ChicoBag Giveaway

This summer when we went to Outdoor Retailer I was pleasantly surprised to come across a few companies with "green" home related products. I'm not a big gear junkie and most of Outdoor Retailer is all about gear.

Gear for water sports. Gear for hunting. Gear for hiking. Gear for walking. Gear for dogs. Gear for gear. I'm telling you - gear overload. 

So coming across the ChicoBag booth was a nice break.

ChicoBag is (surprise, surprise) a bag company. I think I could never get tired of bags. I love them and am always tempted to add new ones to my stash but I really try to limit myself to the few I need - an all purpose out-of-the-house tote, a backpack, and a large beach bag.

I don't do "purse". We won't even talk about how many hand bags, make up bags, and sparkly bags Brienne owns.

My current all purpose bag is handmade locally here in Nova Scotia. I bought it to replace my out-of-the-house tote stolen from our car last month.

I also have a whole slew of large and sturdy shopping bags that permanently reside in the back of our car. You know the kind - promo bags that companies give away for advertising purposes. Or that you can buy cheap in the grocery store. I'm a walking advertisement for the oddest assortment of companies and products every time I grocery shop. My cart laden with such an odd mix of reusable bags.

The one type of bag that I have been lacking and am now adding to my bag stash is reusable produce and bulk food bags. 

These again are an odd assortment of hand sewn numbers (very few of those, who has time to sew with all this writing), store bought, and re-purposed bags. I have been building up my supply so I never need touch plastic grocery bags again. I gotta say, keeping lettuce fresh in a cloth bag is a tricky one. 

With this in mind I was very delighted when I was given a ChicoBag Produce Stand Starter Kit for review and giveaway.

ChicoBag makes some really cool bags. All of them fold neatly into little pouches. That would sure clean up the back of my car.

The company works to reduce pollution, belongs to a fair labor association, and participates in other people and earth friendly initiatives

I personally love the look of their Vita rePETe Bag (I wasn't lucky enough to score one of those).

That is the kind of grocery bag I would love to use. How cute, space efficient, and put-together is that? 

The rePETe label is very cool. It's a trademarked designation that helps consumers know which ChicoBags contain recycled content and how much. 

If recycled plastic isn't your gig they also have a natural fiber Hemp-Cotton blend bag.

The ChicoBag Produce Stand Starter Kit (try to say that fast five times) features three bags - one mesh rePETe, a regular rePETe and one hemp-cotton blend bag.

These are big bags and I'm impressed with their size. They are big enough to easily fit a large, leafy head of kale or multiple heads of lettuce (still working on how to keep them fresh in the fridge).

The bags have labels that recommend what veggies will keep best in what bags. 

ChicoBags all come with a little pouch to store the bag. In the starter kit it's a tomato red drawstring pouch with an attached carabiner. I don't use the little red pouch, it's cutsey but not terrible useful to me. I just shove all my mis-matched produce bags together in one larger cloth bag.

ChicoBags is giving away one Produce Stand Starter Kit to a lucky FIMBY reader. 

To enter the giveaway leave your name and tell us what you use for produce bags. Comments closed Wednesday night, October 5th. Out of 71 unique commenters (a couple of you left replies to other people) commenter 29 was chosen using Random.Org. Congratulations Megan!

Extra points (not really) go those commenters who can answer the question, How do you keep your lettuce and tender leafy greens (ex: herbs) fresh without using plastic?

Renee Tougas participates in affiliate marketing, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Whenever you buy something on Amazon from a link you clicked here, I get a (very) small percentage of that sale. See disclosure for further explanation.

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  • Lise

    Lise on Sept. 30, 2011, noon

    I've had a lot of luck wetting and wringing out a linen dishcloth, wrapping the lettuce in it, and tucking the bundle into the crisper drawer. A head of bib lettuce from the farm lasted 2 weeks that way, looking as fresh as the day I put it in!


  • Heather

    Heather on Sept. 30, 2011, 12:38 p.m.

