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Have you heard the most recent story about (yet another) whale found with plastic in its stomach? Two flip-flops, 115 drinking cups, 25 plastic bags, and four plastic bottles to be exact.

It might not seem like a big deal to grab a last-minute plastic bag at the grocery store, but with more and more news stories about the excessive amounts of plastic in the ocean, every bag you choose NOT to get makes a difference.

Dolphin Discovery

Enter the simplest trick for ensuring you don’t resort to using plastic bags when you shop: Keep a reusable shopping bin or bags in your car, purse or pocket. It’s that easy.

But is it easier said than done? Not really; there’s a variety of options.

For the car (and my personal favourite option) the PC Green Box with straps is perfect. The major perk of these is that they’re versatile, sturdy and hold a ton of groceries. You can just as easily use them to pick up your CSA share, go berry picking or cart kids’ toys to the beach.

For your pocket or purse, there are a multitude of collapsible reusable bags that can fit into the tiniest spaces. You can even get hemp or mesh produce bags so you don’t need to get the plastic ones for your veggies and fruit.

mesh
Shutterstock

Want to take it to the next level? Bulk Barn now has a reusable container program, so you can avoid packaging entirely. And Ottawa even has a zero-waste grocery store.

However you choose to reduce your plastic consumption, bringing a bag or bin is a simple way to start a more eco-friendly lifestyle.