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6 Baby Shower Thank You Ideas and Gift Bags

assortment of colorful gift tote bags

So, your baby’s shower is just around the corner, but, as it happens, you’re probably fresh out of ideas of how to say ‘Thank You’ to all your wonderful friends who attended the festivities. And because we know how hard it can be, as usual, we’ve prepared a small list of gift bags you can offer after or during the party. Now, grab a pen and paper and start taking notes. Who knows? Maybe you will even get inspired for your baby’s next party. So, without further ado, here’s our rundown of funky and amusing baby shower Thank You gifts.

1.    Assorted Belgian Chocolate inside an Easy-To-Decorate Felt Tote Bag

Belgian chocolate

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Nothing can spell “Thank you for being there ” then a box filled with yummy Belgian chocolate. Now, if you want to make this gift even more special, you could try finding the appropriate wrapper. If your friends are into tote bags and chocolate, you should definitely mix them together. The most accessible option is to purchase felt tote bags – they look nice and, what’s even cooler is the fact that you can decorate them as you see fit.

You don’t need anything too fancy – grab a glue gun and put on some paper-mâché hearts, cats, puppies or anything that pops to mind. As of the chocolaty goodness part, don’t rely on supermarkets. Find yourself a nice confectionary and buy some high-quality stuff. After all, your purpose is to say a big ‘Thank You’ from the heart, not from your wallet.

2.    Luxury Bath Products

bath bombs

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If you’re looking for something on the eco-friendlier side in your search for the perfect gift basket, start with a jute bag. Made from 100% natural fibers, this bag is not only chic but can also come in very handy if you’re fresh out of ideas of accessories.

Now, you can’t just hand your guests the bag with a big ‘Thank You’ smile painted on your face. You still need to fill it with some goodies. Our advice – think about relaxation, being Zen or, perhaps finding your happy place. For instance, you can fill the bag with things like scented candles, high-quality body scrubs, and, why not, a good bottle of wine. There’s no need to wrap everything up. That would be a waste of paper.

3.    Lunch Bag Cooler, Snacks, and Beer

lunch cooler

Whoever said that the recipe for the perfect Thank You baby shower gift calls has to be conservative? If your friends are just as funny as you are, you should try putting together an amusing gift basket. Remember your last get-together, long before the baby came? Well, beer and snacks are the perfect combos, regardless of the occasion.

So, here’s you’ll need to do to put together this amazing ‘Thank You’ baby shower gift. Buy yourself some lunch bag coolers to make everything look homey and chummy. Now, depending on your friends’ tastes in junk food, you can fill the bag with stuff like chips, beef jerky or basically anything that pops to mind. To top it all off, buy a bottle or two of craft beer. Put everything in the gift bag and don’t forget to slip in a witty Thank You card.

4.    Rustic Favor Burlap Bag

rustic burlap bag

Talking about going old school, since the Harvester Moon is close, you might think about adding a touch of rustic to your baby shower. And what rustic shower favor’s complete without something substantial to fill the bag? Use your imagination to construct this awesome gift – you can put in potpourris, lavender bath salts, wildflower scented candles, treat bags with your favorite candy. Of course, if you intend to go old-school on this one, don’t forget about hand-made Thank You cards. As always, our advice to you is to go crazy and see what happens after.

5.    High-Quality Canvas Tote Bags and Drinks

on the go cocktails

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Now, if you prefer elegance over strange or old-school, you should consider putting together a gift bag that mirrors your unique personality. For this kind of baby shower of Thank You going-away gift, you will need several top-notch tote bags, preferably in black. And now, for the proverbial cherry on top –  mini-champagne or other fine alcoholic beverages bottles that can be sneaked into any purse, gym bag or backpack.

Don’t forget about decorating each bottle for that dash of elegance (ribbons are your best friends). Put all these stuff in the tote bag. Congratulations! You now have a unique way of expressing gratitude for attending your baby’s shower.

6.    Mini Gifts with Mini Cotton Bag

mini tote bag with Batman picture

Pinterest

And for the last item on our list, we thought about downscaling things a bit. Since the party’s all about the little one, why not go with something mini? For instance, you could try buying cotton tote mini-bags and filling them with mini-goodies and, of course, micro gifts. Don’t worry too much about paying extra just because the bag’s mini – they’re actually affordable and will definitely add a dash of personality to your project.

As far as the content’s concerned, pay your visit to your local supermarket and look for small stuff that can fit inside the back. Mini-candies are the most obvious choice, but you can also go along with mini whiskey bottles or other stuff. Don’t forget to wrap everything up nice and tidy and, of course, put on your party face.

Conclusion

As you can see,  there are a lot of choices when it comes to putting together the perfect baby shower ‘Thank You’ give the bag. Now, there’s still one question that has been left unanswered – why tote bags instead of regular gift packaging? Well, because they’re nice, useful, and unusual. Why wrap everything up in paper which will probably end up in the trash can, when you can include an item that will come in handy during the upcoming shopping session? As for what should be added or subtracted from the whole ensemble, we leave that entirely up to you.

Written by Priscilla Greene — September 30, 2018

Sustainability Tips - What Does Going Green Mean for the Whole Family?

A 2015 report from the University of California-Santa Barbara tells us that each year, about 8 million tons of plastic end up in the world’s oceans. Moreover, it seems that it takes over 500 years for plastic to be broken down in junkyards. These are frightening statistics but are sadly real and by the looks of it, they’re only getting worse. Unless people convince themselves and their families to adopt a sustainable lifestyle, there might not be a way out of this problem. Going green is the best solution through which people can minimize the impact they have on the environment, but what does this actually mean? This is a question that’s on everybody’s lips and which we are going to answer in this article.

What Does Going Green Actually Mean?

Taking that big first step towards a greener lifestyle can be scary and overwhelming. However, according to research, sustainable cities in the United States are a lot happier than all the others. These are cities that use natural light in the most efficient way possible, recycle, and reuse. This results in a more positive attitude of the people living there, more productivity at work, and an overall happier life. And while everybody’s mental health is impossible to measure, it’s not a secret that families living in greener houses are very happy and pleased with the fact that their home has a lot less impact on the environment than others.

This is, in fact, what going green is all about. It means reducing the impact that you have on the environment as much as possible without decreasing the quality of your life. You have to decrease your environmental footprint by making small but important changes. The first rule is simple: use as little stuff as possible! This means that you don’t have to take 15-minute-long showers, for example.

Also, avoid using your car as much as possible and go for a bike instead! Go for reusable and recyclable products every time you go shopping! Each year, American people throw away about 250 million tons of trash. Now imagine where this planet would have been if all this waste was instead recycled, composted or reused.

Industrial farming is another thing that damages our environment greatly, and which not many people think about. So, when you’re going grocery shopping for your family, try to buy from locals. You will not only help the planet but also help your own community grow and expand.

Finally, going green means taking better care of your body by having a balanced diet, avoiding fast food, and even going for eco-friendly products. You can also make even more drastic changes for your family, like move out of a big city and into a village. This depends on every family’s perspective, but starting with small changes can do a lot for the world we live in. Remember that teaching your kids sustainability at home can be crucial in their understanding of the issue. So, if you are now convinced that a sustainable lifestyle is indeed right for your family, here are some important tips that will certainly help you in your journey to becoming better and help the environment.

green eco house

Make Your House Greener!

