Its All About the Bag CreditFeb 23
I live in Boulder Colorado—a place where we have almost as many Whole Foods as we do liquor stores (actually Whole Foods owns a liquor store here). Forget your reusable bags and someone you know sees you and it is almost like you have a scarlet letter on your jacket.
But across the street there is a Target. There is even one of those cool crosswalks with the blinking sign to cross from the Whole Foods to the Target. The reusable bag is a rare sight across the street. Being greener is important to me, so I bring my own bags to Target. At the checkout counter, there was a moment of confusion as the process was interrupted with my reusable….And, to my delight, there is a 10 cent bag credit for bringing my own bag. It’s like a coupon, but you don’t have to clip it.They don’t advertise it, the baggers don’t ask. But there it was.
So, I started doing the math. Apparently, the average person uses around 326 plastic grocery bags per year. At 10 cents per bag, 326 bags per year…my husband and I both shop. If we always get bag credits, that’s $65.20 back. That’s enough for a nice dinner for two in Boulder if we don’t go crazy on the cocktails.
I haven’t waxed poetically about all the natural gas we would be saving. I haven’t referenced how there are over 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in every square mile of the ocean. But when you save a bag, you are part of the solution. I just talked about how green(er) is thrify (my client came up with that one).
We have a use and toss culture. That culture depends on the behavior of each and everyone of us. Walgreens, starting in August 2010, implemented a policy where the cashier asked customers if they needed a bag when they had 3 or less items. In 6 months they saved 45 million bags.
Not everyone is born to have greener values, but most of us care about saving money. Our behavior changes stem from our values. Next time you go shopping, save money, bring your own bag.