Organic muslin bags can be used for a variety of tasks, from brewing your organic tea to holding the bulk spices you bought at the store.
Reusable Bags Are Eco-Friendly
If you are like many people, you have begun to use reusable grocery bags when you shop. These sturdy totes allow you to pack and carry your groceries home without adding to the growing environmental problem of manufacturing and discarding plastic bags. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans use over 380 billion plastic bags per year.
You may want to consider bringing organic muslin bags to the grocery store or other shopping locations for the same reasons you bring along other reusable totes.
Uses for Muslin Bags
Muslin bags come in a variety of sizes for different uses. The larger bags can be used for:
- Bulk items
- Coffee beans
- Holding sandwiches, carrot sticks, or other lunchbox items
The lightweight bags can easily replace the common plastic bags in every grocery store. Because the bags are very thin, they are easy to fold up and take with you. Most muslin bags have drawstring tops as well, making it simple to secure and transport their contents.
If you drink loose-leaf tea, consider using small organic muslin bags for steeping it. Just spoon the amount of tea leaves that you would use per cup into a small muslin bag and pull the drawstring tight. Steep the tea for the usual amount of time. You won't need to strain the tea before drinking it.
You can also use small bags to hold bulk herbs and spices at the grocery store. The thin fabric will not add any significant amount to their total weights when you go to check out, and you can use the bags again.
Caring for Muslin Bags
Muslin bags are very easy to care for and maintain. Just wash bags in the washing machine with a mild, organic soap, and hang them to dry. Because of their lightweight fabric, the bags will dry very quickly. If they happen to get stained, you can treat the stains with non-chlorine bleach or lemon juice, wash the bags gently, and allow them to dry in the sun. Letting the bags dry in sunlight will also help guard against bacteria and mold in the fabric.
How to Make Organic Muslin Bags
Drawstring muslin bags are quite simple to make, even for people who don't have much experience with sewing. You will need organic muslin, organic thread, and ribbon or string for the drawstring.
- Cut the muslin fabric in a rectangle that is about as wide as you want the bag to be and twice as long as you want the finished bag to be.
- Fold the rectangle in half with the right sides together, and sew down each side, using a 1/4-inch seam.
- Fold 1/4 inch down around the top, and sew over the fabric to create a tunnel. Be sure to leave an open area through which to pull the drawstring.
- Turn the bag right side out, and feed the string through the tunnel you created. Knot the ends of the string together to keep it from pulling back through the bag.
You can find inexpensive organic muslin at many fabric stores as well as online at Organic Cotton Plus.
Where to Buy Organic Bags
If you don't want to make muslin bags yourself, you can easily order them in a variety of sizes on the Internet. Following are some Web sites that carry the bags:
Using organic muslin for your bulk purchases is an affordable and healthy alternative to plastic bags. Keep them hanging on hooks near your door for easy access, or stick a few in your purse or glove compartment for last-minute shopping stops.