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CEC is committed to creating a more resilient and just region in the face of climate change. Through our work with the Central Coast Climate Justice Network and elsewhere, our vision includes an end to racial injustices and their resulting environmental inequities.

Almost every product and service we rely on today is manufactured with or transported by some amount of fossil fuels. Of course, the most important thing we can do to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels is to use less. However, when you do make a purchase, we encourage you to shop for energy-smart products that use less energy.

Here at CEC, we’re all about energy-smart products that help us move towards a fossil-free lifestyle and a fossil-free future for Santa Barbara.

Last time, you heard about Sigrid’s favorite water bottle and today, we’re hearing from Michelle Kitson, CEC’s Online Marketing Coordinator. We hope you’ll find an idea to inspire you.

Favorite eco-product: Chico Bag – It’s a reusable bag that stuffs into a 3”x 4” pouch.
: $5.99 each
Owned it for
: 3 years

I love my Chico Bags.

I bought my first Chico Bag with the intention of using it for grocery shopping. I was frustrated with the amount of plastic bags I would carry home from the store every week and wanted to make a change. Before the Chico Bag, I was using ~720 plastic bags every year. Here’s the math:


Grocery Bags = 6 bags/week (double-bagged) = 12 bags/week
+ Miscellaneous Bags = 3 bags/week

Total of 15 bags/week, 60 bags/month, 720 bags/year. Yowza!


Although I knew reusable bags would displace much of my plastic bag use, I dreaded having to remember my bags. What if I forgot them and what if I didn’t have enough? As it turns out, all the benefits outweighed my worries. Making that small change was way better than I thought.

  • You can carry a ton of groceries (25 pound capacity!) in just one bag. I live in an upstairs apartment so I used to get everything double bagged to prevent a torn bag disaster. Now I just need one bag and it’s not plastic.
  • The polyester fabric handles are much more comfortable than plastic bag handles cutting into your fingers.
  • They are super compact so I can carry them everywhere.
  • I ended up using them for everything. Grocery stores aren’t the only places that give you plastic bags. I use them for clothes shopping, the drug store, the copy shop, carrying my yarn to craft night… everything.

I’m definitely a reusable bag convert.

You can get a Chico Bag of your own or a different type of reusable bag at CEC’s Amazon Store in the Reusable Bag section. If you find something you like, a percentage of your purchase comes back to CEC.


Stay tuned to hear from our next CEC staffer, Michael Chiacos, about his favorite light bulb.

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