    Awesome! I have been thinking about produce bags. We don't really have anything except boat bags from LL Bean for grocery shopping, so I tend to just stick the produce in those when I am at the farmers' market, and hope the food doesn't get too jumbled :-) It would be nice to have something specifically for produce...and the bulk bins, goodness! As far as keeping food fresh...definitely can't help you! I try to put my leafy greens in a high humidity drawer in the fridge, and then use them as fast as I can :-)


  • marcie

    marcie on Sept. 30, 2011, 12:59 p.m.

    I have been looking for a produce bag for ever. I just haven't found one that I really love. So, they just get tossed in with everything else and I usually come home with bruised tomatoes. I am going to get another good Trader Joe's bag this weekend. They are the best reusable bags I have found.


  • Bridget Stevens

    Bridget Stevens on Sept. 30, 2011, 1:08 p.m.

    I would love these. I have a few mesh produce bags, but not nearly enough for the CSA stash, but yeah keeping things fresh in them seems to be alluding me.


  • michelle

    michelle on Sept. 30, 2011, 1:29 p.m.

    I use a mesh produce bag not unlike the bag that onions come in. They are really tricky to get broccoli and lettuces in as they go back to "closed' when not in use. I would love to start using these. Thanks Renee.


  • Amy

    Amy on Sept. 30, 2011, 1:33 p.m.

    I saw something on Pinterest lately about "salad in a jar". (Google it - she has a webpage.) She chops up her lettuce so that it is salad-ready then puts it in Mason jars and uses a special jar lid attachment with her FoodSaver to suck the air out of the jar. Apparently this makes it keep MUCH longer.


    • Barbara Tougas

      Barbara Tougas on Oct. 1, 2011, 10:54 p.m.

      To keep lettuce fresh and ready to eat (we have done this on camping trips/ski trips) I tear the lettuce in salad-sized pieces and wash it and spin it dry. Then I sprinkle a little garlic powder in a zip-lock bag and stuff the lettuce in it. then I close the bag until only a small opening is left and then SQUEEZE ALL THE AIR OUT OF THE BAG, and then finish zipping it shut. It takes much less room in the cooler, the lettuce stays fresher without the air, and you can just pour it in a container and eat.


  • Sara

    Sara on Sept. 30, 2011, 1:35 p.m.

    I've never seen these bags before...they sound like a great idea. We have all sorts of reuseable bags, but nothing specifically for produce. Limp lettuce is my specialty!


  • Valerie

    Valerie on Sept. 30, 2011, 1:38 p.m.

    I try to reuse my plastic produce bags some, but that's still storing in plastic. I've found that salad greens will stay pretty good for a few days in the salad spinner (after I've washed and spun it dry), as long as I remember to dump the water out of the bottom of the salad spinner. I'll have to try the damp dishcloth method from the first commenter.


  • Matthew

    Matthew on Sept. 30, 2011, 1:59 p.m.

    My wife and I don't go through our greens very quickly, so our strategy is to buy as little as possible just before we are going to use it so that it doesn't have a chance to go bad.

    Since we don't buy much, we try to just skip produce bags when convenient. Just toss the lettuce, fruit, veggies, whatever, into the basket and pack it away as soon as we get home. It's less than 5 minutes from the store to home, why would we need to get a bag just to keep stuff organized inside our reusable bags on the way home?


  • Kathleen

    Kathleen on Sept. 30, 2011, 2:16 p.m.

    I use an assortment of reusable mesh and cloth bags for produce but would love more, especially when I buy a lot in the bulk section too. Love the tip above about the wet washcloth - it makes sense that it would work!


  • LisaInCT

    LisaInCT on Sept. 30, 2011, 2:45 p.m.

    I'm a bit of a bag-o-holic too! Love them, all shapes and sizes. Don't have anything that I use at the moment that is great for produce bags, but would love these! Thanks for the giveaway!


  • Becky @ Sowing Little Seeds

    Becky @ Sowing Little Seeds on Sept. 30, 2011, 2:50 p.m.

