Eco-Chic for the Farmer's Market

   By DailyGrommet  Jul 26, 2010

Leslie Dinaberg turned us on to ChicoBags, citing their convenience and portability as a huge draw. “ChicoBags are designed with their own little pouches to fit directly into your purse, backpack or beach bag so you always have them ready to use. It’s a simple little innovation, but it has really made it easier for me to be a ‘bag lady,’” says Leslie, who is the winner of Daily Grommet’s product discovery contest with, a community connecting moms.

We agree that creator Andy Keller hit the mark with the compact portability of these reusable shopping bags. Andy’s inspiration came from seeing his local landfill overflowing with plastic refuse, most of it single-use bags, and he began working on a viable alternative. The first ChicoBag designs were fittingly sold in Chico, Calif., on Earth Day in 2005. Although the bags come in a variety of fabrics, those made with rePETe™ contain recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate), the main ingredient in plastic drinking bottles.

The Produce Stand Starter Collection incorporates the easy portability and recycled materials for which ChicoBags are known, and takes the guesswork out of keeping your produce purchases fresh. The hemp/cotton bag is ideal for leafy greens and green beans because it restricts air flow and absorbs excess moisture. Conversely, the rePETe™ bag is great for carrots, celery, squashes and broccoli, because it restricts air flow but locks in moisture. Lastly, the mesh rePETe™ bag is perfect for apples, onions, potatoes and oranges, since the mesh allows ethylene gas to escape, preventing over-ripening. The full Produce Stand Kit includes an additional three mesh bags to make sure you can carry everything you need… because we suspect you’ll be hitting the farmer’s market a lot more often now.

Do you carry your own bags when you go shopping?

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musicmomma by musicmomma | LONG VALLEY, NJ
Nov 02, 2010

These look awesome! I don't know how many items I've tossed from my fridge because the plastic bag spoiled them before I used them. GREAT idea!!!

msfriendly by msfriendly | MONROE, WI
Oct 04, 2010

I have a ChicoBag and love it...It doesn't take up much room in my purse and I always have a reusable bag with me! I use the ChicoBag for more general purposes and I have other canvas bags in the car that I use at the grocery store. It takes some time to get into the habit of remembering them, but it's the responsible thing to do. Plastic bags are produced with oil and take thousands of years to degrade.

centrej by centrej | WALLA WALLA, WA
Sep 09, 2010

This is great! I forget about my reusable bags in the car and if I had it up front where I can see it, reminds me to take it with me. I like the different variety, especially using hemp.

Jrc3168 by Jrc3168 | Bronx, NY
Aug 31, 2010

I have a Chico bag and love it, especially as silverfox said, for trips to the Farmers' Market.

silverfox2010 by silverfox2010 | Overland Park, KS
Aug 07, 2010

This product would be fantastic for visiting farmers' markets. Our daughter is a grad student in CA and has to walk everywhere. She buys lots of organic veg, but hates piling all her purchases into either a plastic bag or her cloth bags. These bags would be godsend to her. I love the idea of the long handles. These would also fit into the saddle bags of our motorcycle. We use it to run short errands to save on gas. Congratulations on creating a fun, attractive and useful set of products! I've already bookmarked the ChicoBags site so I can order some later. Loved the video on the bags - informative and cute (the plastic bag man) and inspirational (nice the inventor/developer had this idea after losing his job). Necessity is indeed the mother of invention!

taysia38 by taysia38 | TEMPLE, TX
Aug 02, 2010

I keep my reuseable bags in my back seat so I can grab them when ever I go into a store and know I will be buying more than one thing.

dawnladyjane by dawnladyjane | Orlando, FL
Jul 28, 2010

I usually remember to bring bags, if I store them in the trunk of my car. I also sometimes purposely forget, and get the plastic. They make good : waterproof, separate compartments for coolers,:garbage bags for small trash cans: (doubled) =)dirty diaper disposal; car "barf bags", improvised emergency rain gear, shoe protectors in luggage; handy hampers during hospital visits: crumpled up to stuff between fragile items; or folded up and wrapped around too hot coffee cups from fast food stops: endless "recycling" opportunities!

jlindseyc by jlindseyc | LEXINGTON, KY
Jul 28, 2010

i have gotten good at remembering to use reusable bags at the grocery store but seem to forget when running in for smaller errands like target or a card shop or something like that...having something small and compact that stayed in your purse could really be a plus for times like that.

jeremiah06 by jeremiah06 | Chicago, IL
Jul 26, 2010

I like the idea alot. I have reuseable bags in my car. More than half of the time i forget them in the car and come out with plastic bags. It is not easy to remember the bags when you have to take your kids out , the last thing you think about is the reuseable bags. I have them there but forget about it. What i like about this product shown is that it is small enough for my purse.

MarFre by MarFre | OldFort, NC
Jul 26, 2010

I've been carrying my own bags when I go shopping for probably 20 years. Last Christmas, my husband gave me a ChicoBag in my stocking and I absolutely love it! It fits neatly inside my purse, so I always have it with me and it's large enough to carry multiple items. Super idea!

craftbrown1 by craftbrown1 | Friendswood, TX
Jul 26, 2010

I like the idea, but it is just one more thing to remember to take to the market with you. I will use the plastic but I will recycle them with my plastic then take it to the recycling center. I hope they are responsible then to dispose of them properly but I really don't know. I guess in the long run I will need to use the reusable bags and just remember to take them to the store.