  • Do you want to save money while helping the environment? A programmable thermostat is exactly what you need! The idea behind these eco-friendly systems is that they are smart enough to figure out when you are not using them and therefore maintain a balanced temperature for when you return home. Eco-friendly power strips do the same thing, as they cut off power when you are out. You may not know this but even after you’ve stopped charging your devices, the charger will keep on drawing energy from outlets if left in there. Want even more good news? These smart systems are not even that expensive to beging with, so you should definitely be on the lookout for them if you want a greener house!
  • Go for ceiling fans instead of air conditioning in your home! They only use 10% of the energy that ACs do and, believe it or not, they can still maintain a cool temperature in a room, despite what many people think. Moreover, you can also use them in the winter by reversing the direction and allowing them to bring warm air down into the room. This is one of the very first things that you should change about your home and it will save you energy and money, while also helping the planet.
  • Shut down your computer when you’re done using it! This is very important because such devices still use energy even if they’re in sleep mode. So, if you don’t absolutely need to use your laptop or home computer at night, turn them off completely, monitor included too. It’s a great and simple way to save some energy and money.
  • Rechargeable batteries are the way to go! It may be difficult at first but, in time, you should definitely invest in sets of rechargeable batteries for all your devices. Look for the best deals and when they’re on sale, buy many at once. This solution will not only save you a lot of money in the long run, but it’s also good for the environment because you will no longer keep those dead batteries lying around the house.
  • LED lights instead of light bulbs! Energy-efficient lighting is something that we should all be considering, especially nowadays. So, the best way to implement this change in your own house and for your own family is to replace your old light bulbs with LED lights. They may be a bit costly, but in the end, considering the lifespan of these lights, it will all be worth it. Such lights can last up to ten years, so think about the money you save and let’s not talk about energy! Look for LED lights on sale and make this investment! You will not regret it!

via GIPHY

 

Make Your Kitchen Greener!

  • Use dishwashers instead of the sink! They not only use 50% of the energy of the sinks, but they also use one-sixth of the water and even a lot less soap. You will be making a lot of savings this way, even if you may have to invest in a dishwasher if you don’t have one.
  • As for clothes, wait for a longer time to do the laundry and wash more clothes at once! You will save both water and energy by doing this. Moreover, another good idea would be to wash them using cold water. It’s a myth that only hot water can dissolve the dirt in clothes. By using cold water, you save a ton of energy and you will still end up with perfectly-clean clothes!
  • Avoid using dryers! In fact, they consume so much energy that they don’t even come with an Energy Star rating! Line dry your clothes instead and you will save a lot of energy that would otherwise be wasted. Moreover, by doing this, you can avoid water and air pollution that comes from power plants. A win-win situation!
  • No more paper towels! Go for washable rags instead for your daily chores and you will save a lot of trees. Apart from this, you will save money too and keep paper away from the landfill.

Make Your Bathroom Greener!

  • Throw away your vinyl shower curtain and invest in one made from PVC-free plastic, bamboo or eco-friendly plastic. Apart from the unpleasant smell it has, that vinyl also emits dangerous chemicals that you and your family inhale each time you go into the bathroom. Avoid that by buying an eco-friendly shower curtain.
  • Take shorter showers and avoid baths! You don’t have to spend one hour in the shower or in a bathtub full of water that will go to waste to feel clean. An even better idea would be to install a water flow restrictor on the shower head that will prevent you from using too much water. The same thing goes for your toilet leak. Fix that problem and avoid wasting so much water on nothing. You also save a lot of money this way and help the planet.

groceries tote bag near fridge

Go Green When Shopping!

  • Restrict your spending for a month! This is a great way to find out what you absolutely need to survive and what things are extra and not really necessary. Things like rent, utilities, food, water, medicines etc. are certainly indispensable. However, you probably can survive for a month without movie tickets, new clothes, new devices, haircuts or Starbucks drinks. After this month, you will realize just how important essential things are and how much money you can actually save.
  • Stop buying bottled water! Most of the times, the quality of bottled water is the same as your tap water. However, it contains a lot more toxins from the plastic bottle it comes in, leaves a lot of waste behind, and costs a lot more. If you are uncertain about the quality of your tap water, invest in a good water filter and get a reusable water bottle, too. This can save you a lot of money in the long run as well as help the environment.
  • Cook at home as much as possible! The idea here is to learn how to cook tasty and healthy food using only minimally-packaged things like eggs, vegetables, meats, grains, and By doing this, you will ensure a healthy lifestyle for your entire family, save on groceries, and decrease the impact that you have on the environment. Try to buy what you need from local farmers and discourage industrial farming which is very harmful, as we previously mentioned.
  • Choose reusable bags! These eco-friendly reusable shopping bags are not difficult to find nowadays, and most stores sell them. They are incredibly useful and the best alternative when it comes to protecting the environment. These bags or purses can be recycled very easily, are very pretty, easy to acquire and carry around, and most importantly, are a very easy step to take towards a sustainable-based lifestyle. Most are made from organic cotton, recycled PET, natural jute, hemp or even recycled banners or billboards. You can even use them as a fashion statement that is getting more and more trendy, or as bags to carry your laptop or notebooks around. Versatile, pretty, and sustainable!
  • Shop at second-hand stores! Yet another great way to reduce your environmental footprint is to buy things from second-hand stores as frequently as you can. Nowadays, these stores don’t only sell clothes (which you can, by the way, recycle too), but you can find toys, shoes, accessories, and even good furniture at low prices. This is truly a money-saving, eco-friendly method to adopt as soon as possible.

girl wearing white reusable tote bag

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  • Use Bee’s Wrap instead of plastic wrap for food storage! This is an excellent sustainable and natural alternative to all that plastic that you use to wrap various things in, especially food. It is washable, reusable, and made from all-natural ingredients like beeswax, organic cotton, jojoba oil, and tree resin. It also looks very nice and will maintain the properties of your ingredients intact and won’t contaminate them with plastic toxins anymore.

Go for Green Cleaning Too!

  • Make your own eco-friendly home cleaning products! It’s actually quite simple to do this and you will definitely end up saving lots of money. With just a few simple ingredients like water, vinegar, soap, baking soda or even borax, you can create very efficient and green cleaning products that your neighbors might want to try too.

Make Your Diet Greener and Healthier!

  • Give up on frozen and packaged food! Instead, try to cook your own fresh meals and avoid using the microwave as much as possible. Also, these processed foods are not healthy, make you gain weight, and their packages end up being wasteful. Buy vegetables, fruit, meat, cheese or anything else that you like from your local farmers. They are certainly fresh, you know where they came from, and taste infinitely better.
  • Buy eco-friendly coffee! Shade-grown coffee is the best if you want to go the eco-friendly and sustainable route because these beans don’t require rainforests to be cut down or any dangerous pesticides or chemicals to be used. Nowadays, most respectable coffee shops will have at least one type of shade-grown coffee for you to enjoy. This type of coffee, apart from being eco-friendly, is also good for you and for the planet. Win-win again, right?

Conclusion

All in all, it seems that a sustainable way of life is not that difficult to achieve, especially if you involve your entire family in this process. Going green should be a common effort to save what’s left of this planet and it should not represent the struggle of a few people who want to make a difference. From transforming your kitchen, bathroom, and entire house into a greener one you can seriously decrease your environmental footprint. Finally, being smart about what you buy, the clothes that you wear and even the bags you use for your groceries can act as a huge example for all the others. Remember that this is the only planet that we have (for now) and we should do everything that’s in our power to keep it healthy. Difficult, but not impossible.

Written by Priscilla Greene — September 29, 2018

How to Wear Camo Prints in 2018 Like a Star

text on camo bag

Camo prints might never go out of style. Therefore, camouflage clothes never get old; they become classics. The shades of green are so delightfully matched in camo prints that they can turn a casual look around and make it spectacular. Whenever you feel confused about your look, turn to the wardrobe and pick up a camouflage item. In this article, we will show you how to wear camo prints in 2018 and look like a movie star.

1.    Walk the Streets in Stylish Steps

outfit with white pants, red top, and camo tote bag

Going to a garden party, lunch out with friends or a casual Friday at the office? This look makes a summer day seem bright but stylish. The outfit has a slight party vibe given by the shoes which are completed by the large causal pants. You will need:

  • A basic cherry tank top that completes the pallet of colors created by the camo print.
  • White long and large pants with a touch of glam given by a textile ribbon.
  • Polyester camo tote bag with a zipper that makes sure every piece of its contents stays in place and does not fall. The size of the tote bag gracefully covers the ribbon on one side, adding a smart touch to the look.
  • Stiletto shoes to keep your look going and give you enough confidence to manage that demanding meeting or rock the party.

