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Why You Should Start Bringing Your Own Bags to Trader Joe’s

Why You Should Start Bringing Your Own Bags to Trader Joe’s


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It might come with an unexpected perk

Dreamstime

Dreamstime

If you’re not bringing your own reusable bags to the grocery store, it’s probably a good time to start. Not only does it reduce waste (unless you’re one of those people who hoards plastic bags), it’s also good for the environment, not to mention the fact that reusable bags have a higher capacity and are sturdier than most supermarket bags. But if you decide to bring your own grocery bags to Trader Joe’s, you might be in for a bigger reward than just a sense of superiority.

When you bring your own bags to Trader Joe’s and spend more than $25 on groceries, you’re entitled to head up to the customer service desk and ask to fill out a raffle ticket. Write down your name and phone number, and you’ll be entered into a weekly raffle, the winner of which will win a $25 Trader Joe’s gift card.

Now keep in mind that the odds of winning this raffle are exceedingly slim — hundreds of shoppers bring their own bags and fill out raffle tickets every week, and some go years without ever winning anything, as the frustrated folks who commented on this Yelp message board can attest — but if it prods you to take this small step to help the environment, then it’s worth it, and it also happens to be a fun bit of trivia about this unique chain.


Think Bringing Your Own Grocery Bags Isn't Worth It? Think Again

I love a good win-win situation. I particularly love when businesses find ways to save on expenses while doing a favor to the environment, (all the while garnering kudos and good feelings from their customers.)

An perfect example of this came today from my local Trader Joe’s grocery store. (A semi-national chain of stores that specialize in higher end/ higher quality food. They are most famous for their Three Buck Chuck, which is decent wine at just $3 per bottle.)

There are just a few items that I buy from Trader Joe’s, as they specialize in prepackaged meals, and I try and cook from scratch. But I needed olive oil, bleu cheese and chocolate chips, (and life without olive oil is a drab life indeed.) I’m making my way into the store when a wooden sandwich board outside the entrance catches my eye. It reads:

B.Y.O.B. — Bring Your Own Bags. Are your bags still in the car?

I like this. It’s clever, memorable and to the point. And yes, it made me double check my bag stash.

I continue my way into the store and am confronted by an enormous display explaining that Trader Joe shoppers at this one store bring an average of 14,634 reuseable bags to the store per week. There is also a large photo of a boxed-paper-bag-pyramid of that looks to be about eight by ten feet tall, depicting what 14,634 bags look like.

Unlike some stores that give a small monetary reward for bringing their own bags, Trader Joe’s had a monthly prize drawing for a $50 gift certificate, that can only be entered by bringing one’s own bags. I don’t know the exact numbers, but it’s got to be tremendously less expensive to give out a single $50 gift certificate, than to give a nickel per bag as other stores do.

This information and display stick in my mind, and start to wonder why other area stores don’t adopt this strategy. It’s simple, and requires nothing more than a reminder sign, a roll of tickets and a small prize.

I call up the store in the evening and spoke with Mark Butler, an extremely helpful crew member. He tells me that the reminder sign is specific to their store, and that the bag statistics were compiled by an employee who took it on themselves to research this information. (I do know that the Seattle store also has a bag reminder sign in the parking area.)

Although Trader Joe’s only uses paper bags, which are recyclable, it’s still better to not take a bag at all. All carrier bags, whether they are paper or plastic have a negative environmental impact that could be easily negated by simply bringing one’s own bags.

It is estimated that 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are now produced annually for the world market. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter every year.

Although cute reusable bags are widely available for purchase, it’s also perfectly okay to use the ratty bags you most likely already own.

Want to learn more about the effects of plastic bags on the environment? Then click here to read my earlier blog post about how The Time Has Come to Stop Using Plastic Bags.

Are you remembering to bring your own bags when you shop? Perhaps a small reminder sign on the dashboard of the car is in order. I also keep a string bag in my purse for spontaneous small purchases. It takes up next-to-no room whatsoever.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.


