Earth Day is fast approaching, and I wanted to take some time to write a bit about something else I have a lot of passion for- the zero waste movement! I know, it’s so big right now and some people think it’s just a fad, but creating less of an impact to our planet has always been a big deal for me.
I grew up in Taiwan where they take a lot of these issues pretty seriously. Recycling was huge even back in the 90’s and before I left Taiwan to come to Canada, they were already charging people extra for single use grocery bags. So this topic is something that I’ve always been really into.
That being said, I’m not suuuuper strict with myself when it comes to my more eco-friendly lifestyle. I still allow myself to eat meat and I sometimes purchase items that are packaged in plastic. There is also no way in hell that I am going to try to fit all my garbage into a mason jar.
I find that if you try to restrict yourself too much, you won’t be motivated to keep it up. So I’m not aiming to be perfect, but I do want to do what I can, where I can.
Free crochet pattern for this produce bag will be at the end of this post!
Here are some easy ways to live a more eco-friendly life:
- Recycle and compost where you can! I know some cities do not have a city-wide composting program, but I’ve heard that there are places you can bring your compost waste to where they’ll process it for you.
There are also a lot of options for at-home composting systems that you can purchase. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Bokashi system (it breaks down meats!), but I personally have a vermicompost system set up under my sink that I built out of Ikea storage boxes.
- Bring your own containers and shop at bulk food stores for dry goods. This is something I started doing this year and I’m loving it!
Henry and I love to snack, so getting bags of chips was pretty much a constant in our lives. The problem? Chip bags are not recyclable. The more we snacked, the more my crappy snacking habit haunted me. So after walking into Bulk Barn and realizing that they had actual snacks (not just flour and sugar), I’m feeling a bit better about my snacking habit.
Bring your clean containers into your local bulk food store and make sure to have them weigh your containers before you go crazy filling them with delicious goodness.
- Bring your own reusable straws! This is one of the easiest things you can do and reusable straws are so popular right now so they’re easy to find. They also make bubble tea straws now!
- Bring a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go. There’s nothing worse than buying bottled water in my opinion. If you do not trust your tap water at home, boil the water or purchase a reusable filter and fill your reusable water bottles with your filtered water!
- Invest in a silicone mat for baking. Wax paper and aluminum foil cannot be recycled or composted, so silicone mats are a great alternative and should last you forever if you take good care of them.
- Invest in some beeswax wraps. I’m going to be honest, I don’t use mine all that much, but it’s one of those things that are great to have on hand for whenever you need it. My suggestion is to get the large ones because anything smaller than a large doesn’t wrap much. I use my medium wraps to wrap my cheeses, but that’s really all they’re able to handle.
- Reuse “single-use” plastic items. I reuse black takeout containers that are not recyclable in the city of Toronto and use them to grow plants!
- If, like me, you love eating meat, try implementing at least one meatless day every week. I have also heard that beef is the worst for the environment, so I’ve cut back on my beef consumption significantly.
- Switch to a menstrual cup or period panties. I’m a huge fan of menstrual cups now but I haven’t always been. It takes a bit of getting used to but once you’re comfortable with it, it’s pretty awesome. Switching also saves you a lot of money each year. Just remember to replace your cup once every year or two and make sure you clean it thoroughly after every use.
- Save your yarn ends and use it as stuffing for amigurumi projects that don’t require any washing.
- Make yourself some Reusable Cotton Pads! For the past two months, I have been experimenting with different yarns and stitches to make cotton pads.
- Bring your own shopping bags when you go grocery shopping. You can also crochet your own produce bags! Here’s a market bag I crocheted a long time ago. The pattern is from Moogly Blog and it’s friggin adorable.
However, I quickly found that it was a little hard for me to use because I made it with acrylic yarn and that made it a little bit too stretchy. If you want to make that bag, I suggest using cotton yarn that isn’t as stretchy. The bag itself was also a little bit too big for me, so I repurposed it to hold some of my yarn.
Ever since we started our less-waste journey, Henry and I have been holding our fruits/veggies in our hands or just letting them roll around in the basket to avoid using those flimsy plastic bags. It’s a bit of a hassle though, since the baskets are usually pretty dirty, and holding the items limits our mobility. To fix that problem, I created this nifty little produce bag!
The crochet pattern is fairly simple and the bag is a lot smaller when compared to the Moogly Blog one. This one is designed to carry up to 5 or 6 apples.
The difficulty level of this pattern is Easy and this pattern is written in US crochet terminology.
sc: single crochet
dc: double crochet
sl st: slip stitch
ch sp: chain space
(…) x # : repeat anything in the parenthesis however many times the number indicates
[#]: total number of stitches for that row
#sc: one sc in the following # stitches
dc2: double crochet twice into the same st
THINGS YOU NEED
- Cotton Yarn in Fingering Weight
- 2.5 mm Crochet Hook
- Darning Needle
- Stitch Marker
Crochet Grocery Produce Bag Pattern
1 12sc in magic circle, sl st to first st 
2 Ch 2 (counts as first dc), dc in the same st the ch 2 is coming out of, dc2 in each st, sl st to the top of the Ch 2 
1 (Ch 4, sk next st, sc into the next st) x 11 [11 ch sp]
2 (Ch 6, sc into the ch sp) x 11 [11 ch sp]
3 (Ch 8, sc into the ch sp) x 11[11 ch sp]
**Place a stitch marker on the first ch sp of each row to help you keep count of your rows.
4-5 (Ch 10, sc into the ch sp) x 11 [11 ch sp]
6-20 (Ch 12, sc into the ch sp) x 11 [11 ch sp]
21 (Ch 8, sc into the ch sp) x 11 [11 ch sp]
22 4sc in current ch sp, (8 sc in ch sp) x 10, 4sc 
23 sc in all sts 
24 13sc, ch 20, sk 18 sts, 26sc, ch 20, sk 18 sts, 13sc
25 13sc, 20sc in the ch sp, 26sc, 20sc in the ch sp, 13sc
Fasten off, weave tails in, and your bag is done! You can make these in any colour you want and these are great stash busters. They’re also really easy to make, so they make great gifts!
Please leave me a comment down below (or contact me) if you have any questions about this pattern. I would also love to see your creation so don’t forget to tag me (@olliehollycrochet) on Instagram or use the #olliehollycrochet! Please let me know in the comments what you would like to see next!
If you find any mistakes in the pattern, please contact me and let me know! I do my best to catch my mistakes when I edit my patterns but I sometimes miss the little things.
You may sell products made from this pattern in small quantities but please clearly credit the design to me, Abby Sy of Ollie + Holly and provide a link to my blog www.OllieHolly.com. Permission is NOT granted for mass production or factory manufacturing of any kind. Thank you for being respectful and for your understanding!