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When you think about it, it’s fair to say that most of us go about our daily routines on autopilot.
Don’t be alarmed! We’re not for one moment suggesting you’re a victim of a zombie apocalypse, but rather that we human beings are creatures of habit. Our daily routines are subconsciously embedded with habitual behaviour, some of which have been reinforced to us almost from the moment we are born. Take brushing your teeth for example. Can you imagine leaving the house for social interactions with not-so-fresh morning breath having forgotten to give your pearly whites their morning sparkle?
Just as brushing teeth is part of most daily routines, remembering to take reusable shopping bags can also become your new norm.
Once you’ve taken the plunge and enlisted as an eco-warrior, you might experience shell-shock and feel unsure where to begin. Having been there ourselves, we understand exactly how you feel and therefore we’ve compiled some pointers to help you on your merry way.
Make forgetting your bags an inconvenience
From personal experience we promise you this actually works! So, what do we mean by “inconvenience?” Well, let’s imagine you’ve parked at the shop and are walking towards the entry when you suddenly realise, sparked by the big red sign, you’ve forgotten your bags. GO BACK AND GET THEM! Yes, it is an inconvenience but in reality this might only add a couple of extra minutes. However, the next time you shop, your subconscious will start to remind you that you didn’t like the inconvenience of going back to get your bags, so this time you’re more likely to remember. Return to get your bags every time you forget until one day, without even realising it, you will have created a new habit. We have found that it usually takes around three times, but if it takes you longer, keep calm and carry on. Trust us; it might not happen overnight, but it will happen!
Leave your bags in a handy spot
Some of you might not have difficulty remembering to take your bags into the shop because they never made it out the door in the first place. If this sounds like you, how about finding a place to keep the bags so that you will remember to pick them up as you leave. This could be on the back of a chair, or on a coat stand by the front door. Alternatively, you may prefer to take your bags directly back to your vehicle once you’ve unpacked your groceries so they are already there for you the next time you pop out.
Say to yourself, “Remember my bags!” not “Don’t forget my bags!”
Use these tips to pick up other green habits
Once you’ve sussed out how to remember your reusable bags, you can then use these helpful hints for other areas of sustainable shopping, for example remembering your own reusable cup to grab a coffee, or taking your own containers to the butchery, deli, or takeaways. Our personal rule is, if we don’t have our reusables we usually go without. This may be a bit extreme for most people, but for us it helps reinforce one aspect of positive, sustainable, shopping.
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