That’s right, peeps …

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life

For this week’s merit badge, I’m making a commitment …

A commitment to never hearing these words again:

“Would you like paper or plastic?”


That’s right, peeps, even my shopping skillz are going green. Time to collect some uber cute reusuable shopping bags and say ta-ta, cheerio, adios, and all that, to plastic or paper bags.

And here is where my middle drawer in my kitchen breathes a sigh of relief. It’s so stuffed full of plastic bags…well, it’s like my great Aunt Tiny trying to fit into a bikini: things oozing out the sides and spilling over.

Turns out collecting half a dozen bags was the fun part. I even sewed a couple myself: one out of a burlap rice bag (oh my heck, so darn adorable) and one out of a pillowcase (cuz stripes go with everything—I consider them a neutral). I bought four more at my nearby farmer’s market. Ironically, they asked me when I bought them if I wanted them in a bag! Ha! All together I have six, which seems just about right, whether I’m garage sale-ing or stocking up at the big warehouse store.

My pillowcase one is perfect for rolling up and sticking in my purse for those shopping emergencies. You know. You’re driving by, minding your own business, when a shoe store beckons you? Those kinds of emergencies. Just the other day I was pulled into a buy-one-get-one-free cosmetic sale. Just when I think I’ve got enough pearl pink eye shadow …

But I digress. My point is, you never know when the shopping bug will bite, and we nifty thrifty, green girls must be ever prepared. We’re like the Girl Scouts of shopping! Be prepared! Also, we look better in khaki. Brings out my eyes.

Or is that the pearl pink shadow?

I was pretty excited to use my new bags, dearies, but wouldn’t you know? I totally forgot them at home the first grocery trip. I got to the check-out stand and was cheerily chatting with the clerk, when I realized what I’d done! I couldn’t just let my Rocky Road melt while I ran home, plus there were forty seven million people behind me in line, so I had to let it slide.


Twelve plastic bags later, I was still feeling mopey and depressed. I shoved ‘em in the drawer morosely and could barely close the thing.

The next time, I totally remembered my bags! I put them in the trunk of my car so I wouldn’t forget them. I totally left them in the trunk of my car when I went in for the groceries.

Epic fail. Again.

Once again, I stood in line, mumbling “paper, please,” and feeling like a doorknob. (On the plus side, my reading of the dictionary is going swimmingly).

This badge is harder than it looks, gals.

If you have tips for me and my under-utilized shopping bags, please email me immediately.

Pathetically and forgetfully yours,


  1. Lynne says:

    A GREENIE here . . .
    I have three bags, (purchased) not hand made like yours. They roll up, two have a band snap closure, one a pouch. All three fit in my purse, each being less than one half the size of a hot dog bun. I have been using them all the time for the past few years for groceries and for fun shopping trips! I use a plastic bag only for something drippy, moist or packages of chicken/meat. I am amazed at how many items can fit in the bags.

    (I have heavier bags in the car . . . always forget to take them in the store.)

    You gave me my first smile of the morning . . .

  2. Eileen Stone says:

    I LOVE this Barbie! Is she yours? Maybe you could hang one of her tiny, little shopping bags from the rear view mirror of your car as a reminder. (That’s SOME POTATOE she has scored there in her little bag!)

  3. Bunny says:

    I hang my bags by the door I leave the house by. I actually go out the back door so they are hanging on the doorknob to the backyard. You could also hang hooks by the door, hand your purse and the bags there. It helps. When I put all my groceries away, I put them all in one bag so I only have to grab one.
    It will become a habit after a while. My Fred Meyer store gives you a 5cent discount for each bag used for groceries. That alone kinda makes me remember.

  4. Dana Hinton says:

    I usually shop alone, so they bags stay in the passeger seat of my car. I have’nt forgotten them since they moved up from the trunk.

  5. i, too, leave them in my car…in the backseat. It’s a habit now. Love not having those plastic bags to deal with! And yes, it’s fun having all sorts of cute reuse bags. I left one of my favorites accidently in my cart yesterday( had an extra) went back today no one turned it in. Figured such, it was from Ron Jon’s Surf Shop i. Cocoa Beach, FL. It was turqoise!

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  7. Tina says:

    Thats sound like my beginnings of the reuse bag you will get the hang of it .. Now I find my self in buying to many of the differant reuse bags need to quit that … than I found myself storing things in them too which can be nice if your trying to reorganize closets and that sort of thing..I have fun going green:)

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