Friday, January 18, 2008

Green Memo: Express Your Vote With a Reusable Tote (Bag)

Candidate positions on green or environmental issues are a big part of the current Presidential race in the U.S., as Democrat and Republican candidates fight it out amongst themselves in the current state primary process to win their respective political party's nomination for the November, 2008 general election.

Now, a company called Freddy & Ma's has introduced its version of how voters can combine green issues and politics in this election year. The company has introduced a line of reusable "vote totes," so shoppers can support their favorite candidate one bag of groceries at a time.

Each "eco-friendly" reusable shopping tote bag is emblazoned with the name of a candidate for President in 2008. The colorful, retro-style graphic on the bag features the name of each Presidential candidate, or party, for all to see. There's even one for Independents so they don't feel left out.

Forget bumper stickers--cars are energy hogs and polluters anyway--reusable shopping bags not only are the green alternative to paper or plastic, but using one of the "vote totes" allows a consumer (and voter) to shill for his or her favorite candidate in an "eco-friendly" way.

Freddy & Ma's "vote tote" bags are made out of organic cotton, and the cotton growers use Fairtrade practices, according to the company. Additionally, they say no toxic chemicals are used in the production of the cotton, nor in the reusable shopping bag's construction.

The reusable tote bags, designed by Sarah Renert, not only should make a green statement at the supermarket or other retail store when used by shoppers, they should stimulate some political discussion as well. The bags sell for $25, and are available on the company's website here.

For those who don't want to buy one because they feel the bags will be obsolete after the November, 2008 Presidential election, we say, worry not. The organic cotton shopping bags should make great collector's items as political campaign memorabilia. They also would be a good green alternative to storing traditional political memorabilia like bumper stickers, political buttons and the like. Beats using paper or plastic, and they will last longer.

We expect once the candidates--at least those who believe there really are environmental issues to solve in the U.S.--see their namesake reusable "vote tote" bags, they might just want to use one themselves when they go grocery shopping.

After all, all those rubber chicken dinners a Presidential candidate has to eat at fundraising events aren't real healthy for he or she. Rather, they just might want to take their namesake "vote tote" cotton bag and fill it full of some fresh fruits and vegetables at a local supermarket in whichever town they happen to be campaigning in at the moment. At many supermarkets, they can even get a five or ten cent discount for using the reusable shopping bag, instead of excepting paper or plastic.

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