2.    Bring Back College Days during Cold Days

outfit with black dress and camo tote bag

If your style is versatile enough to allow you to play with ideas and memories, then we recommend an edgier outfit that will emphasize your personality. This look puts together the playfulness of college days with your casual need to feel stylish. The outfit is suitable for daily meetings and lunches, a trip to the gym or a party evening with friends. Moreover, the wool items bring back sunshine to a rainy day while keeping you warm.

  • Long short black wool dress to feel comfortable during chilly evenings, and autumn days. The simple design of the dress makes it the perfect partner for a colorful camo print.
  • Lightweight white moccasins that help you stay active and manage a working day’s tasks. Such shoes allow your foot pores to breathe and maintain balance.
  • Camouflage patterned tote bag is the item that completes the school-casual look by being both practical and attention-grabbing. The backpack can be worn even if you travel by car or public transport, as you almost do not feel it.

3.    Feel the Retro Glam in a Skirt

outfit with shirt, pencil skirt, and camo tote bag

If you work in a company that requires a smart-casual look, then you have come to the right place. However, you might get bored sometimes of the same old clothes you have already worn. To prevent that, you can add a retro sparkle to your everyday outfits by choosing the right items and accessories.

  • Brown top suit for an autumn or winter office day. The uniform-styled top looks coherent next to the camo print bag.
  • A vintage long-sleeved woman shirt looks spectacular with a top suit, as it sets up the look for the shades of green.
  • Cotton pencil skirts make your body look elegant and feminine. The business-style knee length skirt should fit both autumn and winter.
  • The military-style tote bag helps you complete the tones of your look and shine whenever you enter the office.
  • Fabric ankle boots with metallic high heels details are comfortable to wear even if your job requires much standing up. The fabric stretches on the leg to create a natural effect.

4.    Cross the Line with Matching Accessories

outfit with boyfriend jeans, orange sweater and camo drawstring backpack

Have you noticed how glamorous Kim Kardashian or Rihanna look whenever they outline a casual-sport look? You can get the same effect whenever you make an impressive mix of items that either match or complete each other. Wear the outfit while traveling, during family weekends and when heading to the gym.

  • An orange simple sports blouse is the attention-grabbing item that makes people look at you, and then at the clothes, you wear. Meanwhile, you stay active and comfortable.
  • Boyfriend jeans sparkle next to the basic blouse as they come with subtle changes of color and texture.
  • Sunglasses are the accessories you need to protect your eyes from sun exposure and match your camo print bag.
  • The camo drawstring backpack is practical whenever you need to get ready for work. Additional tip: if you only feel like grabbing an apple, feel free to keep your cosmetic products there for proper storage.
  • A pair of woman ankle boots matches the sports look you are achieving. They are suitable for chilly days and evenings.

5.    Say Yes to the Dress and the Camo

outfit with sport dress and camo backpack

Looking for a glam look when you need to attend an informal event, go to date or even work? The dress makes a feminine look, while the camo turns the style into an urban one. The matching details upgrade your look to a stylish level.

  • The long dark blue dress is simple, but charming thanks to its shape and slender waistline. The skirt is made on a pencil line to provide you with an overall slim look.
  • A pair of fantasy-styled shoes with a print that matches both the dress and the camo bag. Alternatively, you can wear them with jeans.
  • The camo large backpack comes with an adjustable strap that allows you to set up the necessary space. You can store your laptop for work or just go for a book shopping session while feeling fabulous.
  • This Camouflage necklace is the accessory you need to keep it simple for the dress. However, you can also wear the necklace whenever wearing the camo bag, to make you look smart and stylish.

Final Thoughts

These ideas should teach you how to wear camo prints in 2018 like a star and forget about the army-look stereotype. Why opt for a white T-shirt and camo pants to match the bag, when you have so many options to choose from? Get creative and challenge your wardrobe by wearing these fantastic camo prints and clothes!

Written by Priscilla Greene — September 28, 2018

5 Backpack Storage Ideas when You Live in a Small Apartment

backpack storage ideas

Back to school season has officially begun for children and youngsters of all ages in many parts of the world. Educational opportunities aside, this can create a lot of unexpected clutter in the house that needs to be managed, and stray school bags are definitely the number one culprits. In this article, we will discuss a few backpack storage ideas to help you keep things neat and tidy.

1.    Stackable File Boxes

clear stackable box 

Pinterest

Building your very own storage unit out of stackable file boxes is the easiest way to make use of the little space in your apartment while creating the ideal setting for backpacks. One such container goes for around 15 dollars a pop, but you won’t need to add much else to it. Simply purchase as many as you need, then stow away.

Nevertheless, if you live with friends, family, or a significant other, it’s always handy to label every person’s items accordingly. A hassle-free and cute way to do this is by hitting the local school supplies shop and buying a few packs of notebook nametags. For the thrifty version, you can also print your own on sticky paper with the help of fun online templates.

This DIY storage unit effortlessly fits in any corner of the house. What is more, it is also ideal for back to school season, as stackable file boxes, as their name implies, are mainly used for depositing paperwork. In this way, both adults and children will be able to keep assignments organized and in check at all times. Don’t be afraid to shoot for straight A’s with this nifty project.

2.    Reclaimed Wood Hanger

wooden hanger 

Pinterest

Next on our list of crafty backpack storage ideas, we have the reclaimed wood hanger. It is a great way to teach sustainability at home, as it ingeniously employs scrap materials to create a beautiful and convenient end product. If executed correctly, it will not only save you some room in the apartment but also decorate the hallways in a rather unique manner.

All you need for this DIY project is an adequately sized piece of reclaimed wood left behind from past renovations and a few plastic, metal, or ceramic knobs. To keep in tune with the eco-friendly theme, we recommend the latter. Using a drill, make holes for the knobs, then screw the wooden board into the wall. Insert the knobs, and you’re done.

For an extra oomph, whip out the paints and decorate the panel. You can do this in any way you like. Use stencils to draw on flowers, butterflies, stars, or any other pattern that appeals to you. If you feel confident in your talent, do it freehand. Or, you can write out a motivational slogan that will energize you for a new day at school or work. It’s all up to you.

3.    Backpack Nook

backpack nook

Pinterest 

Is the hallway of your apartment more like a little nook where no furniture wants to fit? The backpack nook is the ideal solution to this. All you need are a few hooks that you can stick in the wall, and your entire family will now have an accessible place to deposit their bags for the day. You get bonus points for marking each person’s hook with their initial.

This fun and simple project can also be pursued if you live alone. Put in one hook for each type of bag you like to accessorize with. In this way, you will organize your backpacks, tote bags, bum bags, and more formal bags in a clean and resourceful way. Thus, when you’re in a hurry to get out the door, you will know exactly what to pick out.

4.    The Landing Zone

shelves

Pinterest

If you’re familiar with military terms, then you already know what is traditionally understood through the term ‘landing zone’. The phrase refers to the area where aircrafts land, but in this case, we are alluding to something entirely different. Our project refers to a DIY storage unit where everyone’s bags and backpacks can settle at the end of a busy day.

When you live in a small apartment with your family or roommates, the hallways get plenty of traffic. Why not create a landing zone for backpacks in that crucial point of the house? You will need to purchase cubby shelves and wood crates for this. Depending on how many drawers you want to create, amounts may vary.

Paint and decorate the components however you see fit, then place the crates inside of the cubbies. In this way, you will have your own ornate boxes for backpack storage, as well as a handy surface on top where you can place books, folders, and other personal belongings.

5.    Family Command Center

corner designed for backpack storage

Pinterest

The family command center is hands down the most complex project on our list of backpack storage ideas, as it handles more than just school bags. Still, as these tend to cause quite the clutter, it’s important to organize them first and foremost. The easiest way to achieve this is by mounting a cubby shelf at counter height and attaching hooks on the bottom.

Backpacks hang from them without difficulties, while the baskets inside the cubby unit are the perfect storage space for smaller handbags, totes, and reusable grocery bags. The counter is ideal for personal belongings, and you will have a lot of space leftover on the walls to screw in a few boards. In this way, you will also keep track of mail, bills, and other daily duties.

The Bottom Line

Being clever about backpack storage is a great way to create some additional room in any small apartment, especially now that school has officially begun. Any of the five ideas mentioned above can come in handy for both children and adults, so why not give them a try today? Your home will appear much neater as a result, and you won’t have to worry about tidying it up as much.

Written by Priscilla Greene — September 28, 2018

How to Reuse Gift Bags - 10 Ideas and Tips

assortment of gift bags

It’s no secret that everyone loves receiving gifts from their loved ones. This simple gesture is fulfilling on both a material and a spiritual level, but what can we make out of all the bags that get left behind? In this article, we will discuss ten crafty ideas on how to reuse gift bags that are creative, entertaining, and beneficial for the environment at the same time. 

1.    Wrapping Paper

Pinterest

What better way to reuse old gift bags than by having them come full circle and becoming wrapping paper? To do this, simply remove the handles and go to town. This works best with a gift bag made from thin paper. If you find that the material is too plain for your liking, try gluing tiny decorations onto it, such as the pompoms pictured above.

2.    Shopping Bags

Another top choice on our list on how to reuse gift bags has to do with repurposing them for shopping and groceries. The next time you hit stores, bring your own bag instead of asking the cashier for one, which is incredibly wasteful. Why hoard tens of plastic bags in your home when you can easily avoid that and help the planet in the process as well.

Gift bags have the incredible advantage of being a lot sturdier than your traditional plastic alternative as well, which is a huge bonus. Many of them are made from materials that stand the test of time, such as canvas or jute. If you have a day of heavy spending planned ahead, it is advisable to bring a tote that is resistant and won’t break in the middle of your errand run.

3.    Book Covers

Making DIY book covers from gift bags is another clever way to teach your family a lesson in sustainability. It reduces both paper and plastic waste, as you are repurposing another item while avoiding the purchase of plastic-made goods as well. Choose gift bags with fun prints made from denser materials to achieve the best possible results 

 

4.    Greeting Cards

Any remarkable birthday gift needs the right greeting card to accompany it. Instead of spending hours in the shop trying to decide on one, why not make your own? Gift bags are the ideal resource for this DIY project, as they come in a wide variety of celebratory colors and patterns. Plus, you will get to write a heartfelt message inside, which is bound to make an impression.

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5.    Wall Décor

Gift bags of all shapes, sizes, and colors provide innovative replacements for wall décor. Cut out your very own exuberant and exclusive designs from them and stick them on or use the bags to produce one of a kind picture frames. With a little bit of imagination and a lot of patience, you will manage to add a distinct touch to your home. 

6.    Origami

Speaking of origami, why not turn old paper totes into fun decorations for your home? Start with beginner-friendly designs, such as the tulip, the boat, the fan, or the ever so popular crane, then move your way up towards more intricate ornaments. Use vivid colors and unique prints to bring some brightness into your home.

7.    Coasters

Coasters are another example of how to reuse gift bags in order to create something new. However, you should refrain from using paper or cardboard ones, as they are incredibly susceptible to water damage. Jute totes are a great alternative in this situation, as the bushy and fibrous wooden material is durable and sturdy.

Polypropylene is another common material for such bags that is water-resistant, which makes it a wonderful resource for your DIY coaster project. If you find that the resulting items are too thin for your liking, glue multiple pieces of the bag together until the desired girth is reached.

8.    Envelopes

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Next in the discussion on how to reuse gift bags, paper ones to be more exact, as envelopes. There are three main types you can create, namely pouch envelopes, taped envelopes, or origami envelopes. Depending on the result you want to accomplish, techniques will vary. Of course, pouches are the easiest to make at home.

All you need to do is a square or rectangular piece of the gift bag, along with some glue. Glue two of the open ends together, leaving the one on the top exposed. Create a flap, stick the letter or card in, then secure accordingly. Taped envelopes require a lot of folding, as do origami ones, but if you’re in the market for an intricate DIY project, they are worth looking into.

9.    Magazine Holders

Do you have a lot of loose magazines and newspapers lying around the house? If the answer is yes, then you might be in dire need of a method to organize them all and keep the living area neat and tidy. Old gift bags are perfect for this. Simply take out their handles and organize the publications by year, genre, or whatever else tickles your fancy.

10. Scrapbooking

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Scrapbooking is an irreplaceable way to preserve important memories and capture but a morsel of the incredible feelings and emotions behind any special event. By putting together photographs, drawings, clippings, journal entries, and other meaningful paraphernalia, your album can become a world in its own.

To decorate this homage to your personal history in a modern and inventive way, use pieces of paper and fabric repurposed from old gift bags. They will look pretty and mark a notable moment exquisitely without creating any paper or plastic waste. Furthermore, this practice is beneficial to you and the environment simultaneously too.

The Bottom Line

Who says that old gift bags have to go to waste? With the help of the ten ideas presented above, you will make the most out of any tote you receive, regardless of the material it is made of. Paper and cardboard are the most resourceful, but you can always make do with canvas, jute, and polypropylene as well.

Written by Priscilla Greene — September 27, 2018

Greenest States in America 2018

Each state in the United States has its own unique claim to fame: a prominent national park, a dominant industry or some other interesting feature. Sometimes what makes a state stand out isn’t anything to brag about — unemployment, debt, poor healthcare — but other times it can be glowingly noteworthy. For example, how about saving the planet?

In April 2018, personal finance website WalletHub took an in-depth look at which states are leading the pack for being environmentally friendly. All 50 states were rated on three areas: Environmental Quality, Eco-Friendly Behaviors and Climate-Change Contributions. The rating system involved a sophisticated equation that involved averaging out 23 metrics graded on a 100-point scale.

Top 10 Most Environmentally Friendly States

According to research, these are the Top 10 greenest states of 2018:

  1. Vermont
  2. Oregon
  3. Massachusetts
  4. New York
  5. South Dakota
  6. Minnesota
  7. Connecticut
  8. New Hampshire
  9. California
  10. Rhode Island

Not all of the results for the most environmentally friendly states are surprising, such as Oregon coming in at No. 2 overall. Most of the states that rank highly in one area rank highly in others. But then there’s New Mexico, which ranks No. 6 for Eco-Friendly Behaviors but came in at No. 30 overall, a full 12 places behind the next state to have a single-digit ranking in one area. What happened there?

It turns out, New Mexico has quite a low ranking for Environmental Quality (39) and for Climate-Change Contributions (36). Instead of being a let-down, however, New Mexico’s disparity in scores can be taken as a good thing, because New Mexico is making an effort to up its game and compensate for where it’s lacking in other areas. States such as Louisiana, which ranked at No. 49 in all categories, should take note: Every effort to help out the environment counts.

How You Can Make Your State More Eco-Friendly

Some of the factors impacting total scores for greenest states seem to go over the average person’s area of influence, including Soil Quality, Water Quality, % of Renewable Energy Consumption (such as solar), Most LEED-Certified Buildings per Capita. A lot of these rely more on environmentally friendly companies to make a big impact. At the same time, things like Air Quality and Water Quality do depend at least a little on each citizen: we can take public transit instead of drive to work, or we can make sure we’re properly disposing of hazardous chemicals so they don’t end up in our waste treatment plants and water supply.

Other categories that tie more directly into our everyday lives: Energy Consumption per Capita, Gasoline Consumption per Capita, % of Recycled Municipal Solid Waste, and Total Municipal Solid Waste. Changing our behaviors to be more environmentally friendly is something every person can do, and it does make a difference.

As technology advances, more ways to be environmentally friendly present themselves. Solar panels are going up on roofs, power-generating windmills are dotting the landscape, and fuel-efficient or wholly electric cars are making their way onto roads. All of these things can contribute to helping the environment, but it’s the little things, added up across the millions of people living in the United States, that often make the biggest difference.

Everyone is familiar with the three R’s — Recycle, Reduce, Reuse — but how do they translate into everyday life? The Environmental Protection Agency offers several ideas for green living, some of which can be found here along with other things to try.

Recycle

The WalletHub rankings say the rate of recycling for its top-ranking state in that category (Maine)  is 48 times higher than that of the lowest ranking state (Louisiana). As recycling programs continue to gain traction throughout the United States, recycling becomes a much more friendly alternative for disposing of paper, plastic, and other approved materials. If your community offers curbside collection, collect recyclable materials and put them out in your designated recycling bin on pick-up day. If a program like that doesn’t exist in your area, you can still collect materials to be recycled and take them to a drop-off center.

Apart from recycling things like cans, bottles and paper, consider taking compostable materials such as yard debris to a compost center — or even making your own compost.

Reduce

What’s the best way to cut down on the amount of waste in the United States? Don’t generate it in the first place. Lessening the amount of material being sent to landfills, recycling centers or incinerators means making wise decisions about what to buy and using things to their fullest extent. Look for products that have minimal or biodegradable packaging, or buy items in bulk when possible. Save items from going to the landfill by buying things used. Refrain from using paper plates or plastic cutlery when a reusable option is feasible. Buy rechargeable electronics instead of using up packs of batteries. Conserve and take care of the things you own so they can last as long as possible.

Reuse

The goal here is again to limit the amount of waste generated. Find ways to repurpose what you already own, and donate your old items to an organization where they can find new life. Purchased repurposed products, including things made from post-consumer recycled material. Take reusable shopping bags with you to the store so plastic grocery bags, one of the banes of the recycling world, are less likely to get stuck in your neighbor’s tree or cause difficulty in your local recycling center. On that note, if you do have plastic bags to recycle, make sure you take them to a designated drop-off spot near you. A helpful locator by the American Chemistry Council can point you in the right direction.

Written by Tote Bag Factory — September 26, 2018

Businesses are Using Biodegradable, Compostable, and Even Edible Packaging Materials Instead of Plastics

More and more businesses and companies in the food sector are nowadays frivolously searching for eco-friendly alternatives when it comes to plastic packaging. The idea here is to harshly decrease their CO2 footprint while coming up with various solutions which are mostly made from renewable materials. Statistics tell us that each year, about 8m tons of plastic end up in the world’s oceans. Moreover, experts predict that by 2050 there might be more plastic than fish in the sea. This is the reason why so many businesses have turned to biodegradable, compostable, or even edible packaging materials as opposed to plastic which is convenient for packing food, but very dangerous for the environment in the long run. Here is a detailed look at what these companies are planning to do and at the situation today.

All about these eco-friendly packaging materials

The interesting fact is that a lot of these more sustainable packaging options that certain companies have put forward have not been without controversy. For example, United Nations’ s chief scientist, Jacqueline McGlade, said about biodegradable plastics that they are a wrong option, although well-intentioned. It seems that the reason for this is their inability to break down once in the world’s oceans. As for other such plastics, like those part of the oxo-degradable category which can break down into microplastics, it is said that they can become very dangerous once they reach the water. So, the next step now is to come up with a new alternative to plastic packaging and many companies have made this their personal mission.

When we talk about environment-friendly packaging we should also take into consideration the bags that we are using to carry our food in. The fabric that these bags are made of also matters in the context of these common efforts that more and more people make to save the planet.

Currently, there are companies that make zip-up bags and packaging for everything from vegetables to clothes, that only take three months to break down. However, there is one big problem with compostable packaging: it’s expensive. At least, it’s more expensive than plastic which is the reason why companies tend to use it for deluxe, organic or green products.

Still, this is not the sole problem when it comes to compostable packaging. There is also the issue of consumer understanding and how can companies make it absolutely clear that a certain bag is indeed compostable. Some are able to do that, some are still not. And also, not all customers care about the environmental qualities of a certain packaging material and they don’t do anything differently.

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Through the eyes of the consumer

What consumers think is extremely important in the context of this change that could greatly help our environment. This is why some studies have been conducted, like the one from Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands, which focused on how consumers perceive this bio-based packaging. The goal was to offer businesses some ideas regarding what consumers prefer and therefore help them make the right choices.

According to researchers, it seems that most manufacturers prefer the so-called drop-in bio-based packaging. This is interesting because its chemical composition is identical to that of classic packaging. However, it doesn’t contain petroleum but renewable raw materials. As for consumers, official numbers are indicating towards a greater preference for renewable packaging than for the traditional one.

Still, the problem remains. Since these characteristics are not easily distinguishable especially by the untrained eye, manufacturers need to make efforts to clearly specify which packaging is bio-based and what are its benefits for the environment. Some of the info should include details about its bio-based content, about the renewable feedstock and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Moreover, according to one of the experts involved in the study, it seems that, contrary to what companies might think, people do notice the differences between a regular packaging material and a biodegradable one. Bio-based plastic used for packaging has a totally different feel, look, and sound. Consumers are well aware of this and, in fact, see it as a positive thing. This is another encouragement for businesses that this kind of packaging should be adopted worldwide.

Apart from this, businesses are resorting to what’s called sustainable marketing and promoting various eco-friendly products as prizes or promotional products for consumers. This is a clever way to make this phenomenon known to the mass public and encourage people to go green.

Finally, there is the problem of what to do with the package after using it. This study reached the conclusion that people want clear after-use instructions that will guide them through the correct process. Yes, these packaging materials might be biodegradable, but if consumers have no idea what to do with them, it’s all in vain. Clear claims regarding its recyclability as well as recommendations for a correct disposal should absolutely appear on the package.

For example, these bio-based drop-in plastics can be recycled together with conventional plastics. Also, compostable packaging is meant to be treated in special industrial composting plants. So, people should know all about these differences.

 biodegradable packaging

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Alternatives to conventional plastics

Apart from bio-based plastics, manufacturers are also exploring a plethora of different environment-friendly packaging options. One of the most interesting alternatives is the edible plastic film that you can wrap things in and which is made from milk protein casein. It seems that it’s capable of keeping oxygen away from foods, making this an excellent alternative to conventional plastics.

Source: American Chemical Society

According to experts, it seems that the patent for this edible packaging option is still pending and, in the future, it might even contain micronutrients or even flavors. Right now, lots of companies are willing to adopt this type of packaging, but it might take a lot longer than they expect because such a big change is not easy to adopt.

However, people should always keep in mind that, even if these materials are biodegradable, their misplacement or littering is still not acceptable or encouraged. All of these packaging materials need to be kept in a continuously-moving system that allows their valuable resources to be taken advantage of in full.

edible packaging ad

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Edible food packaging products

When you think about it, the concept of edible packaging might seem a little weird. Some people might find it bizarre to actually ingest something that should have the sole purpose of keeping a barrier between the food and the packaging. However, just think about ice-cream cones or the skin of fruit and vegetables. We have been eating those for a very long time, right? Nobody forces you to actually eat this packaging, but its environmental-friendly characteristic remains: it will still be compostable, biodegradable, and even dissolvable. Here are a few interesting edible food packaging products that you may or may have not heard about before.

1.     Seaweed wrapping

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More and more manufacturers are nowadays creating edible and sustainable food packaging which is made from seaweed. In fact, this type of packaging is not only suitable for food, but it can also work well for cosmetic products, such as soap, or for coffee. The idea around this type of environmental-friendly package is that the seaweed from which it’s made of will eventually dissolve in warm water making it completely biodegradable. Moreover, it secures heat, it is printable and can be a very good plant fertilizer after use.

2.     Edible cutlery

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In case you didn’t already know (and you probably didn’t), edible cutlery is now a thing and a very beneficial one for the environment, in fact. A delicious and brilliant alternative to plastic, this cutlery is made from a mix of rice, wheat, and sorghum. They come in either sweet, savory or plain flavor, are vegan and vegetarian-friendly and an incredibly good option when you truly want to do something for the planet.

3.     Edible cups

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Biodegradable and edible cups should be a must at any party from now on, especially if you want to protect the environment and encourage other people to do it too. They are, in fact, made from seaweed, natural colors that come from fruits and vegetables, and organic sweeteners. Apart from this, these cups are also gelatin- and gluten-free, and they come in a wide range of flavors, for every taste. A future project also talks about edible straws to accompany them for a fully eco-friendly night . So, bottoms up!

