Since I'm trying to teach my kids to be good custodians of the planet (they know to recycle, to save water, etc.), I'm always looking for more things to learn so I can teach them. Recently my wife and I have been using canvas grocery bags. Dig this:
We use 380 billion plastic bags a year in the US. Each bag is used for about 25 minutes, less than 3% are recycled, and they never biodegrade. In fact, they "photodegrade," which means they break down into smaller and smaller toxic bits that contaminate soil, pollute waterways and enter our food chain. Paper bags are not a good option either; we cut down 14 million trees per year to produce 10 billion paper bags for grocery use in the US. Reusable bags cost around $1.00 each. If you use only these bags for grocery use, you'll cut out 18,000 plastic bags over your lifetime.