Bring Your Own Bag
This tip is an oldie but goodie: bring your own bag, whether you're making a last-minute dash to the grocery store or you're off on a leisurely afternoon jaunt in the city.
With each disposable plastic bag taking close to an entire millennium to break down, plastic bags are a formidable scourge on our environment and wildlife. (Thousands of marine animals die each year after mistaking plastics bags for food.) Our flirtation with disposables has already come back to nip us in the karmic tush-a swirling vortex of plastic trash the size of Texas in the North Pacific Ocean is entering the food chain through toxins that have been fingered for everything from obesity and infertility to cancer.
Our favorite one-stop shop for reusable totes is the aptly named ReusableBags.com, where you can order heavy-duty grocery bags that fold up just like its paper counterparts would, mesh produce bags made from organic cotton, and ultracompact, long-handled shopping bags that fit into zippered pouches you can clip to your purse or briefcase. Get Hip, Get Green makes a bold statement with its eye-popping non-woven polypropylene totes, which are made with partly recycled materials and are completely recyclable. We're also enraptured with Envirosax's vibrant, mod, and dastardly chic carriers-five of them fit in a a pouch you can easily stow in your car's glove compartment, and they even come in sustainable fabrics such as bamboo, linen, and organic cotton. Plastic? Passe!
Difficulty level: Easy