Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday Sewing - Projects for Earth Day

Earth Day is this Sunday, April 22, and I've been thinking of ways I can reduce some of our garbage.  One of our throw-aways that's bothered me for awhile are the plastic produce bags.  They're can't be recycled (at least not where we live) and we eat a LOT of vegetables!  I tried skipping using them, but then my vegetables and fruit rolled all over the cart.  One of the millions of catalogs I get before Christmas had mesh bags that looked great, however they were a bit spendy for my budget.  No problem - these things are really easy to whip out!

I used a mesh fabric from my local fabric store - it looks like what laundry bags and some athletic shirts are made from.  You could also use any cotton fabric - you'll need to hem the opening.

These can be made any size - I cut 25 inch by 19 inch rectangles ...

folded them in half ...

and sewed down one side and across the bottom with a zigzag stitch.  If your machine bunches the fabric up or if the presser foot catches on the netting, see my past tutorial on sewing sheer fabrics.  I didn't finish the top, but you could fold it down about an inch, sew along the bottom of where you turned it down, and insert string/ribbon for a drawstring.  I just fold it over on top ...

or tie a knot.

These also make great project bags - another way to get rid of carrying all my work around in Ziploc bags.

Another thing we throw away a lot of are glasses cleaning wipes.  Both my husband and I do a lot of computer work and so need to have non-glare coating on our glasses, which make the lenses pretty tough to get smears and grease off of.  We've been buying cotton disposable wipes and a commercial brand of glasses cleaner - and both keep going up in price.    I bought a yard of diaper material at the fabric store, cut it up into big squares and they work great!  I just toss them in the washer, dry them, and they're ready for another week - and I was lazy and didn't even hem them.  They don't seem to fray much.

About that glasses cleaner - I found out how they make it and the ingredients are ridiculously cheap.  Take a spray bottle (I use the old bottles I'd saved from that commercial brand), fill it 1/4 full with 99% isopropyl alcohol, fill to about 1/2 inch below the top with water, and add a big squirt or two of dishwashing liquid.  That's it!

Now I'll look around and see what else we throw away that could be made from something reuseable. 

Happy Crafting!  Deborah


  1. Great tips, thank you! I agree about the produce bags so I'm going to make these.

  2. These are great! I reuse the bags that oranges come in by finishing the edges with double fold bias tape and just weave some tape through the mesh about an inch down for a drawstring. :)