Reusable Shopping Bags: Tips to Help You Remember Them

November 24th, 2009

Reusable Shopping Bags: Tips to Help You Remember ThemThe single use plastic shopping bag has become a popular target of the green movement, and with good reason. Plastic bags are littering our land and polluting our oceans. Reusable shopping bags are a great way to help the environment IF you remember to bring them to the supermarket. Here is a list of tips to help you get into the habit of using your reusable shopping bags…

  • Write ‘Bring bags’ on your shopping lists.
  • Put your completed list in your reusable shopping bag.
    Our shopping bags have a small inside pocket that is ideally suited to keeping your list handy, and it’s also big enough for a change purse.
  • Keep an extra bag or two in the glove compartment of your car.
  • Keep a spare bag in your coat pocket or handbag. We designed our Wrapsacks totes to fold and zip down to a convenient size.
  • Keep your shopping totes by the front door.
  • You could hang them right on the doorknob
  • Choose bags with colors and designs that suit your personal style. If your bags are accessories, you will be more likely to think of them.

You don’t have to do ALL of these things. If one or two of these strategies helps you change your habits, you are all set. When you use these bags every day, you prevent hundreds of plastic bags from entering the waste stream.

kat Batik, Reusable Shopping Bags

Wine-Giving Etiquette

November 17th, 2009

wine gift bagsWrapping gifts typically serves two purposes. You are enhancing the presentation and you are concealing the gift. That’s not the case when wrapping a wine bottle. The occasion and the size and shape of the gift make it fairly obvious that it’s a bottle of wine, so presentation is the main purpose. Our fabric wine gift bags are a great thing to have on hand for when you get a last minute invitation to a dinner party.

I just finished reading a detailed article in the Seattle Times on the topic of how to be a good host and a good guest. According to the author, many of us grew up in an age when people played fast and loose with social etiquette, but things have recently swung back.

Even if you think you know all the rules, it’s probably a good idea to see what the experts are saying. I’ve looked around for some tips related to giving wine as a gift and here is what I found.

  • Harry James Desmet-Bacon is a wine consultant at Beltramo’s Wine and Spirits . He says that a nicely wrapped bottle is code for ‘This is a gift, save it for later.’
  • Peter Post, the director of the Emily Post Institute in Vermont, says that a thank-you note is appropriate if the wine is unwrapped outside the presence of the person who gave it. A more casual verbal thank-you is fine if it is unwrapped at the party.
  • Bill Ward advises that if you bring wine as a host gift, do not expect it to be consumed at the party.
  • Amy Corron Power says that you should NEVER offer or ask for leftover wine to take home.

Our fabric wine gift bags are meant to be ‘re-gifted’ but what about the wine bottles themselves?

Amy cautions that white wines deteriorate over time, especially if they haven’t been stored well. She would only consider re-gifting a wine that has value and character. I think her basic sentiment is that she may know that a unique gift that she has received would have special appeal to someone else.

I am not an expert, but I will offer the suggestion that you look for a wine that is produced in your region of the world. If your host is eco-conscious, they will appreciate the reduced carbon footprint. There are also some good organic wines on the market these days.

Sources:

SFGate

Seattle Times

Another Wine Blog

kat Wine Gift Bags

Batik: Our Gift Bags Have Heritage

November 11th, 2009

Batik: Our Gift Bags Have HeritageOur reusable gift bags are hand dyed in Indonesia.  You may have already noticed a new page on our site that illustrates and explains the batik dyeing process used to create our beautiful 100% cotton gift bags.  It is a skill that has been handed down through many generations in Indonesia.  I was very pleased to find out that UNESCO has recognized batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.  Here is the eloquently written nomination:

The techniques, symbolism and culture surrounding hand-dyed cotton and silk garments known as Indonesian Batik permeate the lives of Indonesians from beginning to end: infants are carried in batik slings decorated with symbols designed to bring the child luck, and the dead are shrouded in funerary batik. Clothes with everyday designs are worn regularly in business and academic settings, while special varieties are incorporated into celebrations of marriage and pregnancy and into puppet theatre and other art forms. The garments even play the central role in certain rituals, such as the ceremonial casting of royal batik into a volcano. Batik is dyed by proud craftspeople who draw designs on fabric using dots and lines of hot wax, which resists vegetable and other dyes and therefore allows the artisan to colour selectively by soaking the cloth in one colour, removing the wax with boiling water and repeating if multiple colours are desired. The wide diversity of patterns reflects a variety of influences, ranging from Arabic calligraphy, European bouquets and Chinese phoenixes to Japanese cherry blossoms and Indian or Persian peacocks. Often handed down within families for generations, the craft of batik is intertwined with the cultural identity of the Indonesian people and, through the symbolic meanings of its colours and designs, expresses their creativity and spirituality.

This recognition is especially important as it comes with an expectation that nominees conform to UNESCO ideals such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The finest batik used for traditional ceremonies is amazingly detailed and requires months of skilled labor to create.   Wrapsacks are dyed using a more modern technique involving the use of a copper stamp to apply hot wax to the fabric.  Age old techniques such as using the sun to fix dyes are still employed in the making of our gift bags.

kat Batik, Gift Bags

Track-a-Sack

September 29th, 2009

Track-a-Sack is where you follow the journey of your gift bag as it’s re-gifted from one person to another.  Do you have any questions or feedback for us?

Michael, Co-founder Track-a-Sack

Anyone there? Let’s hear it.

September 18th, 2009

Hi everyone! . . . . or anyone?

Please go ahead and feel free to introduce yourself. I’d really love to hear from you. Let us know what you think of our stuff, where we can improve or what you’d like to see us do.
Perhaps you want to know more about batik, how our products are made, etc. Or maybe you want to discuss other reusable products and express yourself on the green movement. Got a comment on Track-a-Sack?  This is the place.

Thanks!
Michael

Michael, Co-founder Track-a-Sack, Welcome