Beneficial bags: saving the earth, one tote at a time.

Author:Soucy, Karen
Position:GREEN LIVING: CONSUMER NEWS - Buyers guide

It's estimated that the average person uses 500 plastic bags per year and recycles only four or five of them. With over 500 billion plastic bags discarded every year, it s no wonder that the demand for an alternative is skyrocketing. And your purchase of a tote bag can give back in ways you never imagined. With the holidays approaching, giving the gift of a tote can do more than reduce the plastic bag pandemic; it can support a variety of nonprofit organizations covering environmental, social and global causes.

Here is a roundup of some of today s "totes with a mission."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED][TM] Recycled Pear Bag: This fun-loving tote is made from recycled plastic water bottles. Coupling eco-fashion with a campaign that donates to a number of nonprofit environmental organizations including Oceana, Earth Resource Foundation, The Clean Water Fund and Heal the Bay, aims to raise one million dollars by the year s end. The Recycled Pear Bag is sold in packs of 10 ($19.95). Another offering from this forward-thinking group, which touts fans worldwide, is The Reuse Bag ($4.95). With six brilliant colors to choose from, this tote also comes with its own pouch and hook for easy storage once the workday is done.


Feed 100 Bag: Created by Lauren Bush, cofounder and CEO of FEED Projects (and niece to our 43rd president), each purchase ($29.99) provides 100 nutritious meals to schoolchildren in Rwanda through the United Nations World Food Programme. Sold exclusively through Whole Foods Market, the bags are fair trade and made from organic burlap. According to Bush, "Creating the FEED 100 bag was inspired by the need to take better care of children and the planet at the same time.";


My Bag Cares[TM]: This generously sized tote is a must-have for the tree lover on your list. For every My Bag Cares purchased, a tree is planted in fire-ravaged areas of our national forests. Nearly 17,000 trees have been planted through the Arbor Day Foundation. The bags are made of linen and untreated natural cotton. Every My Bag Cares ($25) is also shipped in a 100% recycled box and includes a thank-you card for your recipient (printed on recycled paper, of course).


Friends of Al: The New York design team Hayden-Harnett offers this natural canvas tote with a...

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