Morgen's Profile

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THE STORY OF KOOTSACS:
One day, while shopping in my favorite natural food store, I suddenly became aware of how much plastic filled our shopping carts. Beautiful organic nuts, grains, pulses and other healthy dried goods go home in a zillion plastic bags. I was appalled when I considered how many plastic bags we throw away in a year.
I wanted to find an alternative. They needed to be lightweight, yet strong, reusable, washable and would fasten with a twist tie. They had to be capable of holding any bulk food item, even flour, without leakage.
As a clothing designer and textile artist I felt that I could come up with some alternative to this problem.
Kootsac bags were born out of a need to contribute something, using the skills I have to the green movement. I have always been a conscious shopper. Considering health, environmental and social implications of everything I buy…

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  • Joined February 14, 2008

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kootsac
Reusable bulk food and produce bags. Go...

About

THE STORY OF KOOTSACS:
One day, while shopping in my favorite natural food store, I suddenly became aware of how much plastic filled our shopping carts. Beautiful organic nuts, grains, pulses and other healthy dried goods go home in a zillion plastic bags. I was appalled when I considered how many plastic bags we throw away in a year.
I wanted to find an alternative. They needed to be lightweight, yet strong, reusable, washable and would fasten with a twist tie. They had to be capable of holding any bulk food item, even flour, without leakage.
As a clothing designer and textile artist I felt that I could come up with some alternative to this problem.
Kootsac bags were born out of a need to contribute something, using the skills I have to the green movement. I have always been a conscious shopper. Considering health, environmental and social implications of everything I buy.

Kootsac on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/kootsac

My blog: http://whatdoesthegoldenmean.blogspot.com/

Kootsac on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kootsac/71588974210#/album.php?profile&id=71588974210

QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE:

WHY NOT USE A NATURAL FIBRE LIKE COTTON FOR BULK FOOD BAGS?
I am a textile artist and designer and only work with natural fibres, so that was my first thought too. Cotton is too heavy for higher priced items like nuts and spices, and things like flour leak through the weave. Uncoated ripstop nylon is lightweight, does'nt leak and is very strong.
That being said, I do offer cotton bags for produce and large amounts of grains and pulses.

WHAT ABOUT THE NATURAL SILK BAGS?
These bags are lightweight like the ripstop nylon. For a natural fibre they are strong, although not as strong as the nylon. They may not last as long as the nylon bags because being a natural fibre the silk bags will eventually biodegrade.

WHY IS THERE NO DRAWSTRING?
It was important to keep the weight down. When you buy bulk food you are paying by weight. These bags weigh the same as a plastic bag. Just use a twist tie. Many stores require that you put a bin number on the twist tie.

WILL THEY BE ACCEPTED IN A GROCERY STORE?
All the natural food stores I've used them in have been really excited to see an alternative to plastic and have been very supportive. I can't speak for other stores. This is something which you'll have to find out for yourself in the area which you live in. I can say that there is a movement towards banning the plastic bag in many parts of the world.

WHAT ABOUT WASHING?
Both the ripstop nylon and silk bags bags are washable. The nylon bags should last you a few years. Wash cold or warm and please DO NOT PUT SILK OR NYLON IN YOUR DRYER. They will air dry very quickly. Cotton bags may be put in the dryer.
I recommend that you wash them frequently, especially after something like flour. Remember that you are taking them into a store which sells food so it is important to keep them clean.

CAN I STORE MY FOOD IN THEM?
These bags have been designed specifically for bringing home your bulk food or produce purchases from the store. They are not intended for long term storage.
In the same way as I try not to store food in plastic I would not store my food in these bags. I put the food in a glass storage container when I get home from the grocery store. Plastic leaches chemicals into your food. Ripstop nylon is not an organic material so I would treat it the same way as plastic, although it is an uncoated nylon.

SOME FACTS ABOUT PLASTIC:
* The world uses an estimated one million plastic bags per minute: 150 bags per year for every person on earth.
* When 1 ton of plastic bags is reused or recycled, the energy equivalent of 11 barrels of oil are saved.
* Plastic debris cause the deaths of more than a million seabirds yearly as well as 100 000 marine mammals.
* Plastic makes up 60-80% of all garbage floating in the oceans. Every square km of ocean contains 13 000 to 18 000 pieces of plastic.
* In the Central North Pacific Gyre, pieces of plastic outweigh surface zooplankton by a factor of 6 to 1.
* 90% of Laysan Albatross chick carcasses and their regurgitated stomach contents contain plastics. Fish and seabirds mistake plastic for food and when their stomachs are filled up with plastic, they die of starvation.
* Plastic made from plants takes generations to degrade in landfills. When it degrades without oxygen it releases methane, a greenhouse gas 23 times more powerful than CO 2.

For more information on plastic in our environment please see the following websites:

www.algalita.org is dedicated to the protection of the marine environment and its watersheds through research, education, and restoration.

Most shocking video about plastic pollution:
http://5gyres.org/posts/2010/05/18/the_most_shocking_plastic_pollution_video_youve_ever_seen

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