The Importance of Collecting

When you and your community collect these and other items you are making where you live cleaner. Addressing climate change is a team sport Set an example and others will follow.

Drive less, carpool, Be your own transfer station. Collect, store and re distribute usable materials that should not be landfilled. *Set an example for your neighbors, clean up your street and pick up litter, REFUSE plastic and styrofoam packaging, drinking straws, styrofoam to go containers, Compost, Don’t use plastic can liners, bring your bags, If you forget them, use your arms, Share, Wherever you are pick up litter, Change local policy by speaking out if you see environmental damage in your area. At public events don’t let disposables be used. Volunteer to do the dishes.

As a community, process and upcycle what you are collecting and show others how to do it. The Bagshare Project can help, with advice, support and equipment if we are close enough to your community. Don’t hesitate to reach out. We are all in this together. Your efforts are important. Don’t get discouraged. If you do reach out to your support group.

~ The Bagshare Project ~
We are stewards of the earth, collectors of materials that should not be landfilled, scrappy citizens refusing the norms of disposable culture. We are reusers, refusers, artists, poets, cooks, gardeners,  engineers, inventors, workers, innovators and passionate re-makers.

Reuse is our future.
e are all needed to help clean up.

Ask yourself this:
What am I collecting and keeping out of the landfill

Here’s our list which keeps growing.

Seed/feed and brew bags:
Billions are landfilled worldwide.
They have infinite uses.

Carrier bags
Laundry baskets
Impractically loud sounding coats!
Extra large containers

Irrigation Drip Tape:
Billions of linear feet are landfilled world wide. It’s made from black 1” wide plastic. Plastic is NOT RECYCLABLE. It is upcycled into other products and then will eventually be landfilled. A 30 acre farm used and then landfilled 15,780 linear feet in one growing season. The Bagshare Project reuses it for the handles of their bags. It can also be woven and given a second life as a sturdy basket!

» Learn to make a basket with upcycled drip tape

» Every piece of plastic ever made is still here on the earth.
Let this soak in.

Baling twine:

It’s now made out of plastic. Braid it, twist it, make it into rope, weave it, tie it, reuse it as twine.
» Click here to see how much is landfilled.

» Fort Collins Baling Twine Recycling Program
» Brother, Can You Spare Some Twine?
» Twine Saver Machine

Styrofoam trays:

Styrofoam will eventually be banned, but now it’s everywhere.
» Click here to see how to reuse these trays.

Many, many bikes are landfilled. Even inexpensive bikes can be taken apart and their parts can be reused to make the most surprising things.
» Cool Ways to Upcycle a Bicycle

Dried out markers:
I used to work at Joseph Torch Art supplies in N.Y.C. back in the 70’s. I remember when markers were invented. The owner did not want to sell them. They were/are made of plastic, not refillable and were unlike any of the traditional art supplies they sold. Now they are a scourge on the planet. Lots of plastic with a very short lifespan before they run out of ink. Take them apart, cut up the felt insert and make beautiful watercolors.
» Click here to see how.

Upholstery samples:

These are beautiful pieces of fabric. When they are discontinued furniture stores often landfill them. Learn how many furniture stores are in your area and see if they use these. Approach the store owner and request to collect them (FOREVER). You can say you need them for a school project.

» Click here to see all the beautiful uses for these fabrics.

Sewing machines:

The Bagshare Project has collected over 200 sewing machines. Most of them are in working condition or need minor repairs. Find someone who will help fix them or learn how to do it yourself. Donate them to schools.
Start a sewing center in your town. We have one in the basement of our community house. Fabric is stored and sewing machines are leant out like a library. Use this space to build community and have events there. Sew for  your local Bagshare.


Almost everyone has too much fabric. Fabric should never be landfilled. The dyes are toxic.
Collect it, organize it. Make it available to the public.

Old Blue Jeans:
Blue jeans are one of the most toxic fabrics ever made.
Reuse them after their lifetime as clothing.
"We have been labeled consumers. We consume. We consume at insane speeds. How do we get people to care about polluted rivers each time they go to buy a new pair of jeans?”
~ from Interview: RiverBlue Documentary Director on Denim Pollution

Used maple syrup tubing:
The old days of using sustainable metal buckets are dying out. Now many maple syrup producers use miles of plastic tubing for syrup collection.

Once it’s worn out the tubing is landfilled. There are many re-uses for this tubing. Click here to see some of our ideas.

Neck ties: 
The Bagshare started collecting neckties back in 2008 when we were looking for handles for the bags we sew.
One of our volunteers set up a box at the senior center to collect them. She is still picking up tonsof neckties a decade later. They can be upcycled in many ways and also reused as ties.

Tips on how to deplasticize your life:

Tally up your plastic use:
What do you buy that’s in a plastic container?

How can you reduce the amount of plastic you use?
Do this together with friends and compare notes. Create a support group to reduce your plastic use so you don’t feel alone.

You as an environmentalist will one day want to speak out.
How do you address someone who disagrees with you and get them on your side?

Smell a flower, plant a seed, lie in a hammock,
read poetry, bird watch.

Enjoy the outdoors.  Watch pollinators.

Take the time to experience nature.