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  This article is featured in the October '07 Feeding Your Family Newsletter
Recipes: Baked Veggie Tempura | What's in Season? Squash | Living Large | Things We Love! Cloth Bags |  Health Check: Diet Sodas


By Larissa Phillips
All around the world, countries from Australia to Zanzibar are banning or limiting plastic bags, and the idea is beginning to catch on here in the United States. We go through 100 billion plastic bags a year, and recycle less than 1 percent of that staggering amount. Aside from taking up space in landfills for the next 500 years, plastic bags litter landscapes, kill marine life and get tangled on power lines and in drain pipes.

But instead of just switching to paper bags, as many of the bans require, it's time to start bringing our own bags. And now reducing your carbon footprint is a good chance to make a fashion statement, too. If you missed out on Whole Foods' limited edition cloth bags last summer - and you don't want to spend a fortune on, well, a shopping bag - don't worry, the options are almost limitless.

A personal favorite of mine is the classic bolsa, long used by our neighbors south of the border. Cheap, practical and tough, these colorful mesh bags can really pack in the groceries. Just in time for Day of the Dead, consider the Katrina Mexican Market Bag, $8.80 at (They also have versions with mermaids and a Frida Kahlo likeness.) While you're there, check out the adorable children's purses - perfect for kids to tote their candy hauls on Halloween, in true eco fashion.

Larissa Phillips is an award-winning writer, cooking instructor and food writer for Dominion Parenting Media. Email her at