Thursday, August 13, 2009

Snack taxi: my reusable snack and sandwich bag

With the concern over creating trash I recently bought a reusable sandwich bag. I saw them for sale at my local farm stand, Green Meadows, where I pick up my CSA produce share. My husband and I used to wrap sandwiches in parchment paper and carry snacks in waxed paper bags, and very rarely I did use a plastic zip-lock. I'd reuse the bags or paper, but I'd rather not make trash in the first place.

Green Meadows sells a bag called a Snack-Taxi (formerly Happy Sacks). And I really liked it because they're made in the western part of Massachusetts in a small cottage industry. In the bag was a little card with the following statistic:

"Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide - that's over 1 million per minute."

Sadly, many of these plastic bags end up in the ocean and then often in the stomach of sea turtles who mistake them for jellyfish, one of their favorite foods. We get many of these injured turtles into the Aquarium's rescue and rehab department, and we do save most of them. But, I'd like to think that some day everyone will be more mindful of the bag they pack their lunch in and we can save even more sea turtles.

So for everyone who packs lunch or snacks to work or on the trail there are alternatives out there. The only problem is that I had to go out and buy another Snack Taxi since my husband kept stealing mine!


  1. Well that would be a handy thing to have. And if it cuts down on plastic consumption that is even better.
    I love the sea turtle. Is that a photo from your aquarium?
    BTW - hope Lizzie is okay. I read that she gave you a scare. You almost need 4 arms and legs and eyes all over your head to keep up with them and everything that they can get into.

  2. The sea turtle is beautiful, like Rae, your aquarium?

    The reusable bags are a great idea, less plastic is always good. My husband's work is so close that he comes home for lunch so for the time being we use no bags at all. I think I will get some for snacks when we go to the lake for instance. Thanks for the tip.

    Also from reading Rae's comment, is Lizzie OK?


  3. Hello Kate,

    That's a very fashionable sandwich bag, do they come in different colors and designs? We use to pack sandwiches in plastics with zip locks and like you, we don't throw it and just reuse it but sometimes it annoys me seeing them over and over again. At present we are using a kind of paper I don't know what it's called and put it in brown envelopes which has been used.

    I know how plastics affects the marine life, there was one instance that a dolphin died due to plastic bag strangulation and it's very sad. I wish there will be more people who will care about the aquatic life.


  4. They are really beautiful but my sandwich would never survive the journey to work - I'd be so worried about it getting squashed I'd have to eat it on the way there!

  5. Rae: luckily that's not Myrtle, our 600 pound green sea turtle, I'd hate to be the vet that has to get that bag out of her stomach! I have no idea where that photo was taken, gotta love google images!

    SQ: I wish my husband and I worked close enough to home to come home and have lunch! that would be lovely!

    AL: yes, they come in all sorts of colors, mine has the coffee bean pattern and mu husband's has the airplanes and hot air balloons. He's very paticular about taking his and not mine, I guess he likes have a child's pattern! :) It is so sad to see marine life injured by our trash, it's only going to get worse.

    Lulu: the squash-factor is an issue. I'm sure there's a solution to it besides eating your sandwich on the way to work, not that that's a bad thing :) I've done that a few times just out of sheer hunger!

    Thanks for asking about Lizzie, she's fine, choked on a sharp piece of pottery she found somewhere in the kitchen even though I thought I swept up everything. After doing the baby Heimlich she coughed it up with a huge amount of blood, three hours in the ER and an x-ray, not fun. She thinks she's a goat and can eat anything! Pretty scary but it was my fault for not cleaning thoroughly.

    thanks for visiting everyone! -kate

  6. Wow, Kate, that was pretty scary about Lizzie, but I'm glad she's fine. I think I'll look for one of those reusable lunch bags. I don't use many, but I do use some, and this would make a good place for my daily nutty snacks. I take some and put them in a bag to keep me from just eating until they are gone, in order to ration myself. The bags last about two weeks and then they break, usually an inopportune moments (of course).

  7. Glad the little one is fine. Great idea on the bags. We quit using paper sacks and went to lunch boxes awhile ago. This is the next logical step.

  8. I love the idea about the Snack Taxi bag. I'll keep my eyes open for something similar in Canada. If I can't find one, who knows, maybe I'll try to make a sack bag to carry my lunches.

    It's very sad to hear about the injured turtles and I hope this will end as people become more aware of the dangers of plastic bags.

    Thanks for sharing another super alternative!

    Hugssss, Susan

  9. DJan, Thinker and Susan, It's great to hear you are already thinking along these lines. And Susan, I imagine that you could easily make something similar. you could just an envelope as a template and find some waterproof fabric for the inside. seems easy enough!

  10. The sea turtle is gorgeous. I have a yellow bellied slider so I am very fond of turtles. Staggering to think a million plastic bags a minute are consumed. I like the snack taxi, they look cute as well as functional.

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