Reduce, re-use, and recycle. But watch out when it comes to reusing shopping bags to carry your pumps while you commute to work in your New Balance sneakers. It’s important to coordinate. Not every bag goes well with your North Face jacket. Here are a few different sorts of bags, listed from lowest to highest level of yuppie acceptability:
Wal-Mart: Never acceptable. Why were you shopping at Wal-Mart to begin with? Why were you even in that part of town? I would put Sears in this category as well, if only because their bags are butt-ugly. Black bags from the liquor store and take-out bags with smiley faces should also never be reused.
Jewel/other thin grocery style bag: Only as a last resort. Trashy, and shows you don’t give a shit about the environment, because you clearly forgot your canvas bags at home last shopping trip.
Aldi: Still pretty trashy, but not as much, ’cause these are thick and durable. Shows that you’re cheap, since you shop at Aldi, but that’s kinda in fashion, so it’s passable.
Target: Your bag must at least meet the Target standard in in order to avoid cut eye.
Mall store: The more expensive the store, the more reusable the bag, except that paper beats plastic almost every time (fancy plastic shit like you’d get at Urban Outfitters can occasionally beat paper).
Major department store: Unless it’s from Macy’s, you’re all good. If it’s from Macy’s, you will lose points from the sort of dipshits that whine about the loss of Marshall Field’s, so carry with caution.
Trader Joe’s/Whole Foods: Hipster status symbol. Most rush-hour commuters will approve muchly. You may not care about the environment, but you care about looking like you do, and that’s good enough for credit.
Designer boutique: Clearly, you have a lot of money. Use this bag until it falls apart.