As Earth Day approaches (mark your calendars! April 22nd!), I've been thinking about ways to reduce and reuse the things I don't need in my life anymore. I'm pretty good about recycling what I can - cardboard, papers, and bottles go in the curbside recycling, and compost I take to the local natural foods store. Plastic bags go to grocery stores with those plastic bag bins up front, along with other random thinner plastics like cereal bags, plastic wrap, and bread bags. If you don't have access to a plastic bag recycling bin, you can reuse your plastic bags by fusing them together to create a waterproof, flexible fabric!
I am pretty good about remembering to bring my reusable shopping bags with me when I pick up groceries. I walk in the store with my canvas bags, and I leave with my groceries and only those bags (and usually a pint of Ben & Jerry's - don't judge me). No matter how hard I try, plastic shopping bags still seem to magically appear under my kitchen sink. While tiny bags are handy to have around (fellow pet owners may agree with me here), keeping them from looking like a literal wad of trash is tricky. I'm here to share with you a folding technique to beat all others. It's by far the fastest, and definitely the easiest, way to fold a plastic shopping bag.
Artist Virginia Fleck has found a most beautiful use for discarded plastic bags: she turns them into mandalas. I'm guessing that there's some fusing going on here. The results are quite amazing, and even more so
Urban Threads actually turned plastic Target bags into a lamp. I still can't quite believe it even after reading the tute!
First they fuse the bags. To do that, you'll need the following:
- parchment paper
- a scissor
- an iron
- leftover plastic bags
Do you have a plastic grocery bag stash? Maybe you even made one of these or these. Maybe they're just stuffed willy-nilly into another grocery bag. And then, one you pull one out, about six more come with it. Well....Cafe Munchkin has solved that multiple withdrawal problem. Enter plastic grocery bag origami! Basically, the technique is similar if not exactly like folding an American flag. The result, however, is a neat little triangle that...
- Knee protectors for gardening.
I don't know if Martha would approve, or even how they would look in the cold light of day. But at night? Pretty magical.
These 80 bags o' light were a temporary art installation outside of the Museo Del Prado in Madrid. They would prob'ly be super-easy to recreate, even if you just jammed a few
South African designer Ryan Frank was inspired by a South African crafted chicken ornament when creating this chair. Named 'Inkuku', which is Zulu for chicken, the chair is 'made entirely from plastic shopping bags combining traditional craft techniques and recycled material.' The structure is made of recycled aluminum as well. To see more of Ryan's designs, visit his website. Via.
Chicken ornament inspiration: