There was no greater time I felt as connected to the ocean than while I lived in Hawai'i. Every year, Jack Johnson, a native of O'ahu, puts on a concert to benefit the Kokua Foundation, which he founded to help support educate children in Hawai'i's school system about sustainability. Message in the Waves is a video by BBC Hawaii. Check it out for information on how all the trash we throw away winds up harming our oceans and all the animals that live there. There are a number of shocking facts you will find out about plastic shopping bags and other items that may have you thinking twice about those reusable canvas bags your local grocery now sells. Yes, you have to pay for them. But they aren't going to kill turtles and seals while you are using them to bring groceries home week after week.
If you don't want to buy them, an alternative is just bringing bags you currently own. I know I must have four canvas bags laying in the back of my closet that go unused. If you do, dust them off. You'll feel better about checking out at the grocer next time. An afterthought: it's always good to get your kids involved in as many meaningful projects as you can. What if you asked them to devise a replacement for plastic bags? Maybe they find the old canvas bags and decorate them in 'save the earth' spirit.