I've blogged before about reusable cotton carrier bags. The huge advantage of these bags is that they prevent the plastic waste associated with plastic carrier bags and pose far less threat to marine wildlife (which can eat plastic bags thinking they're jellyfish). However, each cotton carrier bag takes much more energy to produce than a plastic carrier bag (up to 50 times more, I've read) and so is only a genuine environmental solution if you use it more than 50 times. This should be easy, but these days everyone seems to be forcing cotton carriers onto us (at the Edinburgh Book festival, it's possible to end up with four cotton carriers, just through buying two newspapers and a couple of books). Of course it's even more difficult to refuse a cotton carrier than a plastic bag, because, as the vendor will tell you 'they're the environmental option' and admit it, they look nice.
Well I try to refuse these bags as often as I can. I already have two cotton carrier bags in my main handbag, two in my rucksack, one in my evening handbag, one on every door handle in the house, one that I use solely for the recycling and one that I use for my equipment as a volunteer for the Water of Leith Conservation Trust. However, sometimes they are impossible to refuse, generally when they contain lots of goodies for a press pack or a lucky draw prize.
So, this is my solution to having a few too many of these bags. The Edinburgh International Science Festival cushion cover.
I made a cushion from a t-shirt that developed a huge and unrepairable rip right through it. I had thought of making it into a vest top but realised that wouldn't work because of the position of the rip so a cushion it was. And last year's cotton carrier from Edinburgh International Science Festival is the perfect size and shape for a cushion cover. I just sewed a few press studs into the top to fasten it all together. I've tucked the bag handles into the cushion cover so that if I suddenly need another carrier bag, I've got one.
Meanwhile, over on the Crafty Green Poet Etsy Shop, I recently listed this selection of blue patterned sea pottery and added a couple of items to the now updated crafting supplies section of the shop. I also put together this Treasury of beaded crafts. (For those not familiar with Etsy, a Treasury is a selection of favourite items made by other sellers on Etsy.) Plus, I've blogged about some of the things I've learned from Etsy on my website.
As ever, red text contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages, where you can find out more.