Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Trend Spotting

Our local natural foods grocery has been selling fabric bags for 5 or 8 years. They were of the slender, off-white canvas type that were so popular at conferences of Girl Scouts, or camping professionals, or -- it turns out -- librarians. I didn't want one because they were ugly: they looked like free conference totes, or something only a serious earthy-crunchy type would go to the trouble of buying and bringing to the store.

I've also seen those big, plasticized European shopping - tote bags for a year or more.

Within the last 12 months, Ellwood-Thompson and Ukrop's began offering the fabric bags shaped like paper grocery bags. Now those look useful! The ones Ukrop's sells come in ugly colors: I didn't want one. ET had some that were nice minty green, but I don't do that much shopping there. I go for the H&H bagels, and will pick up Pirate's Booty or some of the frozen Thai meals -- hardly a bag-full, though.

My tipping point? Target. When Target displayed red shopping bags with a tree and bird and logo design, I bought two. Yup, cute design is what it takes to make me environmentally responsible. A few days later, I picked up a minty E-T one. Not long after that, I saw that Kroger had some navy blue reusable bags.

Seeing more people, people who Look More Like Me, using them helped, too. I'm outdoorsy; I turn out the light as soon as I leave the room; I reuse bits of paper; I pick up garbage on our block and in the alley. I recycle. But I wasn't yet That Kooky Lady who brings a net bag to the grocery store. Then suddenly, it wasn't so kooky.

I seem to be a classic -- what is it? -- middle-late adapter. "Everyone" is ready to make the switch, including me. Both our independent radio station and our public radio station have shopping bags as donation premiums this pledge drives season. And notMartha has written a long review of some fancy ones.

I kinda thought I might be at least leading edge -- not that many other people seem to use them, but, no: everyone has them. The trick is remembering the things. You have to leave the house with your shopping bags. After I took step-kid clothes shopping on Friday, I ran into Kroger for a few things. I had remembered to put the shopping bags in the car (better than I did for yesterday's planned Target outing), but until I saw the display of blue ones for sale, I had forgotten the bring-them-in-the-store step!

Capital City weather: They say the rain is over, but it's foggy now, so hard to believe. Well the roof repair guys are here, so they trust the forecast.


Fringe Element Enthusiast said...
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sarah said...

I also saw the new Target bags, just yesterday or so. I've been carrying in my own collection of assorted canvas for awhile now, so my reaction to the whole situation is that maybe, now, I won't get such funny looks from the baggers when I offer my own bags and insist that I really, really, don't want plastic.

Lisa said...

Ah, Day! I knew you'd be a true trend-setter. Waterfront girls. Heh.

cnb said...

My Meh has been doing this for years, and has always gotten stares at our local grocers. I tried to leave the Ann Taylor Loft the other day without a bag, which seemed to cause much consternation to the girl at the register. She tried to give me a bag, and I said no, then she offered to hang the clothes, which I accepted, but then she wanted to put a bag over the clothes she hung! AND to top it off, I bought a necklace and she wanted to wrap it in tissue put it in a box, and give me a separate bag for it! NOOOOO!