Monday, March 26, 2012

How green is my handbag

I was rummaging around in my bag on my way home tonight, looking for my shopping list and I felt inspired to write this post.
I wonder how green is my bag and its contents?

I'm certainly not qualified to assess environmental credentials or impacts in any sort of scientific way. All of the following is assumption and perception. But it is interesting I think to stop and assess critically our everyday moments. It helps us identify improvements we can make, even in small ways and inspire us to be a little more green, a little more organised or whatever else our dream may be.

So lets see.

My bag itself is pretty green, well I call it blue but you may disagree;)

I made it on Saturday from a vintage linen tea towel given to be by a good friend. She bought it from the Love Vintage show last year and as I was going to it on Sunday I felt it was past time to make something from the tea towel. The towel features Australian pelicans and is a souvenir of Green Island, off Cairns, a resort I visited as a child. And it is a gorgeous aqua. Most of my clothes are aqua or turquoise! My bag is lined with pretty blue floral fabric. I picked up a couple of metres of this at an op shop so its recycled.

Next is my journal. The book itself is made in China and the paper is not recycled. Hmmm, not good. The cover is delightfully recycled though - the main print is a vintage place mat, trimmed with fabric from an old pillowcase, both from op shops. Gives it that gorgeous vintage look I love.

I keep a small pouch in my bag with tissues, bandaids etc that you don't want rolling around in the bottom of your bag. This zippered pouch is very cute and came free with a popular magazine that has no particular commitment to recycling or carbon offsets that I know of. The free gift also prompted that particular issue to be covered in plastic wrap. Inside is a portable pack of tissues. Well I can't bring mysel to use hankies even though they have such a long, tested tradition. What would be better is to make a little cloth pouch and add tissues from a big box - reduces the need for plastic packaging. Well that's easy fixed. I'll use recycled fabric or scraps. My shopping list - I recently bought a five pack, oh wrapped in plastic, of notebooks with coloured plastic covers. I was seduced by the blue cover. Not good. Recycled sraps of paper would be preferable. At least I'm not using sticky notes. Hmm, will need to think creatively about this one. (Biggest problem is it will take me a while to go through the pack I bought.) And a plastic pen. I used a Parker pen with refills for years and years. When it finally was irreparable (got crushed) I started using disposable pens. I have contented myself with the thought that I buy my own pen, and hang onto it until out of ink. I don't just toss it aside and pick a new one because the other is misplaced. But on examination I can do better.
My purse. Because I find it easy to use a tote bag going back and forth to work you can easily lose your keys, money and phone. So I keep them in a purse/pouch. This one came from Oxfam and is made under a fairtrade scheme.

I also keep a fold up shopping bag in there to help me reduce the number of bags I collect. I find that not accepting bags at the supermarket is not too hard - as long as my reusable bags are in the car I'm set. But when it comes to all the other bits and pieces I don't do as well. But this little bag works well for clothes, fabric or the odd bits of groceries collected at lunchtime. It was a very welcome Christmas gift.

I feel there is a rather glaring omission from my bag today - no lunchbox or cutlery. I have not been taking lunch often lately. As we all know buying lunch is expensive, there's all that packaging and its too easy to buy 'treats'. Definately not as green there as I could be.

So an action plan
1. take lunch to work
2. make a tissue pouch
3. replace my pen (when it runs out) with a refillable pen
4. think creatively about shopping lists

So, what do you think? How did I do? Are you up for the challenge? Are you going to examine your own bag and share your findings?

Can't wait to hear about your own adventures.

And a reminder to enter my giveaway - its a recycled lingerie wrap - very pretty.

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