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Green packaging becomes mainstream

People have long considered plastic packaging the standard one. However, as the situation of our planet and concerns over the environment have increased over the past years, more and more people have become aware of the fact that plastic might not be such a good idea. This is also why governments have begun putting bans on the usage of plastic bags, and retailers are now trying to go green more than ever before.

A recently-conducted survey says that more than half of American consumers would choose these environment-friendly products over the traditional ones. So, the desire is there and there’s absolutely no reason for manufacturers to wait for change. This is the reason why many businesses today are flirting with this idea of green packaging and they’re being successful at it. Eco-friendly package, according to the current standards, should always:

  • Have recycled materials in its composition;
  • Be as small as possible in order to reduce the footprint;
  • Be recyclable and easily disposable in a sustainable manner.

For most companies, paper in the form of folding cartons is the best solution for packages. It is easy to maneuver, lightweight, sturdy, customizable, efficient, and sustainable. It also doesn’t cost a lot and can be made out of recycled materials.

The problem with compostable packaging

Compostable products, as beneficial for the environment as they are, have one big problem. They require an industrial facility which uses heat for them to be properly break down. Normally, this process takes about 180 days, but it doesn’t usually happen as the items don’t usually end up in the recycle bin. The bigger problem is that these compost facilities are usually found in big cities and not everyone has access to them. This seriously limits the effectiveness and sustainability level of compostable packaging and when they end up in the trash, their characteristics become useless.

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Characteristics of biodegradable packaging

On the other hand, when it comes to biodegradable packaging, things are a lot easier. Microorganisms like bacteria and fungi broke down these materials, and they do it quite easily too. Also, the biggest difference between biodegradable products and other sustainable ones is that they don’t require any specific industry regulations or standards. In fact, everything is biodegradable, even if it takes a few months or a few centuries. This is the reason why so many manufacturers are misleading consumers and overexaggerating these products’ characteristics under what’s known as “greenwashing”. So, in order to avoid this, the Federal Trade Commission has established the Green Guidelines that offer more details on what should be called biodegradable and what not.

The idea behind recyclable packaging

Recyclable packaging is also dubbed the eco-friendliest option out of them all because basically, you can reuse the material for the same purpose. You can also remanufacture it into something completely new. Still, there are some things that one should know about recycling. First, you need to be willing to recycle that material and take it to a recycling center. Then, that specific center must be able to actually recycle the respective material. Lastly, a product cannot be recycled if it contains food contamination. Recycled material is nowadays used more and more by a lot of companies because it’s efficient, looks nice, and it’s an overall better option for the planet. 

Conclusion

All in all, it seems that people are starting to notice the dangerous effects that traditional plastic packaging has on the environment and are trying to do something to stop this. Manufacturers are coming up with ingenious ideas like biodegradable, recyclable, compostable, and even edible packaging while businesses are doing everything they can to implement them on the mass market. Now it’s the best time to choose alternative packaging materials instead of plastics because they can help us save the planet. It may already be too late, but these common efforts are certainly not in vain and will certainly buy the humanity some time to sort things out.

Written by Priscilla Greene — September 26, 2018

How to Wear Summer Tote Bags for Chic Dates and Outings

Summer tote bags are all the rage right now – you have seen them on runways and as part of new fashion collections carrying famous designers and brands’ names. Not so long ago we presented you with a styling guide on how to wear the best tote bags for work and look chic at the office. Upon popular request, today we will offer suggestions on how to wear summer tote bags for outings, chic dates, and stylish meetings with friends. You can implement some of these ideas in early fall as well because the temperatures allow you plenty of summer outfits versatility.

1. Jute Summer Tote Bag with Floral Dress

It is hard to believe that there are women who do not know that this summer and the upcoming fall are all about vibrant colors and especially whimsical floral patterns. For a chic date, a garden party or a stylish outing with your friends, this is what we recommend so you rock this season’s trends:

  • Colored patterned maxi summer dress; pick one in a blend of pink, orange, white, large flower patterns, small flower patterns, and more.
  • Match a jute tote bag with zipper in a brownish/neutral color to tone down the vibrant dress; the large tote bag works well for casual outings and dates as it offers a laidback summery look and feel;
  • High-sole cork sandals with flower decorations matching the jute tote bag in color and texture and the dress in style;
  • A jute bangle bracelet to match in color and style the sandals and the jute bag; they tone down the color-powered dress and match beautifully a bronzed skin.

A brownish neutral jute tote bag and accessories are able to style any colored outfit you might want to wear this summer. If you want to spice things up even more, you can wear shades of summer red and burgundy with natural jute shades.

2. Navy Blue Outfit with Briefcase Tote Bag

This outfit is a bit formal, we admit, but it makes a very chic and sexy dating attire. Moreover, the outfit works incredibly well with semi-formal outings and meetings. You can wear it at work, at business meetings, and at stylish outings with your partner. It is a summer attire sporting one of the best summer tote bags of the year, in a refined color and a briefcase design.

  • Get a plain white short-sleeved blouse in a feminine slim-fit design;
  • Match it with a flirty navy blue skirt with a brown belt (and make sure you tuck the blouse in the skirt);
  • You can pick a pair of brown and navy blue suede and leather high heeled sandals that work incredibly with both the skirt and its belt; if you think the sandals match only a niche range of clothes, do not worry – they will work terrific with all your navy blue jeans;
  • The summer tote bag of today is a zippered poly tote bag with a briefcase design to fit all your items and personal belongings;
  • During hot summer days, wear a pair of oversized brown sunglasses to match your clothes and shoes.

In fall, you can replace the skirt with a pair of jeans and maybe throw a denim jacket over the white top during chilly nights.

3. Red Summer Suit with Matching Red Tote Bag

You can wear a cute summer suit for a stylish date or outing consisting of ¼ flared trousers and a jacket (for chilly summer nights or early fall afternoons) you can wear together with a cute tote bag you can wear with either informal or business attires. Let us see how to wear a “lady in red” outfit this summer:

  • Red suit with large three-quarters length trousers and a jacket;
  • Black and white striped short-sleeved top; you can wear the t-shirt with other red outfits, as the three colors match and make a great trio;
  • For the purse, you can take a zippered non-woven polypropylene tote bag in red and black; if you love red outfits and the color suits your skin tone and personality, you can wear the tote bag all year long with no problems;
  • For summer dates and outings you can pick a pair of black leather sandals going great with the outfit; however, in early fall, you can replace the sandals with a pair of black leather pumps or even ankle-high boots.

This outfit works well for office days as well. The jacket offers a formal flair to the ensemble and the tote bag – large and durable – will never let you down when it comes to carrying personal and professional items.

4. Casual Black and Orange Outfit

Summer and early fall are the best seasons to sport your orange clothes and accessories. A cute casual date or some drinks with friends in a garden make the best occasions for you to rock an orange-based outfit with a boyish flare.

  • The white plain t-shirt is a cult classic in summer and fall; we recommend you pick an 100% cotton shirt to allow you better heat management and look silky and stylish;
  • Match the t-shirt with a pair of black skinny jeans – all women usually have a pair; they go with anything and make you look young and rebellious, giving some buzz to your office combos as well;
  • For an evening date or a night out with the girls, take a see-through knitted orange cardigan; it looks feminine and cute and will protect you from a chilly breeze in case you stay outside late;
  • A black oversized polyester tote bag tones down the powerful orange shades, matches your jeans (and literally all your outfits), and keeps your belongings safe; you can use the tote bag at work, as a stylish black urban purse, for your daily activities, grocery shopping, traveling, and even the beach;
  • A pair of oxfords in white and orange keeps your look stylish with a vintage charm and that boyish flair we were talking about earlier;
  • Pick a pair of fringed orange earrings as well – they spice up your look and draw attention to your face features and hairstyle.

You can wear such an outfit all summer and fall – just pick a nice orange jacket instead of the knitted cardigan and maybe a pair of ankle-high orange boots for rainy, chilly autumn days.

5. Summer/Fall Teal and Gray Outfit

This outfit is incredibly versatile and sexy – and you can wear it in summer or in fall, depending on whether you take the leather jacket with you. It makes an outstanding color scheme as well, perfect for casual dates or indoor/outdoor dinner parties.

