You know the scene… you’re in the checkout line at Trader Joe’s and the person in front of you has brought six fabric totes with her to carry groceries. You suddenly get that guilty feeling in your stomach as she leaves and you have to use the store’s plastic or paper bags.
There’s a reason for that guilt…right now one trillion plastic bags are being used by consumers in the world. Each plastic bag takes 1,000 years to degrade, and stores spend over 4 billion dollars each year buying these bags that take our eco-system so long to degrade. Plastic bags are the most common waste found in our oceans, which is harmful to our precious sea life. Each year, approximately 100,000 dolphins, turtles, whales and penguins are killed by littered plastic bags. Plastic bags currently fill up our landfills, and if the landfill burns their trash that day, they send toxic fumes into the air. 60-100 million barrels of oil are used each year to create plastic bags, which takes away from our nation’s energy.
Many cities have decided to do their part by creating a citywide ban on plastic bags, in an effort to help save our earth. If your city is not taking part in a citywide ban, you can at least do your part by bringing your own tote bags when you go shopping. Not only are they better for our environment, they also are sturdier and will keep your groceries cooler during the transit home. And who knows, you may just inspire others to bring a tote the next time they shop! It’s like paying it forward to the earth and the future for our children!
If you’re looking for a tote for your groceries, check your local grocer’s checkout stands, as many offer totes at checkout, which are extremely affordable at just $1.00 - $3.00. You can even purchase insulated bags for your frozen or fresh food items. If you’re looking for something a bit more stylish, Etsy has a great selection of stylized reusable totes that will help you shop in style as you protect our earth. They’re a bit more expensive than what you’ll find at your local grocer – but they’re oh-so-cute! Take a look at a few options below and inspire others as you do your part to save our earth’s resources and precious animals!