Photo courtesy of treehugger.com

Photo courtesy of treehugger.com

A few years ago, my sister, living in the environmentally friendly city of Seattle, asked me if I wanted some of the reusable bags she had just bought online. She sent me two of her bags and that is how my stash of reusable bags started! This was the time right when reusable bags started being used and you actually had to buy them. Now, companies are giving them out left and right for free, and you do not even have to try to find them. I have a pretty big pile of them sitting by the door, or in the car, ready to go whenever I need them. All different sizes and colors, from all different brands, and most of them for free! The nicer ones I did end up buying at the beginning, and some are gifts from other people.

What is the big deal with reusable bags? Well…you remember those old Western cowboy movies where there is a pause in the movie, and a tumbleweed passes by? Ever have that same experience happen in real life except with a plastic bag? Plastic bags have become so common that it is also a common trash item. They are pretty light and get blown around by the wind. In the city especially, you will see lonely plastic bags blow by, or sometimes a pack of them. That is where reusable bags come in! The general idea is to use less plastic and reduce trash and litter.

Los Angeles has taken to even banning plastic bags in grocery stores. Bring your reusable bags, or you can get charged ten cents for every paper bag you use. Reusable bags have become a habit for many customers, no one wants to pay extra. Target even gives you five cents off for every reusable bag. Other stores used to have other incentives to bring reusable bags, but now that it is required, there are not as many anymore.

Sometimes these reusable bags can be pretty ugly, a huge logo splashed across it, or just made really badly. Mostly though, reusable bags are much sturdier than plastic bags. No more dealing with the pain of having a plastic bag rip open and spill all your stuff onto the street. These reusable bags are made of much sturdier material. So far, I have not had to throw one out yet even after a few years of use. I still use the reusable bags my sister gave me pretty frequently.

They come in every shape and size, and the best ones can be folded up nicely too! It will take some getting used to at first, and the convenience of plastic bags is undeniable. Taking up the reusable bag trend though, definitely will clean up our environment and reduce our dependency on oil.

Do you use reusable bags? If not, what is stopping you?


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