Limiting how many single-use items we use is the simplest way to live a more eco-friendly life. I started by buying a reusable water bottle (and then bought one for nearly every person in my family and friends circle). My next step was to collect lots and lots of reusable totes to curb how many plastic bags I used.
I have to be honest, my collection got a little out of hand. I had almost a dozen tote bags and this was after a leaky sink ruined five others in my last apartment! Since there are so many, I’ve been “storing” them out in the open, crammed inside of each other. It’s been a total eyesore for the last month, so I decided to do something about it this week since I’m trying out this Marie Kondo/sparks joy/minimalism thing.
I went through my collection and literally picked the ones that sparked joy. Because here’s something I’ve noticed lately: I’m much more likely to use one of my reusables if I’m excited about the way they look. Blame Instagram or Pinterest, blame millennials and our need to have beautiful everything, but it’s true! A great example is my water bottle. I love the look of my S’well bottle. I love that people compliment me on it. I love that it looks like teak wood and matches my phone case.
Me loving the look of my water bottle makes it that much easier to remember to grab it and refill it everyday. And I realized this applied to my tote bags too! I have a really cute reusable tote bag from The Tote Project (which by the way, is doing some really wonderful things to end slavery) and it’s the bag I always go for. I have about eight other totes I can reach for and I still go for the pretty one from The Tote Project nine times out of ten.
If I’m given the choice, I’m choosing the pretty thing. I doubt I’m alone on this one!
Below is my wishlist of pretty, reusable tote bags. Brandon and I have chosen to limit our collection to six bags, max, so I’ll really have to pick my top four from this little collection.
Oh and bonus! They’re all under $15
because budgets are very real.
I found all of these on Etsy. The names of the shops are listed under each bag and clicking on the photowill take you straight to the Etsy listing.
My goal is to find bags that appeal to my personal interests (and let's be real, Brandon's too) so we can both be excited to use these totes. Most of my major interests are represented. There's coffee, Belle from Beauty and the Beast (with my favorite quote from the movie), French vocab, Breaking Bad, Harry Potter, and green botanical art with Jack Skellington and Star Wars thrown in there to give my husband a reason to get excited about tote bags!
Seriously, I want all of these totes. Choosing only four is gonna be toooouuuuugggghhh.
I'm also looking into doing some tote bag DIYs because I couldn't find a How I Met Your Mother or Gilmore Girls tote that I really liked...and clearly I need my tote bag collection to accurately reflect all my pop culture loves. Maybe a trip to Michael's is in my future!