I keep meaning to blog about this, I was thinking about blogging about this on the way home from the grocery store right now and then another friend blogged about it...
First, IKEA started charging for bags and then sold a big-ass reusable bag for about $1.50. It's like those awesome bags they have in the store that hold everything. We ended up buying two--one for each car. We may have 3 now. I'm not sure. They apparently came with a little Scandinavian elf who likes to hide them (Karlsson on the Roof, perhaps). But still, our first baby step.
We kept meaning to get some for the grocery store. Then we got a Central Market bag with a gift card inside it for Christmas--thanks! And we got another big reusable bag with presents in it--thanks! I love presents like that! Present=great! Packaging=great! (Blame it on my time in a freaking communist country where there was no packaging. Or things to put in packages.) Since we had the bags, we started to use them. Well, when we could remember them. We're better about it now that it's more of a habit. Also we have enough to leave 1 or 2 at home and still have some in the car.
We now have bags from:
* Central Market
* Garden Ridge? (Tim & Julie gave it to us)
They're all fairly similar in terms of usability (the Target one is tiny, but it zips up into a little packet that you can put in your purse). Also, obviously, you can use the Kroger bag at CM and the Garden Ridge bag and Target and... It also seems like we have a lot, but we use them for all kinds of things and we always have some in rotation, so I don't feel like we've replaced a zillion one-time-use bags for a zillion multi-use bags. Still better, but you get the point.
Now that we're used to bringing them we really like them. There are some things you have to get used to, like waiting for the cashier to clear out the weight of the bags at the U-Scan. And sometimes baggers don't know what to do with them, but I figure that will get easier as more people use them.
Reasons I like reusable shopping bags (in no particular order):
* don't have to collect plastic bags for taking back to the store (i.e. junking up the house and wondering what would happen if you shoved them all into the trash)
* easy to slip over your shoulder so heavy bags don't cut your hands up
* milk jugs and frozen peas don't render them useless
* no need to double-bag
* bags hold more groceries--we'll fill a small cart at CM and leave with 2 bags in hand (or on shoulders) rather than 7
* bags are easier to carry up stairs because of handles that go over your shoulder--our kitchen is on our 2nd floor, so this is a big deal for us
Now, where can we find a bottle carrier? The cardboard ones at CM kill your hands and they're one-use only. We buy lots of bottled fizzy water. For now, we're using those plastic web things they put on your bottles at liquor stores.
And yes, I am glad that we're reducing waste. But I am also lazy. This is a perfect way for a lazy person to be green.