Think Bringing Your Own Grocery Bags Isn't Worth It? Think Again

I love a good win-win situation. I particularly love when businesses find ways to save on expenses while doing a favor to the environment, (all the while garnering kudos and good feelings from their customers.)

An perfect example of this came today from my local Trader Joe’s grocery store. (A semi-national chain of stores that specialize in higher end/ higher quality food. They are most famous for their Three Buck Chuck, which is decent wine at just $3 per bottle.)

There are just a few items that I buy from Trader Joe’s, as they specialize in prepackaged meals, and I try and cook from scratch. But I needed olive oil, bleu cheese and chocolate chips, (and life without olive oil is a drab life indeed.) I’m making my way into the store when a wooden sandwich board outside the entrance catches my eye. It reads:

B.Y.O.B. — Bring Your Own Bags. Are your bags still in the car?

I like this. It’s clever, memorable and to the point. And yes, it made me double check my bag stash.

I continue my way into the store and am confronted by an enormous display explaining that Trader Joe shoppers at this one store bring an average of 14,634 reuseable bags to the store per week. There is also a large photo of a boxed-paper-bag-pyramid of that looks to be about eight by ten feet tall, depicting what 14,634 bags look like.

Unlike some stores that give a small monetary reward for bringing their own bags, Trader Joe’s had a monthly prize drawing for a $50 gift certificate, that can only be entered by bringing one’s own bags. I don’t know the exact numbers, but it’s got to be tremendously less expensive to give out a single $50 gift certificate, than to give a nickel per bag as other stores do.

This information and display stick in my mind, and start to wonder why other area stores don’t adopt this strategy. It’s simple, and requires nothing more than a reminder sign, a roll of tickets and a small prize.

I call up the store in the evening and spoke with Mark Butler, an extremely helpful crew member. He tells me that the reminder sign is specific to their store, and that the bag statistics were compiled by an employee who took it on themselves to research this information. (I do know that the Seattle store also has a bag reminder sign in the parking area.)

Although Trader Joe’s only uses paper bags, which are recyclable, it’s still better to not take a bag at all. All carrier bags, whether they are paper or plastic have a negative environmental impact that could be easily negated by simply bringing one’s own bags.

It is estimated that 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are now produced annually for the world market. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter every year.

Although cute reusable bags are widely available for purchase, it’s also perfectly okay to use the ratty bags you most likely already own.

Want to learn more about the effects of plastic bags on the environment? Then click here to read my earlier blog post about how The Time Has Come to Stop Using Plastic Bags.

Are you remembering to bring your own bags when you shop? Perhaps a small reminder sign on the dashboard of the car is in order. I also keep a string bag in my purse for spontaneous small purchases. It takes up next-to-no room whatsoever.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.


Think Bringing Your Own Grocery Bags Isn't Worth It? Think Again

I love a good win-win situation. I particularly love when businesses find ways to save on expenses while doing a favor to the environment, (all the while garnering kudos and good feelings from their customers.)

An perfect example of this came today from my local Trader Joe’s grocery store. (A semi-national chain of stores that specialize in higher end/ higher quality food. They are most famous for their Three Buck Chuck, which is decent wine at just $3 per bottle.)

There are just a few items that I buy from Trader Joe’s, as they specialize in prepackaged meals, and I try and cook from scratch. But I needed olive oil, bleu cheese and chocolate chips, (and life without olive oil is a drab life indeed.) I’m making my way into the store when a wooden sandwich board outside the entrance catches my eye. It reads:

B.Y.O.B. — Bring Your Own Bags. Are your bags still in the car?

I like this. It’s clever, memorable and to the point. And yes, it made me double check my bag stash.

I continue my way into the store and am confronted by an enormous display explaining that Trader Joe shoppers at this one store bring an average of 14,634 reuseable bags to the store per week. There is also a large photo of a boxed-paper-bag-pyramid of that looks to be about eight by ten feet tall, depicting what 14,634 bags look like.