    I feel a little ashamed to say it but I just use the plastic bags they have in the produce isle in the grocery store. It never occured to me to use a reusable bag for this. I use reusable bags for most of my grocery shopping and for my occasional visits to the farmer's market. As for greens, sorry, I can't be of help. We have a grocery store less than a mile down the road so I just buy a little at a time and pickup fresh veggies every few days.


  • Christie

    Christie on Sept. 30, 2011, 3:21 p.m.

    So strange, this is the third mention of chicobags in the last 3 days! I'd never heard of them before. I use the plastic produce bags from the grocery store that I wash and use until they are icky. I tell you I hate washing those bags. Being a seamstress, every time I have to wash a large round, I vow to make cloth bags. I finally did a few months ago, but I quickly realized that I way way underestimated how many I'd need. I've been tempted to buy some bags, but it's so hard when "I could make that." Oh I really hope I win these.


  • Renee

    Renee on Sept. 30, 2011, 3:28 p.m.

    My mother had made me some light weight mesh produce bags, that are great, but I only have 2, so everything else stays in the plastic. I would love to get away from plastic bags for bread storage, but I'm just not sold on storing it in fabric bags.


  • Kristin

    Kristin on Sept. 30, 2011, 3:49 p.m.

    I've been sewing some produce and bulk bags this week-for use at the store. Still not sure how to keep produce fresh without plastic at home- especially with at CSA- since the produce has to last as long as a week. Currently just reusing ziplock bags over and over again.


  • Granola Girl

    Granola Girl on Sept. 30, 2011, 4 p.m.

    Currently we use produce bags that I knit up really fast with a bunch of little holes in them so they don't weigh a bunch and don't get all wet. Sometimes, especially since we moved, I forget them and then I have to use dreaded plastic ones.

    I have no idea on the lettuce, but I really want to know!


    • Anonymous

      Anonymous on Oct. 1, 2011, 12:44 p.m.

      Hi Granola Girl,

      I'm just learning how to knit, and those bags sound like they'd be a neat little project to try! It'd be awesome if sometime you could post the pattern on your blog (I made one of the washcloths the other day).



  • Cath

    Cath on Sept. 30, 2011, 4:13 p.m.

    Oh, i love the look of these! I tend to either not put my produce in a bag (and put it in a used bag once I get it home) or bring used ones with me (when I remember). I'd love more tricks for keeping my produce longer - I do meal plan fairly religiously, in part to use those things first that keep less well - but beyond that, am out of ideas!


  • Vickie

    Vickie on Sept. 30, 2011, 4:15 p.m.

    I've been wanting to make my own produce bags for some time but never got around to it.... yet. These would be lovely to own though. Up to now I don't use those pesky little produce bags except for smaller items like nuts and grapes. Apples, oranges, veggies... they all go rolling around on the belt (I'm pretty sure the grocery clerk is happy with me).


  • Sage

    Sage on Sept. 30, 2011, 4:28 p.m.

    I don't have any produce bags. When we go to the farmers market, I've been stuffing the produce into my purse. :( Help! I could really use some bags.


  • debra

    debra on Sept. 30, 2011, 5:22 p.m.

    how lovely!!!! thank you!!!!!

    i do use plastic bags for my lettuce and my kale/chard/spinach. i haven't figured out another way to do it, and i didn't feel all right throwing away produce that was going bad too quickly. i use mesh bags for all other produce, and for herbs like basil, i cut the stems like you would for cut flowers, and put them in water on the counter. that seems to work pretty well!


  • Amy V

    Amy V on Sept. 30, 2011, 7:21 p.m.

    I use the cloth bags when I shop at the farmers market and try to not bag produce when I go to the grocery store.

    Cut the ends of herbs (like fresh flowers) and put them in water on the counter or in the fridge.


  • Jolie Newman

    Jolie Newman on Sept. 30, 2011, 9:08 p.m.

    I have been using the plastic bags at the store, which I totally loathe. I would love to have a different option. I do do some shopping at our local farmers' market. For this, I have have a large, sturdy basket that I carry with me and just lump everything in together.

