This year’s winning item for your mom—at least if you live in Japan—is what is known as an Ecobag. Used in place of the free plastic and/or paper bags received at the cashier in supermarkets and other retail outlets, Ecobags are reusable bags with style. With San Francisco's recent ban on the plastic land-fillers and the ever-more-ubiquitous Anya Hindmarch "I Am Not a Plastic Bag" version, it's clear the time has arrived to find your own eco-chic shopping tote.

Available in a variety of shapes, sizes, materials (cotton, recycled PET bottles, etc.) and designs, famous brands like Benetton have also joined up with their own Eco Kitchen Bag. Most bags are also easily folded into a small pouch that neatly fits in a coat pocket or handbag, but there are seemingly unlimited options.

For an extensive selection, check out Superplanning and Ecobag Style.

by Jens Jensen