Friday, May 22, 2009

Bags for the People

When we first discussed the Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Act of 2009, i.e. the DC bag tax, the issue was raised of its impact on the low-income residents of the District. Would the tax end up creating a burden for those it is meant to help? Thankfully, the act itself included note of measures to help provide reusable bags to low-income residents. I was even more pleased to see such an initiative taking place on the ground. In a recent article on Tree Hugger, I read about an NYC program called Bags for the People, which is a nonprofit that provides just this service. They sew old clothing to make reusable bags--an innovative use of resources and sharing of skills.

Why are they giving away such bags for

"Our bags are free so no one is excluded from actively participating in this simple lifestyle change. We want our bags to be a truly positive experience that will create dialogue and instill environmentally conscious thought while cutting back on plastic bag usage. Furthermore, for us, it is about our environment and making positive change, not making money"

This reminded me of the reusable notebook idea in a way, for both utilize present resources to help reduce waste and to have a community building experience. Possibly a great addition for a future clothes swap would be to make such bags? If only I knew how to sew well....

Photo credit: Bags for the People


  1. you know how there is the like gossip girl knitting blankets thing?
    eco action should definitely do something similar, though hopefully without the gossip girl. Honestly, if a chaplain or someone had a sewing machine, you could make bags really fast. Then fill them with environmental propaganda and distribute them in DC.

    p.s. if someone can think of something cool/useful to do with old red cups i will give them 10 million dollars.

  2. If you think people would be up for such an idea, I would be all for it because I think it's a great cause.

    The problem with doing something with red cups is that they will be drenched in alcohol. However, the District (i.e. for off campus students) itself can recycle them, and I want to get Off Campus Life to work a note of this into their OCL beginning of the year training thing for students.

  3. Will you give me 10 million dollars now, Ben?