This drives me crazy. All these grocery bags. The greenie in me cannot get rid of them yet they are piling up and taking up way too much space. Plus we do use them for some things. Like our trash bags (yes, kitchen trash!) but I don’t need THIS many. And I think what drives me even crazier is that I have a bunch of reusable bags that I normally bring to the store. But for the last month or so I kind of got out of the habit. Occasionally they were taking out of my van to make space for hauling other cargo. But I really can’t blame that too much.
And even though I usually talk about meal planning, I think HOW we shop is also about meal planning. It goes back to thinking about not only what we’re putting in our bodies but how we get it home and where it comes from.
Last week I asked on my Facebook page how many people use reusuable bags. I was surprised by the results. Generally they were split—only about half use reusable bags and those with them often forgot to bring them into the store. So I have a couple of simple tips that have worked for me to get back into the habit—and that’s what it is, a habit.
1. Put the bags in a place that you can’t help but remember to bring them. After I’ve unloaded my groceries I hang the bags on the doorknob of the front closet nearest the front door. I have to pass it to go outside so I grab the bags on my way out.
2. Keep the bags in your vehicle. You can’t bring them into the store if they’re not with you. I keep them all grouped together in one bag and they store neatly in the back of my van.
3. Use notes. My philosophy is if I can write it down then it’s off my mind and I can use my mind for more important things. Sticky notes are perfect. You can put them on your purse, put them on the steering wheel, put them near the radio or even on the driver’s side window. Just choose the place that makes the most sense for you.
4. Involve your family. When my children were younger I gave them the job of helping us remember to bring the bags. As soon as we arrived at a store, they would announce ‘don’t forget the bags!’ Kids love to have something they’re responsible for and before long it had become a habit!
I hope these tips will help you form a new habit. Next up for me, to try and convince the cashiers and sackers at my local grocery store that I’m not that weird lady who brings in all the reusable bags but someone that cares about the environment I’ll be doing great. Oh, and that just because it’s big it doesn’t need to be filled to the brim (and thus, super heavy!) I have a feeling that will take a little longer than I might hope.