of those plastic bags. One image that I can never get out of my mind is the film shot from American Pie where the plastic bag is floating in mid air...it was so ominous and a powerful comment on the waste that exists on so many levels in our society.
Nice work in acrylic...I love your sense of color!

Heidi Younger Illustration said...

I remember that scene well, from American Pie, the poetic wanderings of a plastic bag. There was such a scence of beauty to that. Not that those plastic bags retain any beauty in our land fills.
I have often thought that years from now, society will be mining our old landfills for all the resources that the past generations have disgarded.
Something to think about.....
Thanks everyone for your posts.

Heidi Younger Illustration said...

Dear Readers,
I realize that for the most part I am preaching to the converted, as most of my friends are extremely aware of these environmental threats.
My blog writings are expressions of my concerns and it's goal is to create awareness. Living on Earth everyone leaves a residue foot print, simply we create waste. This was true 100 years ago as it was 100,000 years ago.
There are people who own cats who alerted me that by code they can't throw out the litter unless it's contained in a plastic bag. I realize all this, my waste is contained in plastic bags as well.
I am not trying to be a self-righteous envriro slob, I am only trying to create awareness that we can try to use less. Use compact florescent lights, it simply saves energy but we don't give up light, as with the plastic bags, we live in the modern era and plastic bags are a factor of life, Im just advocating using less. The environment is a big concern for me and I am simply trying to use my illustrations to create that awareness. These articles aren't designed to attack anyone, but only to create dialog and understanding. Thanks for your understanding.

Anonymous said...

Hi Heidi,
I've been using cloth bags for quite a few years now, I have 7 that my mom made of a sturdy white canvas fabric with navy handles. They're washable, the handles never break, you can get lots more in them, and even though I STILL get negative comments from baggers at the grocery store (even though I do most of the bagging) I will never give them up. I love them, keep them in my car so they're always there when I'm out shopping, and hope that other people follow suit. There are 5 people in my family, so when I think about all of the bags we would be using, it really makes so much sense. I hate having to deal with the few bags that do come into my home.
Too bad the stores don't give a discount for bringing your own bags.
-Krista McGrath
Interior Designer in West Chester, PA

Heidi Younger Illustration said...

Funny thing Krista, this week I was given a raffle chance for a 25 dollar gift card at Trader Joe's for using my own bag. (my bag wasn't even a TJ's bag, but a competing supermarket).
Not quite a discount but a bit of a pat on the back. Kudos to you for using your Mom made bags! And for 7 years.
Like what Pete said, above, eventually stores will start charging for them, as usual money will motivate. And I do find the cloth bags do hold more and are way easier to pack.

memi said...

This is a wonderful way to use your blog- and you've clearly ignited a passionate disucssion. You should feel so empowered.