Recycle, Reduce, Reusing My Bags January 26 2011

Last year, the District of Columbia put into effect a 5 cents tax on all shopping bags. It's been a good thing for the city and for me, because while 5 cents isn't a lot, it's a constant reminder to reduce, reuse, recycle. And to take my reusable bags with me wherever I go. By now we've accumulated close to ten reusable shopping bags from various places -- Trader Joe's, Safeway, Whole Foods, the co-op near our house, a ginormous one from Williams-Sonoma, IKEA, even Quizno's near my work gave me one to bring back with me when I wanted to take dinner home, hint, hint.

The problem with all these bags is that none of them are small enough to carry around with me in my purse. And believe you me, my purse can hold a lot of crap. Today as I searched and searched for my keys I found our passports (should NOT be in there), a baby bottle with crusted milk inside, a My Little Pony hair brush, gum wrappers but no gum, a half dozen Christmas cards I apparently never sent off, car paperwork, a plastic food container from my work lunch, and a make-up bag that doubles as a medicine cabinet. Lovely.

Also in that junk drawer purse of mine is a tightly bound Envirosax bag that I bought last year on a visit to New York. When rolled up, it's really small and fits in the palm of your hand. But once open, it's pretty big. I figured I might do some shopping (ha! wishful thinking with baby in tow) and this way, I could consolidate all my stuff in one sturdy bag and be comfortable as we walked around. I've got four words: THIS BAG IS AWESOME. It might well be the best purchase I made in 2010. Or at least the best discoveries. I can't even tell you how many times I've pulled it out of my purse when I make a small purchase, or make a quick trip to the little grocery store down the street to get two gallons of milk for the toddler. Yes, it holds those two gallons easily. The bag is light but sturdy and durable. And washable.

I think its time to upgrade the bag to something more grown up than Grover. So many cool designs on their website. The kids collection is fun  -- love the paper dolls. Now they need to make one with a pinata print on it.