Environment-friendly “Hello Bag” launched in Santa Barbara

Local entrepreneur, CEO, and Founder Christopher Blaul has launched his new company “Hello Bag” which adds a sturdy frame to a paper bag, the type you might bring home from a grocery store, transforming it into something that can be used again. I randomly met Blaul while he was working his day job of the last 29 years, CB paint & Decor Inc., at a project across the street from my parents home in Montecito. Soon we started chatting about a new invention of his which is detailed online at hello-bag.com.

“We know paper bags are better than plastic for the environment, so why isn’t everyone using paper bags already?” asked Blaul. “Paper bags fall over or close when we use them. We don’t enjoy the clutter of paper bags around the house, and we don’t have ideas for how to use paper bags.” He set out to solve that problem.

From day one, Chris’s family taught him to use what he had at hand and to take care of the planet. He saw how his grandparents and parents reused paper bags to help make home projects easier, even inventing a small wooden frame to make the bag sturdier.

Over the years, plastic bags took over the global market, and Chris became increasingly concerned with waste and its environmental impact. Then a spark went off. He decided to recreate the small frame his family always used for paper bags and cut plastic bags out of his life. He began giving the frames to his friends and the idea spread.

Today, this small frame is known as Hello Bag – a fun introduction to giving paper bags a second life. Blaul offers ideas for what to with all those extra grocery bags:

1. Recycling container: Paper bags are recyclable, so to make paper recycling easy, simply put all of your paper recycling in a paper bag, and then toss the whole thing into your recycling bin.

2. Compost: Collect kitchen scraps and other compost items in a paper bag and then when it’s time to compost, dump out the food scraps and then tear up the bag to go directly into the compost pile.

3. Moving or Traveling containers: Don’t want to pay for extra boxes when moving or traveling? Fill up your paper bags with clothes, books, and more to make moving easier or to pack the car for trips and travel.

4. Ripen Fruit: You can ripen avocados, bananas, tomatoes, or peaches by sticking them inside a brown paper bag.

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