Monday, June 11, 2007

Supermarket Shopper Chic

When I was in the supermarket checkout line last weekend, the customer ahead of me was having her items placed into black reusable tote bags. I mumbled something to the effect of "cool, where did she get those" and the cashier pointed me to a nearby display where they were selling each tote bag for $1. What a great way to reduce the amount of paper and plastic bags that we use each week! I had been previously thinking about reusing my paper shopping bags each week by bringing them back to the store. These fabric tote bags are even better because they can carry much more weight than paper or plastic bags, they can be carried on the shoulder (which is so convenient) and they are machine washable!!!! My only complaint is that the supermarket is not merchandising them in such a way as to give them a fair chance. You barely notice them on the end cap displays because the signage is minimal. I would like to see more informational signage about the tote bags in the checkout line and I'd like to see the bagger ask customers whether they'd like to buy them. If it weren't for the customer in front of me using them, I probably still would not have noticed them or know they even exist.

The great thing is that every time you use them, you get a small amount of money credited on your bill. In Europe over 30 years ago, my dad went to a supermarket for the first time (without bringing his own bags) and discovered that he'd be unable to buy anything because it was REQUIRED to bring your own bag. Now why does it take America 30 years to catch up to this??? Now, when the bagger asks "paper or plastic?" the answer is NEITHER!!

Here are some statistics borrowed from the tag on the tote bags:
  • Americans use over 14 billion plastic bags annually.
  • Paper bags do not biodegrade in landfills.
  • The petroleum in 14 plastic bags could drive a car 1 mile.
  • It takes 70% more global warming gasses to make a paper bag than a plastic bag.
  • Cities spend up to 17 cents per bag in disposal costs.

Visit www.1bagatatime.com for more information.

reusable grocery bag