We at Sew,Mama,Sew! are proud to collaborate with many crafters and sewers and givers all year long. There are hundreds of people who inspire us to make and create and give back. One of the women who continues to amaze us year after year for her continual determination, generosity and focus is The Green Bag Lady, Teresa Van Hatten. Teresa has been making and giving away cloth grocery bags for several years. In fact very time we have a Giveaway Day Teresa gives 100 bags plus 100 kits to make a bag! At last count there were nearly 13,000 Green Bag Lady Bags in use! We love the fact that Teresa has used her sewing skills to help the planet by getting thousands of reusable grocery bags into the hands of consumers.

This year we asked Teresa if we could help her in her efforts by organizing a holiday sewing project. We really hope that you’ll join us. Without further ado, we’re pleased to present to you:

Green Grocery Bag Challenge

The Green Grocery Bag Challenge: A Holiday Sewing Project Benefiting Mother Earth

Fact 1: US consumers generate 4 million tons of wrapping paper and shopping bag waste during the holiday season alone.

Fact 2: The US goes through 100 billion single-use plastic grocery bags every year.

Fact 3: This year, you can make a difference!

How? The challenge is this:

Wrap your holiday gifts in reusable cloth grocery bags.

That’s it! By doing this simple thing this holiday season you will cut down on the amount of wrapping paper entering the waste stream, while also getting multi-use bags into circulation. Not to mention the fact that your gift recipients get a bonus gift that they can use all year long! It’s win/win for earth and your loved ones!

We’ve asked some friends to help motivate, inspire and instruct, so over the next 6 weeks we’ll be providing links to free grocery bag patterns, ideas for wrapping creatively with a cloth bag, tips for sewing lots of bags at once and more!

If you’d like to get involved beyond the sewing and wrapping, here are just a few ideas:

  • Spread the word about the Green Grocery Bag Challenge (feel free to take the graphic!)
  • Write about your experience using and/or giving cloth grocery bags.
  • Write about your own efforts to reduce waste.
  • Post a free tutorial for a cloth grocery bag on your blog.
  • Take photos of ways to wrap gifts in grocery bags so they don’t look like, well…groceries.
  • Send your friends and family members to the Green Grocery Bag Challenge Facebook page.
  • Make a video of how to “mass produce” a bunch of bags at once.
  • Teach your friends how to sew a simple bag.
  • Involve your children in producing lots of bags.
  • Tweet #greengrocerybagchallenge.
  • Organize a Green Grocery Bag sewing event in your community.

Let us know if you’ve written a tutorial or motivational/inspirational post on your blog–we’ll include it in a roundup and/or put it on FB or tweet it. kristin@sewmamasew.com

We really hope you’ll join us by presenting some of your gifts in cloth bags this year. We have an opportunity to change our wasteful holiday wrapping traditions by sewing a gift that everyone on your holiday list can appreciate, including Mother Earth.

If you’re in, comment here, or join us on Facebook!

PS–Thanks to our friends Sara and Sarah at Miller/Cormier for the Green Grocery Bag Challenge graphic!

PPS–Don’t forget to comment on November 8 ~ Gifts for Outdoor Adventurers for your chance to win lots of great prizes!