If you're trying to green up your lifestyle, riding a bike whenever you can is a no-brainer. But hauling groceries or work stuff or your lunch can be problematic, even awkward, without a good set of panniers. The Toocan Juicy is a great way to support recycling and a grassroots women's cooperative business. Made from a hundred PET fruit juice pouches woven together, these panniers are definitely unique. They've got a 'bathtub' sewn waterproof bottom, handles for ease of use off of the bike, a raincover, and reflectors to keep you visible.
Toocan Juicy is a product of Money From Garbage, a ten year old initiative of the women-owned B. Luz Cooperative in the Philippines. The cooperative separates garbage at the source from over 1300 households, businesses and schools. They recycle, re-use, and compost. Supporting them means helping to provide living-wage jobs for Co-op members and funding a community clinic. The cooperative also makes micro-loans to women-owned small businesses.
The weight limit on these is about 15 pounds, and one caveat about them is that they aren't as tough as nylon or full rubber panniers, so hauling a bunch of pointy, sharp-edged objects in them is not a great idea. For most uses, though, they should last for years, says the company. If the Toocan Juicy appeals to you, pick up a pair at Detours (sold singly).