Do you forget your reusable bags?

One of the first steps on my own ‘zero waste’ journey was giving up disposable plastic carrier bags.

But even now; seven years later, I STILL get to the checkout and realise I’ve left them at home!

Fortunately the zero waste community are a generous group with loads of creative ideas for keeping us all on track.

Here’s what they said when asked how they remember their reusable bags:

Keep them small

Elizabeth thinks small is beautiful. She says “I keep a string turtle bag inside each of my other bags! They pack down small.”

Lorraine agrees; “l have got “turtle bags” which are really just string bags. they fold away to nothing in my handbag and hold loads when used.”

Brenda says “I was given a very pretty, but also very strong silk bag which takes virtually no space in a handbag!”

Worldchanging on twitter agrees ” even plastic “bags for life” will fold up small I always keep 1 in my shoulder bag – you never know when you’ll need it!”

Alicia shares “I use to deal with the same thing then I saw a tutorial on how to make reusable bags from tee shirts. It was so easy and they are so light and fold up so compact that they fit in my purse easily. They have come in so handy not only for grocery shopping but for shopping at the Farmers Market and things in general.

If all else fails…

Martine admitted “i once used my fleece hat at a bag when I realised i had come without one:-)

Jane shared  “I fined myself a £1 per bag taken from the shop – I soon changed my ways!”

Keep them near something else you need

Suzanne shares a simple tip: “Kept in my hand/shoulder bag”

Anne Marie shared “I keep my trolley coin in the bottom of bag of bags so I usually remember before I get to the trolleys.”

Lucy, never without her kids, says “Mine is always under the buggy. And it’s v rare I get to go anywhere without it!”

Over on Twitter, GreenRedeem recommended “Make it part of the leaving the house mantra… Keys – Money – Phone – BAGS!”

Change the way you pack

Kate reveals “Ours always are in the car but I prefer to load the bags in the trolley where I have more time to pack rather than at the check out where I feel as if I am holding everyone up (the advantage of the Zafira boot it protects us from the weather while we load up)”

Sally agrees, she says “I don’t even try to remember them. I know … scandalous. Do I use plastic? Nope!! I simply ask the checker to put the items back into the cart … then I wheel everything out to the car, where my reusable bags live, and bag everything up. Works great and I don’t have to remember anything!

Practise makes perfect

Nadine is a creature of habit. She says “so ingrained is this habit that i (almost) never leave the house without my bag–only twice did i forget this year..of course, we walk everywhere so the bags serve as shoulder crutch, hip replacement and hand rest..when tired and hot, then i use it to align my back as a back-pack..right side, left side..and people are beginning to carry some bags now–after telling me that they respect the practice..shoulder on bag ladies!
several neighbours have given me different bags over the years, so i now have a fashionable collection of these to match shoes and coats; i keep them on hooks in hallway as i leave along with umbrella and grocery list. easy to follow a predictable pattern.”

Share and share alike

Cinella shares an innovative idea “I love the idea of a reuse/borrow program for grocery stores. Borrow reusable bag and then return them on your next shipping trip. Or money off your next bill?”

There are so many great ideas there – tell me; how do you remember YOUR reusable bags?


Posted in

Rachelle Strauss


  1. Megan on January 6, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Never heard of turtle bags – what a great name. I’ll check them out – thanks!

  2. Jessica on January 6, 2015 at 8:57 am

    I love Onya, which I found through one of your newsletters. I keep buying them for friends too and they love them. They last for ages!

    • Rachelle Strauss on January 8, 2015 at 10:00 am

      What a wonderful friend you are Jessica – I’m a huge fan of Onya too 😀

  3. Jacqueline on September 5, 2017 at 3:14 am

    I have just discovered this website, fantastic reading, knowledgable and informative. Keep up the good work😀😊👍

  4. Evelyn Ross on August 20, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    With re-usable bags, I sometimes use them as gift bags so my friends and family have no excuse in using them

    • Rachelle Strauss on August 20, 2018 at 2:20 pm

      Brilliant thinking, Evelyn – such a great idea to spread the message without sounding like you’re being judgemental! Love it 🙂

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