I should first ask if you use a reusable bag, and if no, why not?

New York recently became the second state to ban the use of plastic bags at most stores, following California. It’s a trend that’s slowly creeping up on us as plastic bags have proven to be bad for us and to us.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of taking my mother grocery shopping at two stores. We came home with twenty bags of groceries and about 30 grocery items. That doesn’t make sense, does it?

Do 6 bananas deserve their own bag? How about a package of Chips Ahoy? Why does a loaf of bread and dozen of eggs warrant their own bag, along with that gallon of ice cream.

Then there’s the heavy and awkward stuff like cans, jars, bottles, and boxes. The cans and bottles are too heavy to fit more than a couple in those small and flimsy plastic bags and the sharp points on the corners of the boxes notoriously poked a hole in more than one bag.

More and more, I see people bringing reusable grocery bags to the store. At first, I saw it only as a way to save the environment from those nasty plastic bags that take a lifetime to decompose in a landfill, burn toxic fumes in a trash incinerator, float in the ocean and kill fish, and swirl on the streets like tumble weeds.

Stores are getting tired of having to provide bags to customers and have started charging for plastic bags, loading your groceries in boxes, and giving you discounts for bringing your own bags. The trend is fast moving toward the elimination of the plastic grocery bag.

Even if the environment isn’t your thing, you’ve got to appreciate the reusable bag as being a much more practical method to pack and carry groceries. You can fit far more items in a single reusable bag; they aren’t likely to tear; you can sling them over your shoulder; they’re much more well behaved sitting in the car than a plastic bag; and if you have more than a few, they can match your outfit when you walk the aisles. You know how we love to coordinate!

One of the drawbacks of the reusable grocery bag is the cost. Even though they’re well worth the convenience at $2 to $3, they’re still $2 to $3 and not affordable to many.

What is your dream reusable grocery bag? Here’s some of the features from the variety of reusable bags on the market. If someone oftered you a few FREE reusable bags, what features would you want in your bag (I’m asking for a friend).

  • Snap shut
  • Water-resistant, machine washable
  • Sturdy handles
  • Pretty colors
  • Lined and water proof
  • Machine washable
  • Clip on one end that attaches to a shopping car
  • Shoulder straps
  • Interior padding for fragile items, like glass jars.
  • Something that can hold 25 pounds or more.

Please leave a comment and let me know the type of bag that would work for you. I really want to know. Really, I do.