Now that plastic bags are on the outs, every man, woman, and child is marketing a tote. Nothing against legit efforts to reduce waste, but some of the reusable bags out there are, well, uninspired (read: ugly).

If you agree, check out Onus Gear, an e-company that conducts a canvas bag design contest each month. Members can submit their original art, vote for their favorite design, and then purchase a bag emblazoned with the winning entry. It’s eco-democracy at its best. (And let’s face it, how often do you get to exercise a little creative muscle?) Sneak a peek at past winners for ideas — you just might get inspired.

Story by Jessica Tzerman. This article originally appeared in Plenty in June 2008. This story was added to

Copyright Environ Press 2008