Monday, September 28, 2009

Free Reusable Bag Contest!

reusable bag contestEveryone loves something for free. That's why we're giving away the Go Green California Reusable Tote Bag in our newest contest!

Entering is simple. You retweet about the contest. That's it! Then, if you could leave a comment on this post letting us know that you retweeted, that will help us keep track of who has entered the contest.

ALSO IMPORTANT: Your tweet must contain a link to this post so other people can enter! You can use this link to retweet if you wish:

Please note that this contest is open to U.S. residents only.

go green california tote bagAlso of importance, please leave a way to get in touch with you! If your comment will link to your website which has a contact page, that's fine, or if you link to your Twitter profile that will work too. Just as long as you tell us where to go to contact you if you're the winner.

Here's where you go to find our Twitter profile:

There you can find our latest tweet about the contest. Simply retweet the link!

Contest begins: September 27, 2009

Contest ends: October 27, 2009, 7PM EST.

We'll announce the winner right here, and contact the winner. Good luck to everyone! P.S. - if you don't win, don't worry! We'll be having another contest when this one comes to an end. Good luck!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

10 Tips for a Greener, More Eco Friendly Fall

Fall Foliage Mousepad mousepadThe fall season and back to school time brings with it a lot of change, many purchases for school, and many new activities. Last year, we offered some tips on reducing back to school waste. This year, we're going to focus on small changes we can all handle that will help not only the environment, but ourselves.

Driving our children to school has grown more popular over the past few decades. Why? Is it laziness, or to protect our children? If your child is old enough, some walking might be a bigger benefit than driving them home from school - for both of you. You'll have more time on your hands, and they'll be getting outside, enjoying the outdoors, and getting some exercise. You won't even notice that you'll be saving gas, and helping the environment.

Teach your kids the importance of conserving school supplies. Pens, pencils, paper, printer paper, ink cartridges, and even electricity from your computer can be reduced.

- Teach your child to use both sides of the paper in their notebooks, and to recycle old homework papers.

- When printing out text documents and photos, consider printing in black and white "quick print" options by changing your printer preferences just before you print. You'll save an enormous amount of printer ink, and you won't have to purchase another one so soon.

- Avoid quick, pre-portioned, highly packaged snacks as much as possible. Give them a reusable sealed container to use over and over again instead.

- Go through your old clothing from last year that doesn't fit your children. If other children they know might not be able to use them, you donate them, or sell gently worn (and still in good condition) clothing on Ebay. This guide gives you some great tips on how to sell gently worn clothing on Ebay.

Looking for more tips on reducing waste around your household? Here are some additional great resources:

Saturday, September 12, 2009

New Reusable Shopping Tote Bags!

This month, we've added four new reusable shopping tote bags to EcoGreenBags! First up is our brand new Save the Turtles tote bag. This bag encourages you to save wildlife simply by cutting up your six pack rings. How will this help? By cutting rings from canned beverage containers, wildlife can more easily escape from the plastic rings, which often suffocate animals like turtles, birds and fish. Spread the word and help these animals out with the new Save the Turtles Tote Bag!

Make Plastic Extinct

Next up is the Make Plastic Extinct Tote Bag, inspired by the old dinosaur. Featuring a vintage, distressed look, this design imagines a scenario where the plastic bag is no the dinosaur. Imagine that? By spreading the message, we can get there, and this tote aims to help in that journey!

Just Say No to Plastic

This leads us to our next bag, the Just Say No to Plastic Reusable Tote Bag. Everyone has choices when they head to the supermarket, the mall, to a farmer's market, or anytime that they purchase something in person. Do you opt to take those disposable plastic bags, or do you just say no? In some circumstances, you may not need any bag (like when you're renting a video), while some you can use reusable bags instead of paper or plastic. Just say no to plastic and urge others to start reusing! If you have extra reusable bags, give them to someone you feel might need them. If you'd like to make the "just say no to plastic" campaign become more viral, then this bag is an excellent choice!

