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Lansdale, PA

Pet care in Lansdale, PA. Certified in Pet First Aid and CPR through the American Red Cross. Bonded and insured. Supporter of local pet rescue!


Ecofriendly Little Home & Pets Blog

Eco-friendly and earth-conscious features and reviews, pet care tips, and feeding education. Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free autoimmune diet musings.  Interested in having your product reviewed here?  Please email:

Filtering by Tag: reusable bags

When it's hot outside, string bags are the best for toting essentials

Christina Ottaviano

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to review a great, reusable set of bags from ECOBAGS®.  I used them for a few days to get a feel for how they’d work in practical situations.  I am still using them today!

Day 1: Took my ECOBAGS® 10 inch tote handle String Bag with me to the drug store.  I picked up shampoo, and a few other items.  I used it while shopping, and then returned my items to it after ringing up at the register.  Loved the sturdiness of the handle and the stretch in the netting!  It folded up nicely and fit right in my purse afterward, for the next time I’d need to use it.  I also liked not having to touch the store-supplied shopping basket.

Day 2: I have four dachshunds.  One had back surgery in January 2012.  As a result, he can no longer go up or down stairs.  So, every night I carry him up with me.  Not a big deal, except I can’t carry anything else while carrying him.  ECOBAGS® to the rescue!  I gathered the items I wanted to take with me, and used the 22 inch long handle String Bag.  It fit perfectly over my shoulder, and I was easily able to carry it and my dog up the stairs, eliminating the need for two trips.  Four years later, I am still using the bag for this task.  My dog sees the bag, and knows it's time for bed!  I carry everything from clean laundry to whatever else needs to go up - toilet paper, toiletries, etc.  Also, the string bags are quite convenient while walking dogs outside for a hands-free way to carry the necessities.  The design of the string bags are especially lightweight in the heat, allowing air to pass through and almost feeling like carrying nothing.

Day 3: I took the ECOBAGS® Produce and Bulk Bags to a farm stand with me.  Initially, I noticed that they were very lightweight and had no concerns about them weighing too much for the produce scale to influence my produce weight.  I filled the small bag with berries, the middle bag with peaches and put my eggs in the large bag.  I liked how the drawstrings kept the bags shut, but were still easy to open at the register.  I was absolutely thrilled not to have those plastic produce bags in my groceries when I got home.  I also took the 22 inch long handle String Bag with me and put all of my bagged produce in it to take home.  I put it right over my shoulder and carrying it to my car was effortless and convenient, having both of my hands free to use my keys.  I take them to the farmer's market, and to the farm where I buy eggs as well.  I am often asked where I got mine - they are still in very good shape after 4 years of use.

What did I love most about them?  They’re 100% cotton, with azo-free dyes and machine washable.  They are so lightweight; I almost forgot I was carrying them in my purse.  And, when they wear out, (which seems as though it would take a very long time to happen, as they’re study and very well-made) I can toss them in my composter.  It's been a few years and they're still in perfect working shape...pretty impressive!  The company uses packaging made from recycled material and low impact inks – it’s recyclable.  It doesn’t get any more green than that!

This is a company with a sincere interest in environmental interests and personal investment in the ability of individuals to make a difference.  Their philosophy relates to making as little impact as possible on the world around us.  You can feel good about supporting ECOBAGS® - a great company with a very earth-conscientious point of view.  Grab a set of 5 pastel net bags on Amazon today!

Interested in learning more about ECOBAGS®?  On social media: Visit ECOBAGS® Facebook page & Twitter handle. Also, check out ECOBAGS® blog for interesting and intellectual discussion regarding environmental issues.

