December 31, 2007

I'm curious.

Do you use reusable shopping bags? If so, do you find it awkward?

Over the last month, I've done a lot of shopping for the holidays. I carry Envirosax with me and use those as often as I can. I love them. They're sturdier than plastic bags, and I don't accumulate tons of bags under my sink.

Unless I'm shopping somewhere like Whole Foods, though, cashiers always seem perplexed when I pull them out. And they never offer to help me pack up my purchases.

I've been thinking about this and realized this probably isn't a bad thing -- I suppose there's a risk for the cashiers of spreading cold germs and such. But cashiers often look at me as if I'm doing something peculiar or old-fashioned -- like paying for everything in pennies.

I'm curious. Do you live in a city with or without plastic bag regulations? What's your experience?

12 comments:

ksklein said...

here in germany it´s pretty common to use reusable bags. usually you have the choice of a platic bag, paper bag or a reusable one. you have to pay for all 3 of them. i guess that is why many people use the reusable ones now.

LalaAround said...

here in buenos aires the plastic bags are totally free at the supermarket. You can use your own reusable bag, but it's very unpopular.Is widelly accepted that everybody uses them to take the garbage out at their homes. I've a lot of plastic bags archived with that purpose.

dyeabolical said...

I live in Michigan in the US, and have found a few stores open to my use of them and others not so much. Target store clerks look at me like I am insane. I have trouble using the scaled self checkouts at Meijer grocery stores, as my bags weigh too much. On the other hand, the cashiers and the self checkouts with a band on them at Meijer work just fine. Aldi is fine, as is Ikea. Walmart - don't even get me started...

Personally, I prefer to walk out with my funky sock monkey and fun print bags anyday.

AnnaK said...

while I don't like shopping at walmart, I find it very easy to use my baggu bags there (www.baggubag.com) because I use the self check out. at my local grocery store in east troy (small town) the bagger will use my bags, but not without a comment and usually verbal confusion ("ummm do you want this in the bag with the that?" - they're grocery bags - pack groceries like you normally would!)

BB said...

These comments are great. I'm glad to hear that it varies so much based on where you live. Thanks, you guys!

(p.s. I do find Target the worst for staring at me like I'm from another planet...)

Rebecca said...

I'm just outside of Detroit in Michigan and most places seem to not mind that I'm using them. I haven't had an experience where I don't bag my own things though. I had to get used to bagging with them as the check out for self check out includes the weight in your order. Kroger even credits you $0.10 per bag that you bring.

ddesign18 said...

hey BB,
I take my Trader Joes bag to Whole Foods, my WF bag to Jewel, my Jewel bag to Dominicks, and all my bags to Target. I LOVE to see the reactions of all the brilliant underpaid geniuses that check out. It's good to wake people up once in a while, don't you think? Especially for such a good green cause.
Love your blog.
Happy New Year.
dede
(Chicago burbs)

BB said...

Ha! That's fantastic, dede. Never even occurred to me...

Julie R said...

here in northern california the reusable bag has really caught on, though somewhat less so at the big conventional supermarkets. the checkers at trader joe's are so patient about it that i regularly run out to my car to get the cloth bags i've accidentally left there and get a little exercise while i save a tree...
it's interesting to hear such a different version of the way things are where you live, i think i must have imagined that the reusable bag was becoming a staple everywhere.

hang in there though bb, and don't let those funny looks get you down. i hope you have a very happy 2008. mine will be happier having your blog to read, i'll tell you that.

julie

Rebecca B. said...

In Atlantic Canada it is almost the opposite of what Julie describes: the two big supermarket chains here sell reusable bags for 99 cents each and cashiers will gladly fill them. This is just in the past year or so but a lot of people seem to have them.

KG said...

Here in NY, I use my Trader Joe's insulated bags in every store I visit. They are big, have nice shoulder straps that don't pinch, are durable, and keep frozen stuff frozen! Plus, they were wicked cheap.

I do get some funny looks when I bring the TJ bags into other grocery stores. If anyone asks me about them, I will say, "Don't think of the advertising, don't think of the logo --- think of the POLAR BEARS!" That's really what this is about, isn't it?

David said...

At the Whole Foods Market in Austin, they have stopped giving out plastic bags. It's strange that they look at you weird when you bring your own bag to Whole Foods. They also give you a 5 cent discount for every reusable bag you bring.