Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Posted on 11. Mar, 2010 by in Thailand

Save World. Save Life.tshirtsmall

My guess is that at least 10% of Bangkok owns some variation of this t-shirt (seriously, we see it everywhere).  And then there are the bags that say, “I am not a plastic bag” on them, calendars about the environment, etc.   So protecting the environment is on the minds of a lot of people.

At the same time, there is still a lot of trash around. Plastic bottles, aluminum cans, glass jars, etc, are routinely picked out of the trash by those who want to make money selling them to a recycling place. But that only scratches the surface. An article in a local magazine counted that one man received 38 plastic bags in the course of ONE WEEK in Bangkok. That’s a lot of bags. We get plastic bags everywhere! When you buy cut fruit, you get the plastic sleeve for the particular fruit, and that’s put inside another bag. Every trip to 7Eleven, even if it’s just a bottle of water, receives a bag. And on and on.

Maybe it’s just because I listen to a lot of Jack Johnson…

…but I couldn’t stand the thought of just throwing all the plastic bags we’ve collected into the trash.

So, I asked on Facebook, “Is there anywhere in Bangkok to recycle my plastic bags?”
Apparently the answer is, “No.” However, I got the suggestion to recycle them myself by creating something with them (Thanks, Pam!). After a bit of internet research, I was on my way.

I chose to crochet a bag. First you make “plarn” (plastic yarn) by cutting the bags into rings and looping them together. Then you can crochet just about anything that you can crochet with yarn! You can find all kinds of great patterns and ideas for recycled crochet projects at myrecycledbags.com

Finished Product!

Finished Product!

You can also fuse plastic bags and make all kinds of things out of them- messenger bags, raincoats, table cloths, wallets, etc!

Everyone around here have been so amazed at my bag and asking me where I bought it, but it was really easy to make! I didn’t even have much experience crocheting. I’d love to get more people making them so that fewer plastic bags will end up in the trash.

Do Your Part to Save World, Save Life :)

Do Your Part to Save World, Save Life :)

What recycling projects have you done?

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9 Responses to “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”

  1. Michel-lyn

    11. Mar, 2010

    Another great way to reduce the amount of plastic bags in the trash is just to refuse them at the stores. I carry a canvas shopping bag in my purse at all times (It folds up nicely and takes up hardly any room at all). Then I just give merchants my canvas bag and that cuts way down on the amount of bags that I get (I still get some every once in a while when I buy more than one bag full of stuff, or if I’m buying something messy that could stain the canvas bag or other stuff that I have in the bag at the time.

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  2. Kassie

    11. Mar, 2010

    Oh my gosh! It turned out SO GOOD April!!! I love it! I wanna make one now too. :) It looks like the perfect size, and the colorful band in the middle is so creative! :) I’ve only knitted before, never crocheted. Maybe I’ll have to learn so *I* can have a cool recycled tote bag too!!

    Reply to this comment
    • April

      12. Mar, 2010

      Thanks, Kassie!! You could totally do it. When I first read the patterns on the site, I was like, “What??” But a quick Google of “How to crochet” had me on my way in a flash! There may be some knit pattens, too… I’m not sure. I was going to do the whole thing green and white, but when I ran out of that color, I decided that the whole point of the project was to get rid of my bags, so I needed to find a way to use all the colors :)

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  3. Dad G

    11. Mar, 2010

    So – let me see if I got this straight… you take plastic bags, add a lot of work, and end up with… plastic bags.
    Am I missing something here?

    (-;

    Reply to this comment
    • April

      12. Mar, 2010

      Yes, Dad. :) But, it goes from thin, not too reusable bags to a sturdy bag you can carry lots in!

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  4. Dad and Mom Ruggles

    12. Mar, 2010

    April, that is beautiful! Jason picked a very talented girl for a wife. But can it carry a BRICK? Only kidding

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  5. Tracy

    12. Mar, 2010

    April, I think this is my favorite post you’ve done. :) Definitely the most unexpected and creative. I had a dream a couple of weeks ago that Ian and I came to visit you guys. If only I had the money! :)

    Reply to this comment
  6. Tim Jahr

    14. Mar, 2010

    This is pretty cool. Do you care if I share with some of the knitting/crochet people at my work? Maybe then they’ll accept me. 😉

    Reply to this comment
    • April

      14. Mar, 2010

      Go right ahead, Tim! And point them to that website- myrecycledbags.com for many more ideas :)

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