San Francisco is ditching plastic bags . Or at least making it inconvenient to use them. The city and county's Checkout Bag Ordinance mandates that stores will not give customers plastic bags, starting October 1. Stores that continue to give customers plastic bags will have to charge at least 10 cents for them.
To prepare city dwellers for the ban, San Francisco's Department of the Environment will host five reusable bag vendor fairs in the next few weeks.
Many cities such as Los Angeles, Toronto, Portland have already parted ways with plastic bags, which are may take hundreds years to biodegrade -- they're made from polyethylene, a man-made petroleum derivative that organisms don't recognize as food. It's not a sacrifice to give up the plastic bag either. Despite the perceived convenience, single-use bags are no longer in style.
On the other hand, reusable bags have become a bit of an accessory, a practical piece of art. Do a quick search on Amazon or Overstock and you'll find grocery bags that you definitely want to keep around. But if you're feeling artsy or don't want to spend a dollar, you can always DIY.
The easy tutorial below shows you how to upcycle a T-shirt into a grocery bag in minutes. Essentially, cut out the sleeves and deepen the neck as if to make a tank top and then sew the bottom shut. Experiment with different tees gathering dust in the bottom drawer. If green fashion is your thing, match your bag with some of our favorite eco-pieces .
--Image by iStockphoto/Thomas_EyeDesign
Krislyn Placide is an editorial intern at Sierra going into her fourth year of journalism school at Northwestern University. When she's not updating the blog, she likes running through parks and eating her weight in watermelon.