  • Pick a sporty yet silky top in an ombré design ranging from orange to teal, turquoise and gray – it makes an excellent choice for jeans, short sporty trousers, and skirts in similar and complementary nuances as well;
  • Wear it tucked in a gray flirty mini skirt;
  • Match the top and the skirt with a pair of gray see-through summer boots – they will be a godsend later this season and even in late fall if you have chilly weather and no rain to confront;
  • The piece of resistance is the designer teal leather jacket, an excellent choice for this outfit and for many other summer/fall combos with jeans and dresses;
  • Finish the outfit with an On-the-Go cotton canvas tote bag with magnet snaps closure for a perfectly blended urban purse.

Teal and gray (with a dash of sweet light orange) work amazing together and you can sport such color combination in any casual or formal attire. The two-tone tote bag comes to finish the ensemble, but if you love other color schemes, we are sure you will find other summer tote bags to meet and exceed your expectations.

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed our selection of summer tote bags and outfits to wear this season and the next. Of course, we only offered a few suggestions, as you can build on these ideas and create your favorite combinations for chic dates and stylish outings. Nevertheless, feel free to tell us in the comments section below which of the above was your favorite attire idea!

Written by Priscilla Greene — August 29, 2018

13 Back to School Gifts for Students in College

The back to school season is right around the corner, and your college student is getting ready for a new year of life-shaping experiences and knowledge gaining (together with some well-deserved college fun). Back to school gifts for students should not be hard to pick and find, especially if you know what your son or daughter needs and wishes. Most parents these days make sure the students have enough money to tend to their needs, but some gifts will be a godsend if you know how to choose them. Without further ado, let us see 13 back to school gifts for students in college that they will appreciate!

1. Compact Sleek Laptop Backpack

A professional looking laptop backpack can take a college student from class to the internship with no problems. Look for a colored one with a dash of urban style and all the safety it can muster.

This computer daypack backpack comes with a padded laptop/tablet sleeve, multiple zippered pockets with easy access for keys, phone and other gadgets, vibrant colors and an attractive price for the parents.

If you want to step up your game a little, you can fill it with some necessary books for the eager-to-learn student or some fiction books by his favorite authors to expand his/her cultural horizons in an entertaining manner.

2. A Breakfast Maker

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Some appliances are fantastic additions for any college student having to deal with dorms and cooking. You can easy the kid’s way into healthy meal preparation by getting a sandwich maker or even a microwave oven, but you can try a breakfast maker as well.

These multi-purpose devices can make a sandwich while they fry an omelet at the same time, so the more versatility you provide your kid with, the healthier and more diverse he/she will cook and eat.

Making food in confined spaces with just a handful of appliances and ingredients is a necessary life skill that many acquire in college. Help your son or daughter prep some nutritious and delicious meals without needing a full kitchen (like the one back home), generous spaces, shelves chock-full of provisions, and all the time in the world.

Sometimes, some breakfasts cannot take more than ten minutes to make and eat, so a breakfast maker is something to consider. If you want to enhance your assistance, get the college kid a cookbook as well. We recommend the 10-minute meal recipes type of books for all dorm dwellers.

3. A Monogrammed Travel Kit

You can pick an ecologic zippered travel kit for your eco-friendly college kid or an elegant double toiletry box. The point is that you have to offer the proper storage for the make up or shaving necessities of a young student that is not his or her plastic shower caddy. A monogrammed travel kit or toiletry bag gives the gift a maturity and elegance flair. The monogram also helps a lot in the dorm to establish ownership.

Of course, since we are talking about back to school gifts for students, you should also fill in the kits and boxes with the cosmetic, beauty, care, and grooming products your daughter/son uses the most. You can also add a touch of refinement to the primary care package with a lovely perfume.

Girls appreciate monogrammed items more than boys do, so if you want to offer your college daughter a nice surprise, check out these embroidery font ideas to get your inspiration going (and even find some cute messages to put on the travel kits)!

4. A Portable Power Bank

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Do you know what college students use most these days? Their phones. Get your son or daughter a portable power bank so they never run out of power when they go out. Do you know how your heart skips a bit every time they don’t answer their phones or you hear that shut-off terrible phone sound?

A portable phone power bank keeps them connected to the outside world (and you), making their lives easier and safer. If you find one that is lightweight, slim, sleek, and easy-to-carry, they will be even more grateful to you.

5. A Laundry Bag with Shoulder Straps

All students need a laundry bag. But have you ever considered how rough it is for some to carry their bags down many flights of stairs or drag it a few blocks away? A jumbo size laundry bag with solid shoulder strap is a dream came true for all college students. They just have to fill it in, wear it like a rucksack, and take it where laundry needs to go.

The bag features high-quality cotton, making it durable to wear and tear, heavy lifting and carrying. Moreover, since cotton is a lightweight fabric when they do not use the laundry bag, the students can fold it neatly and store it in just a little bit of space until further notice.

6. An Electric Programmable Coffee Maker

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We know it is not healthy for kids their age to drink so much coffee, but you cannot convince them otherwise, especially when they need to study day and night. If you cannot beat them, join them! One of the most effective back to school gifts for students in college is an electric programmable coffee maker that creates a healthy brew whenever the young one needs a wake-up boost.

Since you are here, make sure you get the young one a box of assorted coffees featuring different blends, types of beverages, branded selections, and various favors. Java is not just something to drink and wake up (there is orange juice for that).

Coffee is something to savor, enjoy, a taste to acquire and a routine to develop. If your son or daughter is having coffee, at least he or she should benefit from some excellent brews to educate his/her senses and tastes.

7. Snap-T Fleece Pullover

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This is a cult classic for all college kids who need an all-season pullover that will always look stylish. You can find fleece cult-classics for boys and girls alike, with ¼ zippers or buttons, in all the colors you can imagine.

These fleece pullovers work great in their dorm rooms or outside, when they come visit you or when they need an extra layer of warmth in cold winters. You cannot go wrong with a fleece pullover in modern cuts, colors, and lines.

If your boy or girl is the outdoorsy type, a fleece pullover is precisely what he/she needs for this school year’s camping trips with friends and colleagues.

8. Convertible Roller Suitcase Duffle Bag

Speaking of outdoorsy college kids – and the ones who love to travel or go on in adventures with their friends – one of the greatest back to school gifts for students is a convertible duffle bag that becomes a roller suitcase, depending on the student’s needs.

He/she can pack his/her stuff in it and go back to college or take it separately and use it for other college trips, camping adventures, road trips, trips abroad with the faculty, spring breaks, visits home, and so on.

Here are some of its best features: it comes with a sturdy telescopic handle for easy maneuverability, a clamshell opening, zippered front pockets, and padded side-grab handles.

The beauty and usefulness of this bag resides in its versatility. If it has a little to carry, the bag can remain a simple duffel bag. If the load is heavy, your kid can easily turn it into a roller and carry it with no worries in the heart. Its size and durability makes it perfect for car, train, and airplane rides.

9. Personalized Tumbler Cup

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Tumbler cups are students’ favorites as they keep their drinks at the right temperature during class, library reading sessions, and room studying marathons.

A tumbler cup is just a tumbler cup, so you should get your creative juices flowing and make an unforgettable and personalized one for your son or daughter. In the dorm, as we said, property and ownership are hot issues, so a glitter tumbler cup or one decorated with a wise quote or message will make the difference.

10. A Nice Wristwatch

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Young college students do not wear watches anymore because their phones tell them the time, is that what you think? Well, a wristwatch is still an elegant piece, a timeless (forgive the pun) accessory, and a statement of taste and refined elegance and they should know that.

Moreover, a nice wristwatch coming from a new brand, with a contemporary design and minimalist lines can dress up any outfit college students can wear in class, during the internship or at work. Few things make a young man or a young woman more polished, composed, and mature than a well-selected watch.

You can add a nice modern “young urban professional” style messenger bag to that watch and have a college kid ready to take over the world.

