I’m always wondering why people don’t bring reusable bags to the store. Â For me, reducing the use of plastic is very important and I see it as the “right” thing to do. Â I do realize that not everyone sees the world through those same green glasses and that has gotten me thinking….
The other day I had some errands to run â€“ Target and grocery shopping at Kroger. It was late afternoon and both stores were busy. While I know that Michigan is behind other parts of the country in bringing your own bags to the store, I was amazed that I was the ONLY one that I saw in both stores with my own bag. This got me thinking â€“ why??!!!
I came up with two primary reasons â€“ expense to invest in the reusable bags and the convenience of having to remember to bring the bags. Here are my thoughts on those barriers.
First, the expense. I searched a number of websites and found a large price range for bags â€“ better quality / innovative design, higher price. I have several of the higher price / higher quality bags and I do really like them. For the long haul, I would recommend investing in bags that are a bit more expensive. Â Check out some of the awesome finds from the EcoEtsy team here!
However, for those on a tight budget, the less expensive counterparts can work just fine for regular grocery shopping. I’ve found less expensive bags priced at about $1.50 each. If you need 10 bags for your shopping, that is an up front investment of $15.00. Now, here in Michigan, Target refunds $0.05/bag and Kroger refunds $0.10/bag. So, hereâ€™s the mathâ€¦.if you use 10 bags per week at Kroger and 3 bags per month at Target, in one year you will get back $53.80. Even in the year where you make the investment Â of buying the bags you will MAKE $38.80. The stores will pay you for the use of your bags! To me, this is a no brainer.
OK, on to the â€œless convenientâ€ issue. Iâ€™ve been bringing my bags to the store for nearly three years now and, while it took a month or two for me to readjust my habits, I can say it is rare for me to forget them. You just need to establish a routine that works for you. One easy strategy is to make sure you always put the bags back in your trunk after you unload the groceries. That way, you donâ€™t accidentally forget them at home. Remembering to take them into the store is a bit tougher, but after a few times you get used to that as well.
In addition to making sense for both the environment and my finances, I like the added benefits that the bags hold more than paper/plastic bags and they can be slung over my shoulder. This allows me to make less trips to the car when Iâ€™m unloading.
So, if you donâ€™t already take your own bags, give it a tryâ€¦itâ€™s not that hard!
The unique reusable bag shown in this post is from the EcoEtsy shop of FashionGreenTBags.