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Arms-free grocery carrying

Walking is great for your own health and the health of the environment and we're always looking for ways to reduce car trips but what do you do when you have bags of "stuff" to bring home?

I am lucky to live in an area where I can walk to many places I want to go - to grocery and hardware stores, nurseries, library, crop swaps and Farmers Markets. Getting to my destinations is enjoyable. The problem arises when I end up accumulating more than I can comfortably carry home. I tell myself not to acquire so much, or just to take home less weighty produce, but how can I resist cantaloupe and watermelon, or all those beautiful persimmons or a bag of several different kinds of apples? A bike with sidebags is a great solution for many people but because of stairs and no bike-size storage place, it's not a great option for me. I see "granny carts" being wheeled through the streets, but they are a little short for me and produce has to be stacked.

I saw someone using one of these Hook-and-Go carts a few years ago at the San Francisco Farmers Market and I thought the person had made it themselves from a golf cart, but it turns out that he bought it right at the market.The carts were made for leisurely shopping at the Farmers Markets by a Vancouver-based designer, John Hook, but Bobby Winston brought the cart to San Francisco and then bought the patent. Hook's idea was that a person could shop hands-free at the market and then wheel her goods to the car, load it up, then fold the cart and stick it in the trunk, but the cart easily traverses city sidewalks. I find it easier to pull the cart behind me the mile or two I walk, especially on the uphill parts.The cart is made of steel, weighs 7 pounds and will hold up to 70 pounds. One small drawback is that the device was made for plastic bags and my regular cloth grocery bags have handles that are too long unless I tie some knots or wrap the handles several times.

The Ecology Center sells the Hook and Go carts!

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