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Make a Reusable Bag for Earth Day

Apr 22 | What Different Can Do

While we may not count down to Earth Day as we do other holidays, it’s still one of the most important days of the year. It’s a day when the world comes together for a common goal: appreciating and protecting our home planet. Getting kids engaged and actively participating in this holiday can help them develop respect for our Earth.

What is Earth Day?

The first Earth Day occurred on April 22, 1970 to celebrate the birth of the modern environmental movement. It began relatively small, spanning the U.S. only before global in 1990, engaging 200 million people across 141 countries!

This worldwide movement increased recycling around planet Earth and helped spur the 1992 United Nations (UN) Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Now, more than one billion people worldwide celebrate Earth Day, making it the largest secular observance in the world.

Make a Reusable Bag From a T-shirt

Humans use more than 500 billion plastic bags annually. That’s a lot of plastic! These bags can take around 300 years to photodegrade. What’s worse is that they release toxic particles into the soil and surrounding waterways as they degrade.

That’s why reusable shopping bags have become so popular. And did you know you can make one from an old shirt you don’t wear anymore? Then you can bring it on your next shopping trip — or use it to collect treasures on your next nature adventure!


  • Old t-shirt (any size works, depending on how big you want your bag)
  • Chalk or fabric pencil
  • Ruler (optional)
  • Fabric scissors
  • Nature Cat Cloth Bag Printable (PDF)
  • Wax crayons (optional)
  • Iron and ironing board (optional)
  • Newspaper (optional)
  • Plain paper (optional)
  • Fabric markers


1. Cut the sleeves off an old t-shirt.

2. Use chalk (or a fabric pencil) to draw a mark on each shoulder of the shirt, close to the collar, two to three inches from where the sleeve was cut off.
3. Using a ruler and chalk, draw a line (anywhere from 5 to 8 inches) down from each mark.
4. Connect the bottoms of each line to create a line straight across the shirt. This will be the opening of your bag.
5. Cut along the rectangle, through both sides of the shirt.
6. Measure 3 inches from the bottom of the shirt and draw a mark.
7. Using your mark as a guide, draw a straight line across the bottom of the shirt. This will be the bottom of the bag.
8. Cut a line from the bottom, through both sides of the shirt, all the way to the line you just drew. Make several cuts, one inch apart from each other, until the entire bottom of the shirt is strips of connected fabric.
9. Tie each strand from one side of the shirt to the other side of the shirt in tight double knots to close the bottom of the bag.
10. Turn the bag inside out so the knots are on the inside.
11. Encourage your child to decorate their bag with fabric markers or however they like.
Share photos of your DIY reusable bags on social media and tag us @CampSouthernGround. Let’s inspire each other to make a difference this Earth Day and every day!