The number of paper or plastic bags you can generate simply from grocery shopping is pretty horrifying if you think about it. Even if you send them in for recycling, that’s a lot of waste for something that a reusable bag can do so much better.
You can get reusable shopping bags at many stores for a dollar or so these days. They aren’t bad, but not all of them last well. If you’re looking at the long term, do consider spending a little extra for a quality bag. Then you’ll also have your choice of materials and style, rather than a store logo or something.
More and more stores are giving nickel discounts for bringing your own bags. Target and CVS are starting programs; it’s not longer just the little guys.
The challenge is in remembering to bring your own bags, of course. Figure out if keeping them by the door, in the car, in your purse, with the shopping list or something else works to help you to remember your bags.