Esse Resuable makes a clip-on bag I love

Christina Ottaviano

“Every year, Americans use approximately 1 billion shopping bags, creating 300,000 tons of landfill waste.  “Plastic bags do not biodegrade. Light breaks them down into smaller and smaller particles that contaminate the soil and water and are expensive and difficult to remove.  Less than 1 percent of plastic bags are recycled each year. Recycling one ton of plastic bags costs $4,000. The recycled product can be sold for $32.” -Clean Air Council

Plastic bags are a nagging problem around the world.  Although they are recyclable, less than 10% end up in the recycling stream, and it’s an expensive endeavor.  Sadly, the ones that end up in landfills do not get recycled and they are ingested by marine animals.

 “When the small particles from photodegraded plastic bags get into the water, they are ingested by filter feeding marine animals. Biotoxins like PCBs that are in the particles are then passed up the food chain, including up to humans.  The City of San Francisco determined that it costs 17 cents for them to handle each discarded bag.” –Kay Bushnell

 It seems that eliminating the use of them altogether would be the most appropriate solution.  That’s where Esse Reusable Bags started with two earth-friendly women who have a passion for the environment and a great sense of functionality.  Esse - Everyday Solutions for Saving the Earth is the creation of not only a great line of reusable bags, but also ways to contain them neatly.

 They sent me the Market Pak to try recently and I really loved it!  It came with one Everyday Bag and two Produce Bags.  The bags all roll up neatly to fit inside of a cute drawstring pouch which fit perfectly in my purse, and a carabiner to clip on a leash if I chose to use that instead.  The Everyday Bag is a gorgeous shade of my favorite color, green.  It’s made well, the fabric feels strong and its construction is sturdy.  It has a great loop of elastic attached to it that holds the bag in a folded position when not in use.  The size of it is roomy and fit as many groceries in it as two plastic bags.  The Produce Bags have a drawstring closure, and can be used during shopping, rinsing and storage.  They are also very well constructed and the mesh is strong.  The held my produce expertly and kept it safe until I got home.  Esse also sent me the Clip It Bag, which is a great size for carrying a few doggie essentials on a walk, small cosmetic or drug store purchases, movies, lunches, wine and more.  This bag is made from the same material as the Everyday bag, and is strong and durable.  Great for carrying a few snacks and a water on a longer walk, or clipping folded to the leash for items collected along the way (eh-herm...poop bag, anyone?).

This is a great company that works with a non-profit organization called Rebuild Resources, “that provides work and guidance to individuals trying to turn their life around after years of addiction and abuse. Rebuild "builds" our bags by adding custom fabric and printing and together we are working on a recycling program that turns well-used reusable bags into fabulous rugs.”  Check them out!  For exclusive offers and new products, make sure to “like” their page on Facebook, and “follow” them on Pinterest and Twitter.

ChicoBag offers reusable bags perfect for a day at the dog park

Christina Ottaviano

A major cause of roadside litter, fresh and salt water pollution, plastic bags plague our planet from production to disposal.  Toxins leech from the plastic as they lay in water.  Animals suffer tragic deaths having come into contact with plastic bag litter.  Some animals ingest the bags and die from blocked intestines, while others are strangled or suffocated.  The use of plastic bags has been rationalized with the “but I reuse them” mentality.  They carry clothes to the gym, lunch to work – even pick up dog waste for disposal. 

ChicoBag was born in 2004 when Andy Keller noted the horrifying number of plastic bags floating around the local landfill.  He sewed the first ChicoBag himself, on a second-hand sewing machine and a few prototypes later, came up with the functional and stylish ChicoBags sold today.  Impressively green, his company has several programs available to benefit the environment.  The ChicoBag Zero Waste Materials program is set up to collect ChicoBags in good or poor condition for redistribution to families that cannot afford to purchase reusable bags, or local artists, crafters and nonprofits for repurposing.  The ChicoBag offices have a waste diversion program, dividing recyclable material, landfill trash and compostable items that are enjoyed by the office chickens.  The company is also a member of Green America, due to their commitment and action, improving the environment responsibly.

