By now you’ve hopefully read my previous piece on the problems with plastic bags and are ready to kick the habit. Thankfully your first step is going to be an easy one: Just say no. Now I know that seems a little bit simplistic, but you’ve got to start somewhere and the best place is to announce to yourself and to the world that you are never going to take another plastic bag again. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Stand up from your computer (or lie down if that makes you feel better) and say “I’m never going to take another plastic bag again.” Even better, pull a Network–open up your window and shout it out to the world (wouldn’t that be cool if that happened?).
Now that you’ve done that, the next step is to keep on reminding yourself that No Means No. What I mean to say is that as you start to retrain yourself, and that is what you will be doing, for the first week or so you will invariably walk out of the house without a re-usable bag. If you remind yourself that No Means No, then when you get to that checkout stand and realize you don’t have any bags, you’re either going to be putting things back, making a few trips to your bike or car, or, if you’re like me, looking pretty silly juggling all those boxes and bottles out of the store.
I’m not suggesting that this is going to become your normal routine from now on (“Mommy look, it’s the funny man who’s always dropping the eggs”), I’m just saying that if you agree that plastic bags are no longer an option, you’ll learn pretty quickly that a little pre-planning will go a long way. Before long, you won’t even realize you’re doing it.
Two weeks from now we’ll give this a trial run, but right now, your next step is to do some prep. For starters, you are going to need some reusable bags and your first stop will be around the house. If you are like me, over the years you have accumulated bags from vendors, fund-raisers, and all sorts of other places, and these work perfectly. Another option is to take an old T-shirt and sew it up into a bag like my friend Anna does. After all, why buy something new when you can reuse/repurpose something you already have?