    For lettuce -- I don't have one, but have been wanting -- one of those Tupperware lettuce crisper containers. My mom had one in the seventies and it worked great. I don't even know if they still make them! At least it would be reusable . . .


  • Tara

    Tara on Sept. 30, 2011, 9:22 p.m.

    For produce bags, I usually reuse our plastic ones. It is very rare that I have to use fresh bags from the store. Still the idea of NOT using plastic at all is very nice. I put my damp lettuce in a flour sack towel. It lasts for a few days, but not much longer than that. I'd love to try out the Chico bags.


  • Kika

    Kika on Sept. 30, 2011, 9:32 p.m.

    My produce bags are organic "CredoBags" - a sort of cotton/mesh style - bought from the Life Without Plastic website but I've also seen them at an organic market I shop at. Because I bought them sight unseen they are smaller than I'd like but I still use them all the time. Sadly, where I live, it is not possible to buy organic lettuce that is not already in a plastic container or bag.


  • Naomi

    Naomi on Sept. 30, 2011, 10:38 p.m.

    Before we moved into our camper we used the cloth bags you buy at the grocery store, but since we moved I have not had a large enough space to hold a trash can. The fix became that instead of buying trash bags we would get our produce in plastic and use those bags to hold garbage that can be put in our garbage bin, thus taking up less space, which is very important in a camper. With that said, I am also a fan of cloth bags and bags in general. If I had cloth meant specifically for produce, I would gladly use them instead of plastic!


  • Hillary

    Hillary on Oct. 1, 2011, 1:21 a.m.

    Ummm...yes, please! I want to win!

    We use cloth shopping bags, but are still using plastic produce bags which horrifies me, but I try not to feel about it because I figured one day I would win a cool blog give-away and get awesome alternatives ;-)


  • Andrea

    Andrea on Oct. 1, 2011, 1:24 a.m.

    I always use cloth bags when I remember but I don't have anything for produce, I just use the store bags but would rather not!


  • Lori

    Lori on Oct. 1, 2011, 1:27 a.m.

    Oh these look like great bags, so pretty too!! I sometimes use the plastic bags at the store ~ but as little as possible and if I do, I put everything in one bag. The cashiers don't care for that, but it cuts down on the number of bags. :) At home, I use paper towels to wrap greens in. I never thought to bring bags with me for my fresh greens ~ I need to change that! Thanks!!


  • Leslie

    Leslie on Oct. 1, 2011, 1:28 a.m.

    I would love this! I'm very imperfect when it comes to bag use. I try to collect the bags that people at street fairs give away (advertising), and I'm usually good at bringing them with me. But, it's hard to bring enough. They don't always hold things well without falling apart.

    My solution to storage of greens is easy. We eat them! Fast! ...otherwise, they end up in soup.


  • Dave

    Dave on Oct. 1, 2011, 1:57 a.m.

    We've been re-using plastic produce bags that we store in one of our cloth bags we use for carrying groceries from the store. I've been wanting to get out of that game since they only last so long. We've been inspired by the Bee at the zerowaste blog who uses cloth pillowcases for bread and mostly jars. As far as leafy greens, I've toyed with the idea of getting a fridge without any of the extra bins and then putting in a tub on the bottom rack and floor that seals almost airtight.


  • Fernanda

    Fernanda on Oct. 1, 2011, 2:10 a.m.

    I just use the regular plastic bags provided at the store - would love to take these with me instead. Thank you.


  • Kimberly

    Kimberly on Oct. 1, 2011, 2:20 a.m.

    I try to avoid using the plastic bags available at the grocery store, so I just throw everything in a reusable bag. We also usually buy our organic lettuce at costco so it already comes prepackaged although not pre-cut. If we have leftover washed and cut lettuce, I put it in a leftover container. Lettuce can also be saved wrapped in a damp towel in the fridge. These bags look amazing!


  • Natalie

    Natalie on Oct. 1, 2011, 5:26 a.m.