11. A Fun Board Game to Bring Back to School

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Dorm nights are not always about studying, just as they are not always about revelries. Some college kids have the time of their lives with their friends while playing board games. You can feed the souls and minds of the geeks with a smart and entertaining choice – depending on his/her preferences as well. You have hundreds of options.

Just pick one or two that will keep the kid and his/her friends entertained for months when none of them is in the mood for going out. Even if they go out, never underestimate the power of the geek: they will take the game with them and just play somewhere else.

Be they strategy games, co-op games, competition games, card games and so on and so forth – your college student will always be happy to gather some buddies around and spend a chill evening with laughter and smart debating.

12. A Reading Pillow

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Dorm beds are usually uncomfortable and we are sure you already provided the kid with pillows, blankets, and all the necessary bed linen you could find. This year, make his bed even more comfortable with a reading pillow.

It is a novelty type of furniture – if we can call it this way – that offers excellent back and lumbar support for reading or watching movies. Reading at your desk is uncomfortable and leads to pain and poor posture.

The reading pillow aims to prevent such problems and alleviate such issues by offering a nice and comfortable body position while the student is in bed reading, studying, or watching some shows on the tablet or laptop.

13. Vouchers, Gift Cards, and Shopping Coupons

Do you know what college kids want so they can have a nice life in college? Everything! If you want to ease their living and offer them some comfort, help them with a selection of vouchers, gift cards, and shopping coupons.

They do not have much money but they do need plenty, so consider the following:

• Groceries gift cards or coupons;

• Clothes and footwear gift cards;

• Tech and school supplies gift cards;

• Online and brick-and-mortar bookshop gift cards;

• Grooming and beauty products or services gift cards (everybody needs a haircut from time to time, let alone some skin care products or basic cosmetics/hygiene products and services);

• Decoration and furniture gift cards;

• Other products/services they may need.

Some of the biggest online retailers and supermarkets, shops, brands, and stores offer gift cards, vouchers, discount cards, and coupons, so make sure you get some with generous availability terms and gift them to the kid.

Put them all inside a large and durable canvas shopping tote bag with the kid’s monogram or printed with a cute message. Such tote bags are all the rage of shopping these days, making the best companions for students.

They make some of the best back to school gifts for students, as they allow the student the power of choice, together with welcomed financial aid. Moreover, such gift teaches them responsibility and proper resource management – which are, again, crucial life skills they should acquire as early as possible in their adult years.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed our 13 back to school gifts for students suggestions. If you have other ideas or you already offered some presents that were spectacularly well received, feel free to share your considerations in the comment section below!

Written by Priscilla Greene — August 28, 2018

5 Whimsical Promotion Gift Ideas in the Hospitality Industry

We have talked many times before about innovative and cool promotion gift ideas to surprise collaborators, colleagues, or conference attendees. If your primary field of work and interest in the IT field, you will choose personalized and printed drawstring backpacks as giveaways or gifts for sure. Any other industry and business owner already knows he/she can make a long-lasting impression upon the firm’s partners or conference attendees with some well-crafted tote bag gift baskets filled with goodies.

However, what promotion gift ideas do you have when you work in the HORECA and hospitality industry? While offering vouchers and memberships to your hotels may be costly, you cannot let a conference in the field to end without your guests receiving something whimsical and personalized from you.

Let us see today how you can get truly creative! Check out our X whimsical promotion gift ideas you can offer your collaborators, colleagues, conference attendees, business partners, and even hotel guests that will put a smile on their faces and remind them of you at all times!

1. Fancy Jute Blend Book Bags with Books

If your hotel just hosted a hospitality convention regarding guest experience improvement, the challenges of modern tourism, innovations in hospitality, and making travel fun for some target groups of people, you should end it in style as well.

Get some fancy jute blend book bags (carryall totes with full gusset) and fill them with:

  • A USB drive (with your logo) containing all the materials, presentations, movies, and debates of the conference or the convention;
  • An artistic and high-quality travel photography album; or a photo album containing the best photos taken during the meeting with personalized messages;
  • A whimsical book along the lines of “Developing a Hotel for Dummies” or “Travel Planning for Dummies”;
  • A travel kit containing eye blinders and earplugs for airplane rest;
  • A complimentary personalized hand towel with each guest’s monogram on it and your brand logo.

If you all work in the hospitality industry, it does not mean you cannot have some well-deserved laughs and learn the dummy way to run a hotel and so on.

2. Beach Pool Tote Bags with Beach Gear

Summer conferences about how to make summer experiences better for your guests are fun and informative. Unfortunately, while the hotel guests are getting all the fun, you and your peers stay inside discussing numbers, budgets, marketing strategies, and the latest HORECA offers and discounts. When the talks are over, everybody will want to forget they are CEOs or PR specialists and hit the pool, the beach, and the deep blue sea. Meet their needs and exceed their expectations by offering them full beach equipment:

  • One oversized jumbo 100% twill cotton tote bag personalized with your hotel logo and the date of the conference/convention;
  • High-quality sunscreen;
  • Beach slippers;
  • A personalized beach towel with your hotel logo on it;
  • A fancy travel magazine so they can read while they get a tan;
  • A small box with refreshments and snacks to regain their swimming energy while on your beach.

One of the best things about beach tote bags is that all your conference/convention attendees will take them home after the event and use them with a smile on their face next summer season as well.

3. Laundry Bags

Customized laundry bags make a fun and unexpected item to put on your promotion gift ideas list and send it to your marketing department. The personalized jumbo size cotton drawstring laundry bags

laundry bags for each and all of your event attendees are easy to screen print, are fun to have around (as they will all take them back home), and one of the most practical items in the hospitality industry – a sign that you all understand that it is the minor details that make the difference in this business.

4. Cosmetic Bags and Travel Kits for Women

When it comes to promotion gift ideas, keep in mind that you have many holidays to cover, plenty of celebrations, special occasions and event, and lots of women colleagues, business partners, and collaborators to surprise. This year you can try offering all those exceptional women personalized cosmetic bags you can emphasize with your logo or their monograms.

Do you want to take things up a notch? Fill the cosmetic bags with some exquisite products – preferably of local sourcing and containing as many natural or traditional ingredients as possible.

Think regarding sunscreen, herbal soaps, organic massage oils, aromatherapy essential oils, natural body lotions, and 100% organic cotton face towels, and so on. After all, there is nothing you cannot find when you run a hotel.

5. Overnighter Poly Duffel Sports Bag for Men

Do you know what men want? Useful, practical, and fun things. For this reason, you should put some overnighter duffel sports bags on your promotion gift ideas list, buy them in bulk, and send them to the studio for screen-printing and personalization.

Nothing says that you understand the hospitality industry better than an overnighter or a weekender bag that a man can also turn into a gym/sports bag. Personalize the overnighters with your hotel logo or the recipient’s name and offer them as holiday promotion gifts, post-conference promotion gifts, tokens of appreciation for your colleagues and collaborators, and so on.

Do you want to pump up the volume a little? Depending on the season or the occasion, you can fill each bag with some expensive items no active man will say no to – a high-end gym cotton towel, a waffle bathrobe with monogram, a neat set of man grooming products, a fancy bottle of wine, a book, and more.

Bonus Ideas

As you can quickly figure out, the sky is the limit when it comes to the hospitality industry and promotion gift ideas in this particular department. If you want to entertain yourself and let your colleagues, partners, suppliers, and other business parties know you have some humor, you can personalize and offer some of the following gifts as well:

  • Six pack cooler lunch bag, because beer is excellent when you drink it cold on the beach while discussing the latest trends in hospitality;
  • Rustic wedding favor bags for all those colleagues who work in wedding and honeymoon-centered hotels and resorts (and fill the bags with something fun or delicious to eat);
  • Wine bags with outstanding wine for your friends in other hotels who deserve the best;
  • Camera bags for all your collaborators working in your hotel’s marketing department (or all the attendees to your hospitality marketing conference etc.)

We hope these promotion gift ideas gave you some inspiration so you can make unusual and unique gifts to the people you work within the hospitality industry. What other ideas do you have? Did you ever receive such a present that made a memorable impression on you?

Written by Priscilla Greene — August 24, 2018

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