Reusable bags come in all shapes, styles

A DIY reusable shopping bag, courtesy of the Online Fabric Store.  Watch a video on how to make the bag.

July 22, 2021

I'll bet most of our readers already take reusable bags on at least some of their shopping sprees.

According to a 2019 poll by, 51 percent of Americans do.

According to their research, it's a trend embraced by Baby Boomers. The study revealed those 55 and up are more likely to carry a reusuable bag than Gen Z. Gender also plays a role with women more likely than men to tote a tote.

If you haven’t started carrying reusable bags wherever you go, consider making it a habit. You’ll feel good when you don’t arrive home with a dozen plastic bags every time you shop.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, Americans use an average of 365 plastic bags per person a year. That’s more 100 billion bags a year!

And since you're making reusable bags part of your lifestyle, why not make a statement? Here are some fun options in bag fashion:

Ecobags Custom BagsCUSTOM

You’ve probably collected a few giveaway bags over the years at festivals, expos and new store openings. If you make an effort, you could easily gather enough reusable bags for a lifetime at no cost.

If you want to create your own custom bags, you can purchase them at Eco-bags, a New York-based B Corporation. Available in a variety of colors, the bags can be personlized with your organization or business' name, logo or message.

Courtesy of Eco-bags.


String bagRETRO

The 100-percent cotton net string bag has a natural, nostalgic look that will appeal to your inner hippie. It’s comparable in size to a single use plastic bags and it's washable. 

It’s also affordable at around $12 to $15 each. (Update: a set of five now goes for $56.)

You can buy them online at Eco-bags, a B corporation. We've also found string bags at our local Whole Foods.


Foldable bagPOCKET SIZE

These little plastic bags that fold up are great for sticking in a purse, backpack or jacket pocket and forgetting about them. 

I’ve had this Esse bag for over 10 years and it’s been a real plastic bag saver. 

Esse was started by two moms in 2008 with the goal of “containing the madness” of single use plastic bags. 

The Everyday Bag measures 15-inches-by-16-inches when expanded and takes the place of two plastic grocery bags, according to Esse. It’s also washable. $6.95.



Lands End toteHere’s the bags my husband and I have been using for going on 15 years. The first two Lands’ End totes were given to us as a gift.

We’ve since gone back for more and now have a full set of six that can hold a week’s worth of groceries. 

These sturdy bags are designed to hold up to 500 pounds. The interior pockets are great for tucking spices, energy bars and soaps. Store baggers love them!

We recommend the Medium Tote for $35 each. Watch for sales as they are discounted as low as $17 occasionally.



WeGoEco straw bagWeGoEco offers a variety of eco-friendly bags including this all natural straw bag for around $40. 

The company also sells sustainable travel, housewares, cleaning and personal care products with a mission to limit plastic pollution.

Check 'em out at


Reisenthel Collapsible Market BasketEURO BAG

The Reisenthel Collapsible Market Basket is garnering attention for its modern take on the traditional picnic basket. It doubles as both an in-store shopping basket and a carryout bag. The basket features an aluminum frame and polyester lining that can be folded flat. 

Starting at $60, these baskets are pricey but reviews say they’re worth it. Available on Amazon.


Global MamasGO GLOBAL

These hand-made carry all bags from Global Mamas are not only gorgeous, they're made from 100 percent organic cotton! 

They support a good cause too. Your purchase helps African women and their families. $50.


Aloha CollectionTONY TOTE

Your shopping bags don’t have to make you look like a dumpster diver. A chic beach bag can double as a reusable tote. 

Check out this cute reversible bag with a vintage Hawaiian print from Aloha Collection. The company started by native Hawaiians gives 5 percent of profits to Hawai’i-based conservation organizations. $64. Free shipping.



If you can sew, here’s a simple tutorial on making your own reusable shopping bag, courtesy of the Online Fabric Store. Have fun picking your own fabric.

How to Make Reusable Shopping Bags



We asked local greenies to tell us about the reusable bags they tote around.


Make Room BagGRAB BAG

Green Tip Guy Jason Winningham likes this bag from the Make Room for Life store that can be clipped to the sides of a grocery cart. $12.99 on Amazon.



Horse riding instructor Meg Fletcher of Paris, Texas says: "I have almost all types, but my most used tend to be the large, heavy duty ones. My favorite is made out of a feed bag."

Watch how to make a reusabale bag out of feed bag below.




Yellowstone bagGRASSROOTS

John MacFarlane shows off his souvenir Yellowstone shopping bag. Courtesy of John MacFarlane.

Greater Fort Worth Sierra Club president John MacFarlane has three favorite bags — a purple, blue and an orange one.

“The purple bag was part of the Greater Fort Worth Sierra Club’s campaign to ban single use bags thru city ordinance. It was a partnership with Steer FW. We gave these bags out at grocery stores across the city. The blue bag is from the city of Fort Worth and the orange bag we bought in Yellowstone National Park.”

National Park bagYou can purchase a national park tote bag online for $26. 100 percent of profits support national parks.

National Park online offering, courtesy of the Official Parks and Landmarks Shop.


Chico bagsBAG TO GO

Suzanne Tuttle, the former manager of the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, loves these bags from a company in Chico, Calif.

“I love my Chico Bags! Having their own attached storage bag is the handiest thing ever, plus a carabiner to make toting it easy too.”


Cindy Fountain posted a pic of her go-to bag featuring a friendly face.



Treat Dad with a green gift

Treat Mom to a green gift

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