Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Update on the earlier post about going bagless

Meijer, you rock!

I had sent this email to my local Meijer several days ago in regards to bringing in my own bags to use.


I have been shopping your store for quite some time and I really would like to get your suggestions on how I could avoid using plastic or paper bags when purchasing my groceries. Neither of them are good for the environment. I would prefer to bring my own reusable bags or containers. I need to know how to approach this with the cashiers...do I just ask them to put everything back in the cart once its rung up?

I have to say that even to ask for paper bags in your store is no easy task. The store has been set up to utilize plastic on the little carousel and when you ask for paper the cashiers do not take too kindly to it. Its harder for them to bag in paper.

Please help me figure out a way to make this happen. Thanks, Marcee

Many days went by and I had heard nothing , so I sent them another email. Then today I received this. Along with a note apologizing for the delay. He had sent the same email previously, but to the wrong address.

Hi Marcee,

Just to be sure . . . I checked with my service team leader. He told me that if you just lay the bags on the belt before your first item, the cashier will use them. In addition, you will receive a 5 cent per bag credit. I know 5 cents doesn’t sound like a lot . . . but it’s something! We don’t have a lot of customers who do this, but if you just mention to the cashier that you brought your own bags they should be able to help.

Thanks for the note, and for your business! If you ever have a question, comment, or concern, please don’t hesitate to contact me at the store.

Way cool, right?!! I sent this in return.

Hi Greg.

Thank you for taking the time to research this. I wish more people would consider doing this. Have you considered posting some information about it letting people know that it is an option and that you can receive a credit per bag? It may motivate more people to take part. As a customer, especially one that tries to be environmentally aware, that would draw me to your store even more.

Again, thanks for getting back to me. Communication like this makes shopping at your store an even better experience.

So, asking questions does pay off! (Even if it is only 5 cents a bag!) Whenever I turn down a bag at the store now, I feel so good and empowered. Every time I do it I know that I am making a difference for my kids as they grow older. They will be around a lot longer than me. The least I can do is try to make the world a little cleaner and safer. One person and one bag at a time.


OMSH said...

YOU TOTALLY ROCK! I'm posting this.
Fabulous, fabulous, FRUGALABULOUS!

Frugal Mom said...

OMSH: *Blushing*, Thanks.

J.J. said...

I am in awe of you. You are an inspiration.

Heather said...

I just switched to reusable bags myself and it has been mostly great. I shop at Wegmans and most of the cashiers don't blink an eye at my bags (though one or two have tried to scan them, thinking I was purchasing them...er,no). I do put them on the belt before my items and I also try to load my items with the heavier things first. I do think the reusable bags are a bit more challenging for the cashiers, but only because they're used to the plastic.
I don't think I get a bag credit though; I need to ask about that!

Gerard said...

I don't know why you bother. Plastic bags are fine. They are very efficient and have a lot of additional uses. I use mine as bin liners so I don't have to buy garbage bags and also use them when i take the dof for a walk - for wet sports gear etc. The time delay you cause with your shopping bags costs extra money which other shoppers have to absorb as prices go up.


MommyKnows said...

I thought you might be interested in this:


and this:


They are really great short films about plastic bags and the issues surrounding them.

I couldn't find your original post and it sounds like you are very educated on the topic, BUT just in case I thought I'd pass on the info.

Thank you

Frugal Mom said...

Gerard: I couldn't disagree with you more. However, I will give you the one where you say plastic bags have other uses. They can be used again, but eventually will end up in a landfill or in an ocean...staying there forever. That's the whole point of not using them.

MommyKnows: The videos are great. It is nice to see other people caring for the environment and for our children's futures.

Epiphany Alone said...

Wandered here from OMSH. I've been trying to go the bagless route also, but with a 9-month old in tow, canvas bags are a little difficult to manage. I recently found a sturdier sort that's a basket - a bit smaller than the standard grocery store variety - at a discount store for $10. What's really nice about it is I can use it to gather my groceries, then unload them on the conveyer, and load them back in.

Frugal Mom said...

Epiphany Alone: Thanks for visiting. I have an 11 mo old, so I, too, know the challenges! My biggest challenge I think is that with a family of 5 you tend to get lots of stuff! I will just have to use trial and error and see what bag or container works out best. Thanks for the tip.

your neighbor friend said...

We're big recyclers. Is there anything wrong with recycling the plastic bags? They're #2, which is commonly recycled. Just throw em in the recycling bin for garbage/recycling p/u day (which is what we do.)

Frugal Mom said...

your neighbor friend: That sounds like a great idea. but according to the garbage service and the recycling place here in town the only way the plastic bags get recycled is if you take them to the designated spots at the certain grocery stores that offer drop off for them. And then they "may" get recycled into larger trash bags. More commonly what happens is that they get taken to the landfill along with your trash.