Unlike some stores that give a small monetary reward for bringing their own bags, Trader Joe’s had a monthly prize drawing for a $50 gift certificate, that can only be entered by bringing one’s own bags. I don’t know the exact numbers, but it’s got to be tremendously less expensive to give out a single $50 gift certificate, than to give a nickel per bag as other stores do.

This information and display stick in my mind, and start to wonder why other area stores don’t adopt this strategy. It’s simple, and requires nothing more than a reminder sign, a roll of tickets and a small prize.

I call up the store in the evening and spoke with Mark Butler, an extremely helpful crew member. He tells me that the reminder sign is specific to their store, and that the bag statistics were compiled by an employee who took it on themselves to research this information. (I do know that the Seattle store also has a bag reminder sign in the parking area.)

Although Trader Joe’s only uses paper bags, which are recyclable, it’s still better to not take a bag at all. All carrier bags, whether they are paper or plastic have a negative environmental impact that could be easily negated by simply bringing one’s own bags.

It is estimated that 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are now produced annually for the world market. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter every year.

Although cute reusable bags are widely available for purchase, it’s also perfectly okay to use the ratty bags you most likely already own.

Want to learn more about the effects of plastic bags on the environment? Then click here to read my earlier blog post about how The Time Has Come to Stop Using Plastic Bags.

Are you remembering to bring your own bags when you shop? Perhaps a small reminder sign on the dashboard of the car is in order. I also keep a string bag in my purse for spontaneous small purchases. It takes up next-to-no room whatsoever.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.


Think Bringing Your Own Grocery Bags Isn't Worth It? Think Again

I love a good win-win situation. I particularly love when businesses find ways to save on expenses while doing a favor to the environment, (all the while garnering kudos and good feelings from their customers.)

An perfect example of this came today from my local Trader Joe’s grocery store. (A semi-national chain of stores that specialize in higher end/ higher quality food. They are most famous for their Three Buck Chuck, which is decent wine at just $3 per bottle.)

There are just a few items that I buy from Trader Joe’s, as they specialize in prepackaged meals, and I try and cook from scratch. But I needed olive oil, bleu cheese and chocolate chips, (and life without olive oil is a drab life indeed.) I’m making my way into the store when a wooden sandwich board outside the entrance catches my eye. It reads:

B.Y.O.B. — Bring Your Own Bags. Are your bags still in the car?

I like this. It’s clever, memorable and to the point. And yes, it made me double check my bag stash.

I continue my way into the store and am confronted by an enormous display explaining that Trader Joe shoppers at this one store bring an average of 14,634 reuseable bags to the store per week. There is also a large photo of a boxed-paper-bag-pyramid of that looks to be about eight by ten feet tall, depicting what 14,634 bags look like.

Unlike some stores that give a small monetary reward for bringing their own bags, Trader Joe’s had a monthly prize drawing for a $50 gift certificate, that can only be entered by bringing one’s own bags. I don’t know the exact numbers, but it’s got to be tremendously less expensive to give out a single $50 gift certificate, than to give a nickel per bag as other stores do.

This information and display stick in my mind, and start to wonder why other area stores don’t adopt this strategy. It’s simple, and requires nothing more than a reminder sign, a roll of tickets and a small prize.

I call up the store in the evening and spoke with Mark Butler, an extremely helpful crew member. He tells me that the reminder sign is specific to their store, and that the bag statistics were compiled by an employee who took it on themselves to research this information. (I do know that the Seattle store also has a bag reminder sign in the parking area.)

Although Trader Joe’s only uses paper bags, which are recyclable, it’s still better to not take a bag at all. All carrier bags, whether they are paper or plastic have a negative environmental impact that could be easily negated by simply bringing one’s own bags.

It is estimated that 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are now produced annually for the world market. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter every year.

Although cute reusable bags are widely available for purchase, it’s also perfectly okay to use the ratty bags you most likely already own.

Want to learn more about the effects of plastic bags on the environment? Then click here to read my earlier blog post about how The Time Has Come to Stop Using Plastic Bags.

Are you remembering to bring your own bags when you shop? Perhaps a small reminder sign on the dashboard of the car is in order. I also keep a string bag in my purse for spontaneous small purchases. It takes up next-to-no room whatsoever.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.


