Saving money was one incentive to quit plastic grocery bags, but the other was the normality of everyone else using reusable bags. I'd endured lots of weird looks when bringing my own bags back in New Mexico, so this new normal felt especially validating. Many of us would like something to become normal around us in order to feel comfortable doing the thing. This is understandable, but not very helpful...especially in this time of rapid environmental degradation. This is not a fight we can afford to win slowly.
The UK just might change another habit in one fell swoop. A proposal to charge for disposable coffee cups is currently being considered. It's really just the reverse of receiving a discount for bringing a reusable cup...but somehow it feels a bit different...especially when the "latte levy" proposed is 25 pence ($0.34). I'm 100% for it. Disposables cost the earth, + therefore us. We need to be reminded.
But what about the place where I live? We have no plastic bag ban or charge...let alone a charge for disposable cups. I still have yet to see another customer bring a reusable cup to a coffee shop in my city. I can't wait for using reusables to become normal in order to start. I can use them with confidence + answer the weird looks with a smile and an openness to explain my choices. What really matters is getting myself used to bringing my own bags to the grocery store + my own cup to the coffee shop. Courage begets courage...and now it doesn't feel weird (to me) at all anymore. Honest. Maybe...just maybe...that courage will rub off.
P.S. The best thing I've done for my bring-my-own-cup habit lately.
P.P.S. Even if we forget our reusable cups, we can ask for our drinks in a cup to stay...even Starbucks has them (+ reusable plates too)! :)