Recently, I’ve been taking a closer look at everything that comes into and goes out of our home. Sadly, I am realizing just how much waste my little family of three creates. It’s alarming really. I learn about things like the Great Pacific garbage patch and the North Atlantic garbage patch and my heart breaks. These are two examples, among millions, that speak to the ways that we are destroying our planet.
The damage that each of us (in this particular society) does on a daily basis is incomprehensible. When I think about the scale of the issue, I am overwhelmed and often do nothing. I adopt the ignorant mindset of — Why should I bother? My small changes will not make a difference. But I quickly see the dangerous fault in that line of thinking. The truth is that change has to start somewhere, and just because I cannot fix the problem single-handedly, does not mean that I shouldn’t take small steps in the right direction.
Regardless of where we stand on major issues, like climate change and fossil fuels, I think that we can all agree on some basic things. Pollution is real and our environment is suffering. If there are simple, affordable ways to create positive change — why not?
One of the changes that I’ve implemented recently is a switch from plastic snack & storage bags to reusable fabric ones, like the one Roman is holding above. We use snack bags a lot. I use them for Matthew’s lunches, on outings with Roman, and in the kitchen to store chopped veggies and such.
Plastic baggies seem like a little thing, but when I think about the long-term impact, it’s a big deal. In the past, we’ve gone through hundreds of baggies each year. It adds up financially. After each use I would occasionally wash and re-use them, but most of the time I’d toss them in the bin. The scariest part about it is that it takes at least 500 years for each plastic bag to biodegrade.
I set out to find a couple of small business owners that make high-quality, reusable snack bags. I wanted the bags to be well-made so that they would last awhile. I was also looking for bags that would be fun to use for Roman’s snacks but also some more neutral/masculine ones that I could use for Matthew’s lunches. I found two Etsy shops that offered exactly what I was looking for.
First up is Crafty Crafty Cathy. The shop owner, Cathy, is a former first grade teacher turned stay-at-home mom. Cathy is always working on creative projects that make her feel excited and inspired. She takes great care in everything she creates — with special attention to detail.
Cathy’s snack and sandwich bags are incredibly well-made. I love her selection of both fun and mature patterns & styles. The bags can easily be cleaned with a wet cloth, or you can pull the liner outward, wash them on cold, and hang dry. The zipper closures allow little fingers to open & close the bags easily. We’ve been using them for a few weeks now and they are perfect.
I wanted to try a few different styles of baggies, so I’ve also been using a few from Mandy Mae’s Mercantile. They are equally amazing. Mandy Mae’s is the Etsy shop of Amanda (Mandy) Passmore and Jeanni (Mae) Clinton. Jeanni has always loved sewing and giving homemade gifts. When Amanda became pregnant, she ventured into creating an all-natural home. When she decided to quit teaching to be a stay-at-home mom, the two decided to create Mandy Mae’s to help others conserve the environment.
I just love our reusable bags from Mandy Mae’s. Each bag is made with a layer of cotton and an easy-to-clean layer of PUL. They also have a fun and beautiful selection of fabric to choose from. Their baggies have tight-sealing velcro closures to keep snacks tucked safely inside.
I am very happy with my decision to switch away from disposable baggies. It’s a baby step, but it’s a step in the right direction. I’ve implemented several changes like this one and look forward to sharing them soon.
Note: This is not a sponsored post. I personally reached out and asked to partner with these shops because I feel strongly about their missions. I highly recommend checking them out if you are looking to make a similar change in your home. Visit Crafty Crafty Cathy and Mandy Mae’s Mercantile on Etsy.