Canvas Today For a Brighter Tomorrow (oh yeah. i made a cheesy slogan)

Two days ago I was checking out at Target and realized I didn't have my reusable shopping bags with me. Remembering to take them to the grocery store is getting easier, but remembering to take them elsewhere is still a challenge, and I had forgotten this time.

I'm making the effort, though, and I'm remembering more often, because I believe the elimination of plastic bags will go very far in helping our planet stay healthy. I haven't quite gotten to the point where I take them to the mall, but I'll get there.

When I forget to bring my bags, I ask for paper if it's an option. It's easier on the environment, and I can use paper bags to hold our paper and cardboard recycling.

I'm getting kind of tired of the flack, though. I'm not "in your face" about carrying canvas, but, often, my personal bags garner a lot of eye rolls. (Occasionally, though, I'll get a cheerful clerk who is encouraging and gives me kudos).

Our friends think we're weird and don't care.

The girl at Old Navy even refused to bag my lone pair of pants in a paper bag, stating, "We're supposed to give bags based on the size of the purchase. So..."

"Wait, you really can't give me a paper bag? Even though I asked? Seriously? Even though you have plenty of paper bags right there?"


She shook out a plastic bag and prepared to package my khakis. I grabbed them before she could, scowling.

"I'll just carry them." I shoved them in my purse.

So anyway, Target. Two days ago. Canvas bags forgotten. I had quite a few things to buy and realized I'd need to take a loathsome plastic bag. The clerk was preparing to put everything in two bags, and I stopped her. "Just put it all in one. I know it's full, but it'll be fine."

She did, and then she turned off her light and left when we were done. I was halfway to the door when I realized that she had DOUBLE BAGGED my purchase. I turned around and brought one back. I tucked it back into position on the hooks so that hopefully it will get used and not thrown out.

I don't mean to be militant, but 500 billion bags a year (that's the low estimate) is just WAY too much. Many of them end up in the bellies of sea turtles, breaking down into the soil and releasing toxins, and littering the land. I'll be really excited when reusable bags are "cool", and with the plethora of great designs popping up everywhere from etsy to Anya Hindmarch's instantly iconic "I Am Not A Plastic Bag" bag, they will be in a few years.

Until then, I'll deal with the eyerolls, but if you see me out packing my groceries into canvas, do me a favor. Cut me some slack, hey? It's your posterity, too, that I'm thinking of.