Creating Good Habits

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

Using eco friendly reusable bags is all about establishing a habit of using them.  We all want to be environmentally responsible, but taking the steps to become environmentally responsible takes motivation and will power initially, until it becomes a habit.  There are some steps you can take to begin the habit of using recyclable grocery bags.
First of all, set yourself up for success by purchasing enough reusable shopping bags to have them around.  Stash a few in your desk at work, keep several in your car (possibly in the drivers seat pocket behind the chair), and keep a few at home as well.
Second, picture yourself using the bags and how good you will feel about taking action.  Imagine yourself turning down the plastic bags at check-out, and imagine the satisfaction you will derive out of taking this action.  Imagine others admiring you for being a positive role model, and walking out of the store carrying your bags.
Third, remind yourself frequently of the end result of each individual taking steps to reduce the consumption of plastic bags.  Ultimately, the trash that ends up in landfills is a result of what each individual throws away, and so your use of reusable shopping bags is a positive step towards a healthier planet.  Governments can take action to promote plastic bag bans, but you yourself can act responsibly without government interaction.  You have the will to do so!
Next, use your reusable shopping bags.  Use them and refuse the plastic bags at check out.  Use them everytime you purchase anything you need a bag for.
Finally, reward yourself for making the habit of using eco friendly reusable bags after it has become habit.  Make yourself a healthy, vegetarian dinner of a grilled portabello mushroom on a whole wheat bun with grilled eggplant and red peppers.  Just don’t reward yourself with something that makes you feel guilty, like consuming half of chocolate cake.  Take one healthy habit and start forming another healthy habit.
Forming healthy habits tend to snowball, and one action leads to another action.  Repeatedly using your custom reusable shopping bags can become so natural, it stops becoming an act of will power and effort.  It just requires vision, and a desire to do so and before long, it will become second nature.  For more information on how to form a habit, go to Zen Habits.

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