    I don't use any produce bags besides the plastic ones at the store. I've been wanting to make some for a while, but with three kids under five, my poor sewing machine feels quite neglected. These would be perfect!


  • Nichole

    Nichole on Oct. 1, 2011, 9:31 a.m.

    I do use plastic produce bags from the grocery store on occasion but would love to eliminate them completely!


  • Sara

    Sara on Oct. 1, 2011, 11:49 a.m.

    I bring reusuable bags for all my groceries. I didn't think about using produce bags. That would defiantley cut down on the plastic bags in my pantry.


  • Catherine Forest

    Catherine Forest on Oct. 1, 2011, 11:51 a.m.

    I still used recycled plastic bags to keep my produce... It is time that I change that! Would love to try a Chicco bag... To keep my lettuce crunchy, I soak it is water with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar for 10 minutes, dry it and wrap it in a tea towel.


  • Charity

    Charity on Oct. 1, 2011, 1:51 p.m.

    These are such neat bags! I have never heard of them. I generally use standard re-usable grocery bags for our produce (when we actually buy it at the store). We participate in a CSA and, in that case, I take a box with me every week and place everything in the box. When I go to the market, I use our cloth bags. Then everything goes in the crisper drawer in the fridge. I don't put it in any sort of container so if it goes bad before we can eat it....we just feed it to the chickens.


  • Constance

    Constance on Oct. 1, 2011, 3:40 p.m.

    These bags are great! I have been meaning to make some produce bags but of course it hasn't happened yet. I admit that if I know I won't be using the leafy greens immediately, I use a plastic produce bag. Otherwise, I just leave everything loose and put it in the drawer ( I know it drives some of the cashiers nuts to have to corral all the apples!). The tea towel idea sounds good, though.


  • domestic diva

    domestic diva on Oct. 1, 2011, 4:37 p.m.

    We use reusable bags, but they look much heavier than these. Lighter ones would be nice (and weigh less at check out -- helpful when the market doesn't put in a tare weight).


  • ikkinlala

    ikkinlala on Oct. 1, 2011, 6:25 p.m.

    It depends which produce. At the grocery store I do use plastic bags if necessary, but I try to reuse them several times. At home, for garden produce, I often just use tea towels.


  • kyndale

    kyndale on Oct. 1, 2011, 7:01 p.m.

    I use produce bags that I've made (or have been made for me). I love them, especially for bulk items. I find the cloth bags aren't the best for produce but I LOVE these chicobags. They keep produce really fresh.


  • Mikkin

    Mikkin on Oct. 1, 2011, 7:37 p.m.

    I don't have reusable bags for produce---though I'd like too! I tend to combine all produce in one reusable (the 99 cent variety) bag.


  • Kelly

    Kelly on Oct. 1, 2011, 10:24 p.m.

    I have a ChicoBag with handles that I bought about 6 years ago. I keep it in its little attached pouch inside my all-purpose bag and I use it for everything. If I'm dropping by the super market and not doing a full food shopping, I'll use it for that. I also use it for things at all kinds of random stores like the pharmacy or what have you. My lunch bag recently acquired some giant holes (I made it out of an old pillow case so it wasn't that sturdy to begin with) and I had to throw it out. I've been using my ChicoBag for the last three weeks to bring my lunch to work. However, I have noticed that the bottom seam is starting to look a little distressed and there are a few small holes in the fabric of the bag. I guess it's almost time for a new bag. I would love to be able to use the produce bags for produce, but also for anything else that a bag can hold.


  • Erin Harold

    Erin Harold on Oct. 1, 2011, 11:55 p.m.

    These bags look great!

    Most of our greens come from our garden or the local farm -- those get put in reusable bags (all jumbled up, not ideal). Once home, I wash them and dry in a salad spinner. What we don't use right away, I leave in the salad spinner and store in the fridge. Takes up more space, but it seems to keep things crisp for a couple of days.


  • Anonymous

    Anonymous on Oct. 2, 2011, 12:01 a.m.

