It’s in the bag, or at least it should be. But not those thin plastic grocery bags blowing down the street. I’m talking about the reusable bags, which are available to use for shopping. This is our opportunity to do our share to help save the planet Earth. It’s a small thing, maybe, but can help if everyone participates.

When I purchase a bag from the Riverside Chamber of Commerce (which I understand contains some coupons from Riverside businesses) I will have completed my set of tote bags from towns in the Landmark circulation area.

My first came from Brookfield, when I received a free tote at the Brookfield Farmers’ Market at the opening of the season. I recently picked one up from the Village of North Riverside (also free I might add) at their recent Senior Fair – for clarification, I was there to renew my driver’s license.

However, I did manage to pick up a few freebies, including a nice pen from the Riverside Police Department, which I used when writing a check to pay for my compliance ticket for not having on my seat belt. They mean it when they say “click it or ticket.”

Anyway, back to the tote bags. We intend to use them, but you know what they say about good intentions. My thought was to keep a few in the car for easy accessibility when going shopping. More often than not, I remember them when I get into the store, but I am doing better.

Aside from my “local” totes, I have a variety from numerous charities. In some cases they have taken the place of address labels, notepads, greeting cards and wrapping paper. I have a nice selection, including seasonal and wildlife totes.

You may also purchase totes from stores which bear their logo or name. Of course, if you do, you also do them the service of advertising their business. Maybe they should give you a discount at their stores if you come in using one of their purchased bags. Businesses, feel free to use that idea.

While I haven’t purchased any of the business totes I am tempted anytime I go to Trader Joe’s. They have a nice variety of bags and they catch your eye as soon as you enter the store.

Plus, bringing a tote to shop will also relieve you of having to answer that question, “Paper or plastic?”