Solving the Smashed Tomatoes Problem, Crowdsourcing the Perfect Shopping Bag

Darya Pino relates her farmers market experience.

You remember your reusable shopping bags and schlepp them to the farmer's market, only to have some of those precious perishables crushed or damaged by the time you get home. Just last week, I lost part of a beautiful head of Romaine when the dog bolted, the bag twirled, and the already twisted lettuce popped out of the bag and onto the ground. Now Darya Pino with the Summer Tomato blog and the folks at Quirky are determined to use crowd-sourced design to make a much better farmer's market bag.

Shopping Bags and girl in a white skirt.jpg
We've all got 'em - croudsourcing may make them better. Photo Baggu.

Pino has talked at length about her trials and tribulations bringing home unblemished farmer's market produce. She's resorted to carrying two bags, one big one on one shoulder for the heavy stuff, and a smaller one on the other shoulder for the delicate goods. She also brings along some Tupperware to house the really bruisable fruits and veggies.

But Pino decided there's got to be a better way, and so she has teamed with Quirky to inspire people to submit their best ideas for a new design bag. Quirky itself is a very cool "social product development" site that has already spawned a number of great ideas. One is the Keiro Kitchen composter, an idea from Compostalooza that turns food waste into specially-sized chunks ready for quick and easy break down, and another is the Cradle, an iPad lap desk made from PlyBoo.

Granted, many of Quirky's designs aren't green-focused, but they are crowd-supported, and need to get that support if they are to be manufactured at all. (Quirky calls this "greenlighting." Both the Cradle and the Keiroo are still in the influence-gathering phase.) The campaign for a better shopping bag we hope will get a lot of entries - we've all been dealing with the shapeless cloth shoulder bags for too long!

Though Quirky normally charges for designers to submit their ideas, in this case ideas for a better crowdsourced market bag will be free to submit. But there are just four days left! Submit your best ideas now. And don't forget the sketches - they help.

Read more at TreeHugger about shopping bags:
Minimalist/Modernist Reusable Bags
Yesterday's Old T-shirt, Today's Cool Resuable Bag
Reusable Shopping Bags: Which is the Greenest of Them All?

Related Content on