Plastic bags are being banned almost everywhere now, due to petroleum costs and landfill issues. Los Angeles just announced a ban on ALL disposable shopping bags... both paper and plastic. The Minister of Ecology in Japan is making an effort to spread the Japanese art of Furoshiki, which is an Origami-like means of carrying virtually anything with a simple square of thin cloth, is easy to do, and has been used by the Japanese for centuries. See for yourself! Watch an Introductory Video
Step 1: The Basic Bag
This is the simplest of means, which shows how you can carry a bag of various groceries.
Step 2: The Shoulder Carry
This is a variation of the basic bag that allows the same amount of groceries to be carried over a shoulder... a more ergonomic approach that utilizes your muscles in a healthier manner.
Step 3: The Melon Carry
This is a tremendously amazing demonstration of how distribution of a heavy weight can allow a very thin silk cloth to hold something like a watermelon. The video shows me demonstrating this technique with a 16 lb bowling ball...
Step 4: Decorative Furoshiki
One of the coolest aspects of Furoshiki is that it's not only functional, but decorative as well. You can wrap all sorts of gifts in unique ways that will impress people... and the "gift wrap" can be reused. Imagine never having to buy wrapping paper again, or the unique look of your gifts under the Christmas tree. You're only limited by your imagination.
Here's a great example of how you can wrap a pair of wine bottles. It looks amazing AND it protects the glass from breaking.
Step 5: Go for it!
I admit, i was a bit hesitant about trying this out at the supermarket, but what happened was quite amazing. Many people asked me about it and thought it was great! It's definitely more interesting than the bulky canvas bags that stores sell.
Again, I invite you to watch the video if you'd care to see it in action:Watch an Introductory Video