By Jolie Kerr …..For New York Times
How many tote bags do you own?
Hmm, yes, you there. I see you trying to dodge the question, and it’s precisely the dodging that tells me you need to hear this difficult truth: Tote bags, like Sephora samples, are irresistible and insidious in equal measure. They are quite useful! They hold such promise for an imagined future! So many of them are free! And almost all of them are impossibly filthy.
There is a reasonable limit to how many tote bags you need in your life, and it’s quite likely that if you’re reading this article, you have a tote bag problem. Does the term “bag of bags” mean anything to you? If you answered yes, please know that you are among friends, and that help is here.
There are plenty of good uses for your unwanted totes:
Use them to bring clothing donations to shelters, houses of worship or Goodwill, and leave them as part of the donation. Bundle food donations for soup kitchens and food banks in reusable bags instead of disposable ones so the bags can be passed along to patrons.
If your supermarket has a food bank box, donate extra grocery totes there.
Donate a stack of clean totes to short-term shelters, libraries, senior centers, preschools or charitable organizations like Bags4Kids.
Use them in lieu of gift bags when bringing gifts or food to friends and family.
Totes that are no longer serviceable can still be donated to organizations like ChicoBag’s Pay It Forward program.
But if your tote bag collection makes you happy, and it doesn’t have any ill effects on your life, by all means, well, carry on. Just … one more thing.
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