Friday, May 28, 2010

Do Not Try This at Home

I'm always looking for ways to be environmentally friendly while saving money. Sounds like an oxymoron, right?

For example, I hate taking my veggies home in plastic bags. Long after investing in canvas bags for carrying groceries, I'm still taking lettuce and herbs home in their own plastic bags. I hate doing that, but the alternatives I've seen are so expensive! Take Debbie Meyer's
Green Bags for example (As Seen on TV!). I've heard they work, but do I really want to pay $17 for plastic bags that will have to get thrown out eventually anyway? No!

And anyway, I figured the reason produce goes bad is because it rots in its way-too-damp plastic bag. I can fix that problem for way less money!

For this project, I took a bunch of extra cotton muslin I had laying around ($1 a yard!), sewed it into bags and added a yarn draw string. This cost almost nothing and took about an afternoon. The bags looked like this:
After finishing the bags, I took a moment to congratulate myself on my ingenuity. This is an important step.

Next, I set about testing the effectiveness of my genius bags. Here's a picture of two bags of lettuce from the same farmer picked up from the farmer's market on the same day:
As you can see, I kept one in its plastic bag and put the other in my new cloth bag.

I'm pretty in love with salad right now, so over the next week or so I ate a bunch of it. Sorry.

But I did have enough left to test out my creation! Here are the results, with the bags on the opposite sides as the above picture:
Yes, that's right, my experiment was a complete failure. The lettuce in the cloth bag, shown on the left, withered and died right away. In fact, every single plant I've put in the cloth bags have died, including things that are pretty hard to kill. It even wilted a bunch of carrots.

So, it turns out, rather than being a stroke of genius, my home made cloth bags are just harbingers of plant death.

Conclusion? Buy the green bags. You can't out smart Debbie Meyer that easily!

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