The New York Times recently ran an editorial condemning plastic bags; or, more specifically, condemning Americans who throw away about 100 billion plastic bags each year. In a perfect world, plastic wouldn't even be an option. Last month San Francisco became the first U.S. city to ban plastic shopping bags, and L.A. looks like it may be next.

Avoiding plastic seems like the simplest step each of us can take to living more sustainably. But it isn't always easy. Last week, my overzealous bagger at Stop n’ Shop had already used five plastic bags (my bananas got their own bag) on my half-dozen items before I could cry out "Paper!" He then told me paper wasn’t an option. I have one tote I use for the farmer's market but my Stop n’ Shop experience inspired me to expand my collection. Here’s what I found:

* is a great resource. I just ordered their heavy-duty organic cotton ACME messenger bag to take on Costco runs.

*I loved the bags from Enviro-Tote, made from 100-percent recycled soda bottles.

*I found great produce bags at

*Wanting something with a bit of style I turned to Their bags come in fun bold patterns and roll up into a lightweight one ounce package so I can leave it in my glove compartment or purse.

What to do with all of the old plastic bags you’ve already accumulated? One of my favorite green sites,, suggests using them for a DIY recycled tote bag.