All I did was....Home Staging Success Stories


I am as guilty as the next person....not using my reuseable shopping bags.

We all have them- at least I hope we do!  Reuseable shopping bags. I am now the owner of 27. That's right 27.

I forget to take them with me when I go shopping, so I buy some more and they end up in the front hall closet too. And now to top it all off, our local grocery chain store is now charging 5 cents for each plastic bag if you want one of those. How to break this guilt inducing cycle? 

You see I am a Live Green, Live Smart Trainer. Someone who is supposed to be setting an example when it comes to living in a sustainable way. Someone who is supposed to be trying to create a smaller carbon foot print on this earth. It seems so simple. Why do I forget to take the reuseable bags when I only shop once per week. I know I am going to the store to buy a week's worth of groceries. It never dawns on me until I actually start to bag the food.

I'll tell you why. Because I am human just like everyone else. I have things on my mind. I am busy. I am on a timeline to get this and that done before I need to be somewhere else.

But I was given a solution today when I attended a meeting at the local Barrie radio station, Rock 95 & Kool FM 107.5.

I noticed cases of canvas reuseable bags sitting in the meeting room. I remarked that I try to use them and always forget to take them with me to the store. The person sitting there said he found a simple way to remember was to change where I stored them. Instead of the front hall, put them all in the trunk of the car. Use them up, say 6 or so each week. Those get put in the hall to pile up again, and then when the  pile looks big enough, put them all in the trunk again.So simple, I busted out in a big laugh. Why didn't I think of that?

It's what I always say. Don't raise the bridge, lower the river. Most solutions in life are right under your nose if you care to see with new eyes. Look for the simple solution, the low cost solution, the solution that will become a habit and you have solved your problem.

I'm off to put all my reuseable shopping bags in the trunk now. I can shop with confidence now that I can make one more simple effort to make my carbon footprint smaller.

Comment balloon 13 commentsMichelle Finnamore • January 14 2009 12:51PM


Michelle, I am glad you are a green supporter. Every little bit helps.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 11 years ago

This is a great suggestion!

I am good at remembering them for grocery shopping, but I get stuck when I run to other types store to pick up a few things.  I constantly forgot the bags, so I was either using plastic ones or telling them to forget the bag.  My solution was picking up a Chico bag from our local Main Street group.  It is so small that it can live in my purse.

Posted by Brenda Carus (Century 21 Zwygart Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Keeping the bags handy is the key to using them.  I bought 500 shopping-bag sized canvas bags and sold them to friends, family and at the local street fair.  Everybody loves them but says they can never remember to use them either. 

If I don't take my canvas bags into the store, I refuse to take any bags and hand carry the items to my car!


Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Hi Michelle - before I reached your punchline I was going to say, "don't you hate it when you get to the check out and realize you left the darn bag in your car!!!" Old habits are hard to change! At least you're thinking about it! You are well on your way!

Posted by Mary McGraw, 2015: Solar Energy Is Still A Simple Machine! (GLREA) about 11 years ago

Hi Gary, having grown up on a farm I learned never to throw anything useful away. I still collect elastics, string, paperclips. I've never bought a pad of paper to write notes. Always used the backs of envelopes.

Hi Brenda, the plan of having the bags in the car is great as you say. You also run into other stores throughout the week and you can use them for that purpose too.

Hi  Margaret, you are so right. Just don't take a bag. Aveda makes a point of asking each customer if they need a bag. They save over 40,000 bags a month by asking this simple question. Just say no.

Hi Mary, I give full credit to the young man I was speaking with yesterday. The idea is so simple I don't know why I didn't think of it before. Yes, I do know. Because the old way was my habit. Now I have new habit.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) about 11 years ago



Tell me about it!!! I get very embarrassed when I show up at the checkout counter sans my......(bags) =)

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) about 11 years ago

I keep my bags in the back seat, where they are easily reached.  The trunk wouldn't work for me...I would go in the store without them for sure.  I return the bags to the car immediately after unloading the groceries, they live in the car.  They are always available no matter what store I'm running in to.

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 11 years ago

Hi Sharon, I can't believe it! I did it again!

I put ALL of my bags in the car. In the back seat,not the trunk, so I would see them. Went into Costco. Didn't take them in. They didn't have any boxes so you can imagine lugging everything one by one.

Then I went into the mall to the dollar store. Did it again! When I reached the cashier I realized again that I must learn to do this by habit and quickly.

So I have decided to put a sticker on my door just below the window that says TAKE YOUR BAGS.

Will let you know how I make out with this new habit.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) about 11 years ago

And I thought I was the lone closet offender here with this as I am always in a hurry when going to the grocery store and forget them 80% of the time.  I'm trying your tip! :-)

Posted by Chris Olsen, Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) about 11 years ago

HI Kathy, I love the banesia site! the steering wheel cover is for me.:) Thanks for posting this info.  I am sure more than one person will be interested.

Hi Chris, No one wants to admit to it. We tell all our friends that we only use reuseable bags but  neglect to say that we forget them almost every time. Bagnesia has the solution, smart company there.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) about 11 years ago

Bagnesia is a great idea...that is one of those things you see and think "why didn't I think of that."

I seem to have gotten in the habit of taking the bags in now that they live in the backseat.  Let us know how you progress, Michelle!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 11 years ago

I just LOVE the Bagnesia site. Some very creative entrepreneur will hopefully make a mint with that one! My local Trader Joe's helps by having a sign at the exit of the parking lot (before you get to the store) saying "Remember Your Bags!" I love that.

Posted by Annie Pinsker-Brown, Stage to Sell, Los Angeles Home Stager (Stage to Sell - LA Home Staging) almost 11 years ago

HI Anne, I think Bagnesia is an absolutely brilliant, simple idea. I hope that make a mint too! I love creative ideas and this one is a winner.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) almost 11 years ago

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