bring your own bags

Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 11.07.32 AMI have never liked the ubiquitous plastic shopping bags the supermarkets and other big box stores almost force on you.  They fly around parking lots on a windy day and end up in shrubs and trees as well as in our oceans (have you heard of the Pacific trash vortex?  what a mess!).  And even though I save those few I do inevitably end up with in my kitchen cabinet with the other recyclables I mostly have no use for them. People have become more aware in recent years for sure, what with all those bags made from recycled plastic bottles you can get at every supermarket (but they don't wash well).  In Europe it has always been customary to bring your own shopping bag, net or basket.  EinkausnetzIn more recent times plastic shopping bags, at least in Germany, have become so expensive to buy (they don't hand them out for free over there) that it has drastically curtailed the use of them.  California may soon become the first state in this country to ban this environmental scourge, as the NY Times reported a few days ago.

some of my bags

I use machine washable canvas shopping bags of which I bought a whole bunch many years ago, as well as a really neat bottle carrying bag (it fits nine bottles).  I usually have a few in my car, just in case.  Traditional woven shopping baskets are no longer very practical because they are bulky and you can't fit a lot into them.  Mesh shopping bags, on the other hand, fold up so small you can always carry one in your bag for unforeseen purchases.

We begin to become environmentally aware in baby steps.  This is one way to start.