Going Plastic-free (or Less): The ONEBag Origin Story
When we decided to decrease our plastic use, I remember thinking it was this overwhelming lifestyle change, and I had to wonder if zero-waste/sustainability was actually a sustainable lifestyle!
What helped me embrace the goal of achieving plastic-free living was when I started viewing this effort more like quitting an addictive substance.
"What? That's ridiculous! You're being too dramatic."
I know, right? But think about it for a second: Plastic is everything. I'm typing on it, I wash in it, drive in it... (you get the idea). I'm not saying we're chemically dependent, but in some ways we are so much more attached than we even realize?
"Great, thanks! Now I feel hopeless. I'm going to eat Oreos..."
Okay, hang on a second!..(unless you're going to share in which case yay Oreos!). There is hope: if plastic is so entrenched in our lives then it will take time to establish an eco-friendly lifestyle. It will take a system, It will take support, it will take a plan of action, and it will take continual effort to move towards plastic-free living. But it starts with trying ONE thing ('cough cough' yes that's a brand plug, sorry I'll stop).
Honestly time:We still have a long long way to go ourselves; I was cleaning the kitchen last weekend and in the cupboard rearranging bread bags, quinoa packages, and so many other single-use wasteful pieces of packaging and thought this really is out of hand!
But that same reality is what motivates us not just to recycle religiously, but to start replacing plastic where possible.
But its started with ONE item, ONE replacement(no not ONEBag! Lol that would be convenient... in fact, it was diapers that went first).
Almost ten years ago, we started buying cloth diapers and wipes. That's when Kelly examined the design and started sewing plastic replacements herself. From diapers, and un-paper towels, to reusable snack bags (which will be added to the website soon!) we have continued to introduce new eco-friendly products to our family's lifestyle.
By now it should be clear that the point we're making is that we didn't try to do it all at once.
"It may be a little vain, but our ONEBags sort of make me a little prouder that I have reusable produce bags this awesome with me!"
Then a couple of months ago, I came home and Kelly was beaming as she held up the first variation of what would become the ONEBag. It was 9"x12" the fabric blue was blue with butterflies at the top and bottom and mesh in the middle revealing a variety of colorful peppers. It is easily the most exciting of the reusable products Kelly had made, not only because it was a great design, but because I knew it was a product that would get others excited to try going plastic free.
We later added the waterproof lining so the bottom fabric would not get moldy from having fruits and veggies left inside it. This means the ONEBag will be around long enough to replace hundreds of plastic produce bags.
Now there are plenty of reusable produce bags on the market, but we were hard pressed to find one that that wasn't easy to forget at home. When you're trying to get ready for work or when you're packing kids into the car, things... tend to be left behind. It may be a little vain, but our ONEBags sort of make me a little prouder that I have reusable produce bags this awesome with me!
For me, it's sort of like remembering to bring my refillable coffee mug to Starbucks. Something about having that mug with a design I am excited to put on my desk makes it easier for me (in my morning fog brain) to remember to go reusable. Maybe it's as simple as, I'm distracted by colors, but it could be that sometimes I think we should have an attractive, eye-catching reminder we can hang up in the closet so when we head out the door, It can yell "Hey! Don't you want to take me shopping!?!"
Now, we are not delusional; ONEBag is not enough (not yet anyway). We have a long way to go towards a sustainable, waste-free, life, but this is our ONE thing to bring others along. Our first of many products to come, and we want you to join us.
As I said earlier, going plastic-free or less has proved to be a challenge, it will take a system, It will take support, it will take a plan of action. We are one of the hundreds of products that can help you do one thing for the environment and conservation. Attached to those products are thousands of people who have years of knowledge, advice, and products that can support you as build your own plan.
(Now for the shameless social plug):
We are on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @ONEBag4Produce sharing tips and advice and how to's about our products and those that others have created that we love to use and are helping us. If you found this article useful please encourage us by sharing, liking, commenting and of course sharing your success tips with us. Thanks and let's talk again soon! -Kelly and Chris
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