Let me tell you a little about the Green Bag Lady project. . .
I started this art project in Jan/Feb of 2008. I am an artist/college professor but I mainly do photography and digital imaging (which is what I teach). This project could be classified as more of a "performance art piece." I do events where I go into public spaces, set up my sewing machine and give out bags as well as give them out on a daily basis. With Green Bag Lady, I would like more artists to think about the ecological impact of their art as well as producing work that has a direct, positive impact on the environment. I love that the audience is directly involved in this project.
The project started one day when I was scolding my husband for getting plastic bags at the grocery and he said he had to because there were no fabric bags in the other car (we normally only use one car) so I decided to go through my fabric bins (many of them!) and dig out fabric that had no other use. I ended up with quite a pile and I just started making bags. They were not very uniform in size when I started, but eventually I figured out what size worked best and that is the size of the pattern I now give out as a pdf. I started by bringing the bags to the college kids in my classes and then my friends. It has just grown from there. It has now taken on a life of its own!
I am adamant that I am NOT selling the bags or getting any compensation for them. They are a gift. I want the receiver to feel obligated to use them, that is why I require the promise to use them instead of paper or plastic. If one were to buy them from me, they become a commodity and there is no obligation any longer because the person owns the bag. A gift is owned by both people. I know that usually one bag is not enough but if I GIVE you one, you might start thinking about your usage and buy other bags to supplement your collection (and maybe even start thinking about recycling, composting, consumption and consumerism).
My favorite comments are from people who say things like, "this is the push I need to go more green" or "I have been thinking about switching to fabric and this will help me do that!" or "I am going to start making them and give them to everyone I know" or "I am going to have my Girl Scout Troop make them."
I should also mention, I am the mother of 3. Two girls ages 9 & 6 and a little 3 year old guy we affectionately call "Squeak."
Go green, live green, stay green!
Thanks for all the emails and great response to this project. Teresa