Eco-Friendly Totes for All Occasions
Whether you’re a horse lover, dog lover or simply an eco-enthusiast you’ll love this creative take on recycling and upcycling turned fashion trend by Diane Stacy. Plastic animal food bags now have a new and fun purpose.
Originally a florist in the Tampa Bay area, Stacy, an ardent equestrian and dog fanatic, utilizes her artistic touch to create tote bags from animal food bags. As a staff member at Whispering Oaks Equestrian Center, she continuously looked for ways to recycle the 50 pound horse feed bags that came every week to the center. She started using them to replace trashcan liners, and then began filling the bags with sand to create sandbags for the Florida hurricane season.
“I kept thinking about a way to recycle the bags that would display their colorful and artsy labels,” Stacy said. “I noticed other smaller tote bags upcycled from recyclable items such as gum wrappers or juice boxes, so I figured why not make a large bag that will not only be fashionable but useful.”
The grain bags that she uses are primarily plastic that would otherwise spend generations at the bottom of a landfill. After Stacy cleans, shapes and sews the bags she gets a little craftier by adding some flair of decoration.
“I add ribbons and rhinestones to the bags to make them a little more glitzy for the kids. For the handles I braid the plastic hay twine or simply use similar ribbon to match the bows,” she said.
After starting with large tote bags, she began designing smaller totes from dog food bags.
“I believe that recycling is not only important, but it is a necessity that adults need to act upon in order to promise a quality life for our younger generations,” Stacy said. “Upcycling the bags give me a way to set an example and to give back.”
She sells the bags to raise money for horse youth groups such as the Tropical Trotters Morgan Youth Club located in Tampa Bay.
It’s creative individuals, like Stacy, who demonstrate how to reduce our carbon footprint by finding innovative ways to reuse everyday items.
To contact Stacy and purchase a tote for yourself, email her at Amandastacy92@yahoo.com.