Chicobag recently sent me a great reusable bag, produce bags and reusable lunch bags to try out.  I absolutely loved the Sling Bohemian River Stripe!  The material is strong and high quality.  It’s constructed well, and the handle is plenty long enough to wear diagonally.  This is important to me, because I have a small frame and handled bags fall right off of my shoulder.  That’s really annoying when I have to carry several at once or one while walking a long distance.  Anytime I find a bag that can be worn diagonally, I’m happy to try it! The River Stripe pattern is pretty, too.  I found it very convenient to fold it up, pack it in the attached pouch so cleverly sewn into the bag, and attach it to my purse with the carabiner clip.  I mostly used it for groceries, but carried my laptop in it a few times, too. The ability to fold it into a small pouch makes it my go-to option when shopping at the farmer's market or other outdoor fairs while walking my dog.  I personally love the full line of ChicoBag products available on Amazon!

I found the Produce Stand rePETe Mesh 3 Pack to be the same high quality, durable construction.  They came in great colors, are machine washable and are made from 94% recycled materials!  According to their website, “When you see a ChicoBag® brand reusable bag with the rePETe™ logo, you can be sure of two things. First, the fabric used in the bag production is 100% recycled PET. Second, many other components used in production (the aluminum carabiner, polyurethane cording, etc.)  are made from recycled sources as well.”

The Snack Time rePETe™ lunch bags were innovative, attractively designed and also well-constructed.  Made of 78% recycled content, they’re really two bags in one.  They can be used full sized, to accommodate a sandwich or half sized for snacks.  Genius!

Their best sellers are the Snack Time rePETe bags, as well as their Sling rePETe bags, which they offer in different prints and patterns. Another customer favorite is the bottle sling rePETe. Be sure to check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Perfect for stashing dog treats + snacks, Lunchskins are safe + reusable

Christina Ottaviano

Plastic sandwich bags have been a convenience for people who pack their lunches for decades.  Saving money by packing, rather than eating out daily has been a cost-saving measure for those on a budget.  But what about the environmental impact of these little bags?  “"Every piece of litter has a human face behind it. If they are a harm to the environment in terms of visual blight, then people need to stop littering," said Rob Krebs, a spokesman for the American Plastics Council, in an article by Seattle PI.

According to Lunchskins, “every day, more than 20 million sandwich bags from school lunches go into landfills in the US.”  That statistic is staggering and needed some attention.  That’s when 3greenmoms was born.  Manufactured nearby in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Lunchskins provide the green alternative to plastic sandwich bags.  Food safe, dishwasher safe and reusable hundreds of times, Lunchskins come in a variety of sizes and pretty graphic designs.

I recently had the opportunity to use Lunchskins, thanks to samples they sent to me for review.  Items toted included a sandwich, popcorn and baby carrots.  They functioned exactly like a plastic sandwich bag, keeping the contents safe and intact – with the added benefit of being washable and reusable.  The food tasted as it would have directly from its original packaging.  Running them through the dishwasher to clean them was easy and convenient, and they stayed in the racks exactly where I put them.  They’re well-constructed; made of a strong, durable fabric that’s lined on the inside with a food safe material.  The designs available are bright, cheery and fun.  Lunchskins are manufactured in the USA. 

The company has taken steps to reduce their carbon footprint: “We are primarily paper-free with the majority of bills and business conducted online, we use minimal packaging made from recycled materials in our shipments, we print all promotional materials on recycled materials at a local printing company, we use compact fluorescent bulbs and low flow faucets, and we bike to our office or work from home.”

They list several alternative uses for Lunchskins on their website, in addition to the few I’d considered (coupons, daily supplements, a place to stash purse trash until near a can or recycling container): “lipsticks, dog treats, wallet and keys, ice for boo-boos, pacifiers, baby toiletries, travel cosmetic case, and any other treats or loose messy items we want to fashionably stash away”.

Interested in learning more about this fabulous, environmentally conscious company?  Head over to Lunchskins website, and sign up for their email newsletter which includes promotions.  “Like” their Facebook page to stay connected with giveaways.

Products are also available in great choices of designs and color on