I’ve gone on ad nauseam about why the plastic bag ban is so silly, makes no sense, and causes more harm to the environment than it helps. But since it’s not going anywhere, we’ve all had to figure out how to navigate it.

So many people are having a hard time adjusting to the ban when it comes to supermarket shopping. We hear from listeners all day long bemoaning the new rules. And yes, it’s going to take some time to adjust to.

Before you figure out your own little system, let me explain to you what I’ve begun to do. (I have to give credit to a listener who called in to suggest it.) But it seems to be working for me and others that I have suggested it to.

It does require leaving bags in your car. But that’s the only thing you need to remember.

You will no longer find yourself in the supermarket realizing that you left your bags at home. Or in the car. You will not have to purchase a bag in the store. Nor will you have to use one of their plastic shopping baskets or try to carry everything in your arms back to your car. You also won’t have 10 or 12 of those humongous cloth bags all over your trunk.

It’s simple. Buy 500 of those plastic T-shirt bags on Amazon. You know, the kind you USED to find in every grocery store when life was normal? The kind you probably desperately miss at this point?

(Plastic Bag Source Adobe Stock by Celeste)/ (Box Via samaf7 on Ebay)
(Plastic Bag Source Adobe Stock by Celeste)/ (Box Via samaf7 on Ebay)

I have those bags in my trunk at all times. A case of 'em.

I walk into the grocery store with a cart, just like in the olden days, and nothing else. I don’t need to carry anything in with me.

I do my shopping, placing my stuff in the cart as usual. Then, after loading up my cart, I pay for everything. You complicate the system if you have to take out all your items and put them on the conveyor belt to have them scanned but you gotta do what you gotta do. If you can manage self-checkout it makes it even easier.

This whole system works best if you do it at a supermarket like Wegmans allows you to scan your items as you go.

Amazon fresh is the same. Then you don’t have to go through that tiresome routine of putting items in the cart, taking them out to pay, then putting them back in the cart again, only to remove them once again three minutes later when you get to your trunk.

Judi Franco/Townsquare Media
Judi Franco/Townsquare Media

Whew! I’m tired just writing this.

Once you have your cart filled up and you pay using your chosen method, you walk straight out of the grocery store and do all your bagging (with the bags you’ve left there) in your trunk in the car.

There. I’ve saved you a couple of steps.

You might feel silly the first few times you do this but it is literally the only way to do it in these annoying times. It is the path of least resistance to navigate this idiotic and senseless plastic bag ban.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

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