Starting next month, a big change is coming to the county where I live. Plastic bags will be banned at grocery stores and any other business selling packaged food. Instead, customers must bring their own reusable bags or pay ten cents for each paper bag needed to pack up their purchases.
When the bill first passed, I immediately became cranky. I didn't want other people telling me how to tote home my groceries. Needing reusable bags was going to require a whole other level of planning when going to the store. I'd need to remember not only to bring the bags to the store, but to actually take them inside with me. I can already see myself at the checkout line, paying ten cents a bag because mine were still in my trunk. That's a big change for something as simple as grocery shopping (have I ever mentioned how resistant I am to change?).
But after I had a chance to get used to the idea, it started to sound pretty good. It'd be nice to shop with sturdier bags. I wouldn't have to worry about one handle of the paper bag ripping off when I tried to take it out of the cart. I wouldn't have to worry about a giant hole in the plastic bag when a sharp-cornered cracker box tore through. Not to mention that I'd no longer have to cram more folded up paper bags and wadded up plastic ones into the gap between my fridge and the pantry (I'm sure there's a better place to store them, but it really is awfully handy).
Then there's the matter of obtaining reusable bags, but that's already covered. Over the last few years, we've collected several reusable bags from street festival giveaways or Target's handout on Earth Day.
Is it really such a big deal to bring my bags to the store? Probably not. I just need to keep the bags in the car, and before I know it, bringing them inside will be second nature. And I can feel good knowing I'm helping the planet with this one small change.