In more than one store in the San Diego area, I was offered a choice of a paper or plastic bag. This is something that I remember being commonplace when I would accompany my mom to the grocery store as a kid, but that I've never witnessed in 4 years in New York. What's more, it wasn't just a simple, indifferent "Paper or plastic?"
"Would you like a paper bag," one checkout girl asked with a shy, almost flirty smile. Then she crumpled up her face, as though she had overheard a racist joke at the very same moment that she smelled a fart, to finish the question: "or do you need plastic?"
Honestly, I spent a good deal of the trip dismayed at the fact that one must drive forever to get anywhere in Southern California, but this bit of environmental awareness really warmed my heart a bit.
Yeah, I hug the shit out of trees.