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To bag or not to bag... Is it a question?

Bringing your own bags to the grocery store may seem old hat, but despite the “mainstream” nature of this action, it simply has not caught on with many folks. Many people like the idea, but...


  • I was driving home from work and needed to pick up some things, but left the bags at home

  • I went to the market, but realized I left all of my bags in the garage

  • I took the car that did not have the bags

  • I ended up buying more stuff than I anticipated and only had enough reusable bags for half of what I bought


It takes time to make anything a habit, and remembering to bring your own bags is no different. What's worked for my household is to leave a supply of reusable bags in each vehicle. When groceries are brought into the house and put away, one bag holds all the other bags and is hung over the doorknob to the garage. The next time a driver leaves, the bags go back in the car. This particular routine may not work for you, but the point is that a routine creates a new habit, and making this a habit is important. Forgetting bags has become akin to forgetting my shopping list, something I rarely do.


Once the grocery store experience was established, I began to consider the source for other disposable bags I was accumulating. I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to make the connection and bring reusable bags to all retailers, but it did. Pharmacies, department stores, bakeries – any place that wants to give you a plastic bag is a good place to bring your own.


Since many of us may not live in countries, states, or cities that have banned plastic bags, it is important we think about making this change ourselves, just like many retailers have taken it upon themselves to eliminate providing plastic bags or even bags of any kind.


There is an interesting, recent article that debates the merits of certain types of bags. However, until a complete evaluation is conducted that considers the full impact of creating and improper disposing of plastic bags, I’m sticking with reusing my reusable bags until they are beaten to a pulp… and then I will recycle them. 


So, consider creating a new habit and make taking your own bags into the grocery store or any retailer the norm rather than the exception. 

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