Now, I've known for a long time that as a responsible shopper (heck, a responsible human being) I should really be taking my own reusable bags out with me whenever I shop. I do okay when I go to Trader Joes. I don't usually take reusable bags, but I've been using the same 7 to 12 paper bags for at least six months now, and they are holding up quite nicely. At TJs, if you bring your own bags, you get to enter a drawing for a gift card, and I know, that any day now, they will be calling to announce that I've won.
And a few weeks ago, while at another of my favorite places, IKEA, I discovered they are now charging patrons for plastic bags. They will sell you their huge, beautiful blue bags for use and reuse for .49 each, or they'll sell you their less durable version for .05 each. I've been hauling stuff around in the blue bags for over a year now. They are my laundry bags, I hauled wedding supplies in them, Nathan and I packed in them when we went to Yosemite. I even gave some to my mom for her birthday. They are awesome. I asked the check out lady if they'd noticed a decrease in the number of folks using the "disposable" plastic bags, and she said there'd been quite a decrease. Nobody was grumbling in line. And you know that if I use the words "line" and "IKEA" we're talking about a fairly large sample size.
The place that's caused me the most guilt has always been Target. I love shopping at Target. I'm the best little capitalist I can be at Target. And the Target workers are quite possibly the worst baggers in the world. More than once, I've seen them toss two bottles of soda in a bag, put that bag in another bag, then set the whole thing aside as though it couldn't possibly hold even the toothpaste I'd purchased. I have more Target bags than is decent. I should have been taking my own bags to Target, I know. But, I haven't been.
Until now. Yesterday, while finishing up a marathon Target run, I noticed they had a modest display of their own reusable shopping bags. The grocery bag sized cloth numbers, that are darn near impossible to destroy. These are Target red, with a lovely little tree motif on them. They also have a version that cleverly zips up around itself to form a packet about the size of a checkbook. I happily purchased two grocery sized bags and one checkbook sized bag. The clerk let me pack my own items into these bags, assuring I didn't get ANY of those plastic kind.
A manager-esque person walked by and said "Thank you for buying our bags!" I said, again, with what might have been more enthusiasm than one might expect, "Thank YOU for selling them! You have no idea how happy I am to not be getting plastic bags at Target."
I got home and unpacked them, and folded them right up, and found a special spot for them in the Celt-Mobile (II). I'm sooooo ready to shop now! Look out world!! And look out, plastic bag drawer in Jenn's kitchen! There are some lean times ahead!