For one week, count how many disposable bags you get.  Make a couple of trips to the grocery store, grab lunch from your favorite sandwich ship, pick up a prescription at the pharmacy- it seriously adds up.  In the United States alone, we go through 100 billion plastic bags per year, less than 1 percent of which gets recycled. Bringing a sturdy tote wherever you go is one of the easiest earth-friendly changes you can make.  When I'm not toting a back pack I carry a few big totes with handles which I can sit on my shoulders.  I prefer this method over being loaded down with a bunch of small bags that I have to carry by hand.  Make a commitment in January to reduce your use of disposable bags.  If you live in the city and have a dog, I understand your objection, but you can still cut down.