I failed to mention in my post about packing another essential I took with me to Europe: a reversible cloth bag made by my friend Mim. She has a few on sale right now, too.
I am tempted to buy more, especially because when I go grocery shopping, I am still usually a few cloth bags short of being able to use zero plastic bags. I have the one Mim made me plus two Jeff got for free at work.
The ones sold at A&P are only a dollar, but they are so ugly. I suppose I could use them just for groceries, but to be ugly they need to also be free.
I have noticed lately that a lot more people are bringing their own bags or using the ones sold at the grocery store. I wonder what caused this shift to finally happen? I admit that I am a bit late to the game. Before, I always used sturdy paper bags (the ones with string handles) to carry more than would fit in my purse. But those are no good in the rain. And they are not classy. And they don't hold that much.
Frankly I'm shocked at my former self for not realizing that I could skip getting a bag entirely when shopping if only I had a cloth one with me. It still seems a little strange to be buying clothing, especially, and say I don't need a bag because I have my own. Considering the change at the grocery store, though, I bet it won't take long for more people to start carrying their own sacs where ever they go.
I sure am glad I had my pretty black with pink polka dots one in Europe. (It reverses to black and white check, which is good for when I make Jeff carry it.) No stores offered bags. If I wanted one, I had to ask. And at one grocery store I noticed each plastic bag cost 5 eurocents.