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Last, but not least, is our new reduce, reuse, recycle tote bag. Familiar symbols on the front make this a fun new bag, with green floral symbols on the design. It's 100% cotton canvas, machine washable, and has plenty of room to carry everything you need on your way to work, school, or out shopping! A great choice for a reusable bag at the grocery store, too.

Also be sure to visit our store on Zazzle, where we have added over 50 new organic t-shirts and some new reusable bags there as well!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Farmer's Market vs. Farm Stand?

Before the summer started I made a commitment to myself that I would visit the local farmer's market once a week to pick up all the fresh fruits and veggies that I could possibly need. Much to my surprise, the farmer's market not only had farm stands but also everything ranging from maple syrup, buffalo meat (which was a shocker to me), fresh baked breads and pies, homemade crafts and much more.

Happily carrying along my reusable bags I went from stand to stand to check out the goods. After making a mental list of where I wanted to stop I returned to the stands on my list and made my purchases.

Every Sunday the tradition continued, though the more I went the more I took notice of. For example, one of the farm stands forced me to take a plastic bag as I was shopping their table. Even though they could clearly see the large tote of reusable bags I was carrying with me, they insisted that I needed to put the produce in the plastic bag so it could be weighed on the scale. Well after taking the produce off the scale, I unloaded the items from the plastic bag to my reusable tote-and they proceeded to throw the plastic bag away! Completely defeating my purpose of bringing my bags with me. Disheartened by that merchant I vowed not to return to their table. The next table I visited for my tomatoes and peppers couldn't have been more accommodating. Placing the tomatoes right on the scale and then assisting me with placing them into my reusable tote. This table was a definite return to for me! Next up blueberries! Now these come in the papermache like quart containers. The woman working the stand was a bit skeptical that they might spill over in my bag, but I assured her that they would be fine if I put them on the bottom of the bag. With a smile, she handed them over and into my bag they went. Not a blueberry escaped the entire time I was shopping or on the ride home!

The last table I went to was a run by two people-a register/scale person and someone restocking the goods. This was a popular table and by the time I returned there was a line! I took my time carefully picking out my items. They still wanted to push their plastic bags so my reusable bags didn't get dirty :) I assured them that they were washable, and due to the line behind me she quickly put the items into my bags. However, as I turned to leave a disappointment from this table as well. The person stocking the "fresh" fruits and veggies had a lit cigarette hanging from his mouth and ashes were scattering all across the fruits and veggies ready for purchase. Not something one would think as a good thing when shopping at a farmer's market. I know myself besides wanting to shop locally I was thinking that the produce would be much better and healthier. Right before my eyes I saw that this is not always the case.

Buying local is very important, but you also want to make sure you are getting the best product for your money. At this point I felt a bit disheartened by the whole experience. Sure there were some great tables, with people who cared about the quality of their food and at the same time respected reusable bags as a great alternative to plastic. Not only is it cheaper for them if someone doesn't accept a plastic bag (one less bag they have to purchase to give away with the produce) but it is better for the environment. I stuck with the farmer's market for two months, and of course narrowed down the stands I supported and went back to them week after week.

Then something happened. On my way home from work-literally on the side of the road was a farm stand. Curious about it I decided to stop in! Not only would this be a greener alternative, as I could stop along my way home instead of having to make a special trip-driving 25 minutes-to get to the farmer's market, but it appeared to have a much wider variety of produce and I could stop in every day if I wanted to. I walked in and immediately was excited! Everything looked fresh, as opposed to some of the farmers market items which looked like it had been picked over a week ago sometimes. As I was shopping, the owner was bringing in bushels of freshly picked items and adding them to the stock out front. I decided to give the corn, potatoes and tomatoes a try. I got home and managed to work all three into dinner that night. The family agreed that these three items tasted better than any of the items which I had picked up at the farmer's market for the past two months! The decision was easy to switch over to the farm stand. Not only was it clean, the people very friendly-and loving the reusable bags (in fact if you didn't have reusable bags you could purchase one of theirs for a minimal charge), and very reasonably priced-everything was fresh!

Now its time for your thoughts! Do you prefer to shop at farmer's markets or farm stands? Do you have a favorite-share it here in the comments box!