Linda Waits wants to help save the environment but, she admits, sometimes even the simplest fixes are easy to forget.
The 52-year-old Sacramento resident is actually doing well today. That's because she's remembered to bring her reusuable grocery bags, giving herself an earth-friendly alternative to that enduring paper-or-plastic debate.
Also: "They hold a lot and they're cheap," says Waits.
Used to be carrying such totes to lug your groceries was the purview of only the most environmentally conscious.
But these days, a growing group of consumers and the stores catering to them are opting for the eco-chic bags.
In addition to Safeway, several major grocery store chains, including Raley's, Save Mart Supermarkets and O'Brien's Market, offer 99-cent choices.
Trader Joe's, sells durable plastic bags in several sizes and designs.
It seems a natural next step in the think-global, go local movement.
But will the trend last?
"After Earth Day 2007, the (reusuable) bags turned up on everyone's list as one of the top ways to save the environment," says Vincent Cobb, founder of the Chicago-based Reusablebags.com, a line of eco-friendly products.
"They're right up there with eco-friendly water bottles and incandescent lights." And yes, using the bags is a good start, he adds.