    Right now if I just get a couple of items I let them roll around loose, but for a larger number I use the plastic bags at the grocery... funny I hadn't really thought about those little produce bags until now, even though I'm fairy diligent about reusable bags for my main grocery bags.

    How do the cashiers deal with cloth bags though (at a regular grocery store, not a farmer's market)? Don't they want to see what's in the bags? And I guess the weight of the bag just gets added into the price? Geez, I feel out of the loop here :p!


  • Tonia

    Tonia on Oct. 2, 2011, 5:49 a.m.

    I would love a set of produce bags! i have been meaning to make some for a long time, but with three children underfoot, I just haven't had the time. So sadly I still use plastic. :( If I buy 1 of something, I don't bag it, so that helps a little.... Thanks for the giveaway!


  • oneshabbychick

    oneshabbychick on Oct. 2, 2011, 3:29 p.m.

    These look great! I have some handmade sacks I bought on etsy - the challenge is having them when I need them. I 'd love to give these a try! I have their VITA bag in my purse at all times - love it.


  • Laura

    Laura on Oct. 2, 2011, 4:49 p.m.

    These look like great bags. I either don't use produce bags or I reuse the ones from the store over and over - wash and repeat. I am in serious need of a new system. Thanks for the great give away.


  • Rachel Bonson

    Rachel Bonson on Oct. 3, 2011, 1:18 a.m.

    I have one or two produce bags I received from a friend but I typically need more than 2 and end up using the plastic ones from the store. I'd love to have more! schkinner at yahoo dot com


  • Mel

    Mel on Oct. 3, 2011, 3:15 a.m.

    Great giveaway! We have some cloth bags I use for produce, but not enough. I reuse plastic bags, too. I still don't know how to keep stuff fresh, so we just eat it quickly ;)


  • Pamela

    Pamela on Oct. 3, 2011, 3:28 a.m.

    Oh, I would love to have some of these bags! I can't tell you how long I've been saying that I'm going to make some. All sorts of other things get made (usually finishing around 1am!), but sadly, these have been on the back burner. And, please, DO TELL how you are keeping your greens so fresh without plastic!


  • Cinda

    Cinda on Oct. 3, 2011, 9:19 p.m.

    I use reusable bags MOST of the time at the grocery or any store I go into. I haven't found a produce bag to use yet and this looks just like what I had in mind.


  • Carol

    Carol on Oct. 4, 2011, 12:17 a.m.

    I would love to try these bags. I use plastic sometimes, otherwise just toss into my Trader Joe or Whole Foods bags.


  • Elizabeth

    Elizabeth on Oct. 4, 2011, 4:40 p.m.

    These bags look beautiful! I don't have bags I use at this point. I too have been just putting them loose in my cart, then bagging them at the register. I love the description of these (and would love to win some ;) ) Either way I will be checking their website out :)


  • Jennifer

    Jennifer on Oct. 4, 2011, 8:37 p.m.

    These produce bags look fantastic! I usually don't use any bag for my produce, just put it in the cart, or if I am at a farmer's market I bring my own shopping bag. I would love one of these! thanks.


  • shelli

    shelli on Oct. 4, 2011, 8:59 p.m.

    Well, I use (ahem) the plastic bags that I get at the grocery store. I have always wanted to get something like this. They look beautiful.


  • Abigail

    Abigail on Oct. 5, 2011, 2:50 a.m.

    I only cut greens up when I'm about to eat them, and I put any leftover veggies in mason jars. :)


  • Penny

    Penny on Oct. 5, 2011, 3:59 a.m.

    Produce bags...?? It usually starts with a quick walk through the garden only to find that something is ripe and irresistable. So my Tshirt becomes my bag as I hold out the hem to create a basket and keep filling her up until I can carry no more. As you may have guessed, planning ahead is not one of my forte's so it should not be a surprise that if I have to stop at the store to pickup up veggies that I never have a bag with me so I make due with the plastic ones in the produce section.


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