I began using canvas bags for all of my shopping over a year ago, even non-grocery shopping. I try not to preach to anyone about the evils of plastic bags, but chose to lead by example. When I first started this in my neighborhood Walgreens, the cashiers would freak out a bit, put my stuff in a plastic bag and then stuff it in my canvas bag. The first time, I just let that go. After that, though, I began to forgo a cart and place all of my purchases in the bag and take it out in front of the cashier. They seemed to get the hint here. Even the initial bad-grammar girl (who stated the first three times I did this to her "You don't need no bag?"). I always would explain to them that I had way too many plastic bags and just needed to stop bringing them into my house. Plus I had all of these free canvas bags! Eventually I just became known as the girl with the bag.
One day several customers were in line behind me and they saw my bags. They began talking about how they always wondered what they were going to do with their canvas bags they had laying around their house and now they knew what to do. Apparantly they took it to heart, because several weeks ago the bad-grammar cashier told me that there were about 15 people that have started bringing in their own bags and she blamed me (I"ll take that blame, thank you very much). I do wonder if she is just noticing the same 5 people carrying their own bags, but I don't push it.
Two weeks ago I was in Kroger and noticed my phenomena has spread. They are selling reusable bags! I never would have thought that my Kroger would be doing that, but they are! I wonder if it is because of me? They didn't try to pressure me to buy their royal blue bags with the big ol' Kroger symbol on the side, but they still gave me their 5 cent per bag discount and the cashier said that their bags were selling like hotcakes (10 for $10 at that!).
The greatest surprise came to me yesterday, however. I went into Walgreens to get my bad Diet Coke fix and what did I see? A huge display with very tastefully designed Walgreens reusable bags! I asked my favorite bad-grammar cashier about them and she said that their buyer saw them in a catalogue and asked the cashiers if they thought their customers would buy them. It turned out all of the cashiers told them about me being their first one to bring in my own bags and other customers begain to do it when they saw me. Apparently that sounded good enough for the buyer and they sold 20 the first day they put them out.
Now I say this is a trend that I started, but I know I am not the originator of the reusable shopping bag. I am glad this trend is beginning to catch on. I hope that soon I will stop having those annoying plastic bags stuck in my trees because nobody will be getting them!
By the way, I still use my old plastic bags to hold my household recycling. I must have had a million of them, though, because, even after a year, they have not run out yet!