Around Christmas, my brilliant friend sent out a mass email reminding everyone the cost of a shopping bag. Although we tend to look at it as just one more bag, there's the materials involved and the energy and pollutants involved in creating/recycling it.
She suggested that, instead of collecting a bag from the Gap and then Anthropologie and then Macy's that you either 1. Bring a bag with you or 2. Just take one big bag and use it for every place that you go.
Will this change the world? No. But it will make a small difference and every time you do, you'll remind yourself that the world needs to be changed. Awareness is the first step...
I agree with bringing a bag with you when shopping. Whether it is at the grocery store or the mall, it is the most simple way of changing the world! Keep them in your trunk so you always have one ready!
I think It's a great idea for malls to sell one sturdy bag for shoppers to buy (hey, they can even make it fashionable) and use while shopping in their stores. Having something that all store owners and associates will recognizes might help the confusion and frustration of shoppers walking in with multiple bags that may have to be held at the counter, or large, unconventional shopping bags that, while innocent, could make them apprehensive of shoplifting. Granted, anything could happen either way, and other security measures need be in place, but I think this could help the environment and economy, while easing the stress of holiday shopping.