There is one major thing that I’ve noticed since moving here. Actually, there are a lot of major things, but I’ll write about just one. Reusable bags. In New Zealand they have been promoting the use of reusable bags for several years now. Supermarkets have them for sale at the checkout and everyone asks “Do you want a bag or would you like to carry it out?” There is even a small area of the South Island that has gone ‘bag free’ so you can’t even find a plastic bag if you wanted one.
Here in the States it seems that they are just now starting to get into reusable bags. I know that Trader Joes has encouraged this for a long time, even to the point of having a weekly draw for a $50 store voucher if you don’t use a paper bag. But the other mainstream stores are now producing their own reusable bags as well. Costco has huge ones, in which to hold your 20lbs of ground beef and 500 rolls of toilet paper. And the supermarket closest to my parents’ house, Savemart, gives you a 5 cent credit for each bag that you bring! How awesome is that?
I brought all my reusable bags with me, I think I have about eight from different places. They are very strong and you can actually fit more stuff in them so you end up having a lot less bags to haul in from the car. I now cringe when I get a bag from a shop because I know that it’s just a waste of resources and I’m going to have to find something to do with it. My mom, who also uses reusable bags, keeps them and there is a recycle bin at the grocery store and she stuffs them in there. I imagine they’re probably destined to become other plastic bags.
If you’d like to buy some good ones, visit reusablebags.com . I think I might be doing a lot of Christmas shopping there this year. Act surprised if you get one from me