(Maude & Tilda)

We don’t mean the collection of thick paper designer shopping sacks from Neiman Marcus and Kate Spade (the preferred choice of Bag Ladies across the land) you keep stashed carefully under your bed. We’re talking about those ubiquitous woven synthetic fiber bags that are handed out by every conscientious organization looking for some eco-love and free advertising.

These homely bags seem to multiply in car trunks, back seats, kitchen cabinets and garages, destined for the grocery store. In the last several years as many municipalities have enacted mandatory bag taxes, consumers have been a lot better about always bringing bags along to tote their food.

But it’s time to break out the bags for more than just a food run. Shoppers, as you venture out this holiday weekend for midnight toy runs or outlet drive-bys, think about bringing your own bags for all your purchases, not just bread and milk. On America’s National Day of Consuming, you’re doing your part trying to save the country by spending because the supercommittee could not get its act together. Now, do something for the environment, too.

We’re partial to the cheeky, fashion-conscious, eco-friendly bags of Paris-designers Maude & Tilda, pictured above.

One more thing. On Sunday, after you are finished with all this shopping, put your reusable bags in the washing machine and give them a good cleaning.

Your mother and Mother Earth would both want you to.