I’m always wondering why people don’t bring reusable bags to the store. For me, reducing the use of plastic is very important and I see it as the “right” thing to do. 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. 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, here’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 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. I’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 don’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 I’m unloading.
So, if you don’t already take your own bags, give it a tryâ€¦it’s not that hard!
The unique reusable bag shown in this post is from the EcoEtsy shop of FashionGreenTBags.
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