Think Bringing Your Own Grocery Bags Isn't Worth It? Think Again

I love a good win-win situation. I particularly love when businesses find ways to save on expenses while doing a favor to the environment, (all the while garnering kudos and good feelings from their customers.)

An perfect example of this came today from my local Trader Joe’s grocery store. (A semi-national chain of stores that specialize in higher end/ higher quality food. They are most famous for their Three Buck Chuck, which is decent wine at just $3 per bottle.)

There are just a few items that I buy from Trader Joe’s, as they specialize in prepackaged meals, and I try and cook from scratch. But I needed olive oil, bleu cheese and chocolate chips, (and life without olive oil is a drab life indeed.) I’m making my way into the store when a wooden sandwich board outside the entrance catches my eye. It reads:

B.Y.O.B. — Bring Your Own Bags. Are your bags still in the car?

I like this. It’s clever, memorable and to the point. And yes, it made me double check my bag stash.

I continue my way into the store and am confronted by an enormous display explaining that Trader Joe shoppers at this one store bring an average of 14,634 reuseable bags to the store per week. There is also a large photo of a boxed-paper-bag-pyramid of that looks to be about eight by ten feet tall, depicting what 14,634 bags look like.

Unlike some stores that give a small monetary reward for bringing their own bags, Trader Joe’s had a monthly prize drawing for a $50 gift certificate, that can only be entered by bringing one’s own bags. I don’t know the exact numbers, but it’s got to be tremendously less expensive to give out a single $50 gift certificate, than to give a nickel per bag as other stores do.

This information and display stick in my mind, and start to wonder why other area stores don’t adopt this strategy. It’s simple, and requires nothing more than a reminder sign, a roll of tickets and a small prize.

I call up the store in the evening and spoke with Mark Butler, an extremely helpful crew member. He tells me that the reminder sign is specific to their store, and that the bag statistics were compiled by an employee who took it on themselves to research this information. (I do know that the Seattle store also has a bag reminder sign in the parking area.)

Although Trader Joe’s only uses paper bags, which are recyclable, it’s still better to not take a bag at all. All carrier bags, whether they are paper or plastic have a negative environmental impact that could be easily negated by simply bringing one’s own bags.

It is estimated that 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are now produced annually for the world market. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter every year.

Although cute reusable bags are widely available for purchase, it’s also perfectly okay to use the ratty bags you most likely already own.

Want to learn more about the effects of plastic bags on the environment? Then click here to read my earlier blog post about how The Time Has Come to Stop Using Plastic Bags.

Are you remembering to bring your own bags when you shop? Perhaps a small reminder sign on the dashboard of the car is in order. I also keep a string bag in my purse for spontaneous small purchases. It takes up next-to-no room whatsoever.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.


Think Bringing Your Own Grocery Bags Isn't Worth It? Think Again

I love a good win-win situation. I particularly love when businesses find ways to save on expenses while doing a favor to the environment, (all the while garnering kudos and good feelings from their customers.)

An perfect example of this came today from my local Trader Joe’s grocery store. (A semi-national chain of stores that specialize in higher end/ higher quality food. They are most famous for their Three Buck Chuck, which is decent wine at just $3 per bottle.)

There are just a few items that I buy from Trader Joe’s, as they specialize in prepackaged meals, and I try and cook from scratch. But I needed olive oil, bleu cheese and chocolate chips, (and life without olive oil is a drab life indeed.) I’m making my way into the store when a wooden sandwich board outside the entrance catches my eye. It reads:

B.Y.O.B. — Bring Your Own Bags. Are your bags still in the car?

I like this. It’s clever, memorable and to the point. And yes, it made me double check my bag stash.

I continue my way into the store and am confronted by an enormous display explaining that Trader Joe shoppers at this one store bring an average of 14,634 reuseable bags to the store per week. There is also a large photo of a boxed-paper-bag-pyramid of that looks to be about eight by ten feet tall, depicting what 14,634 bags look like.

Unlike some stores that give a small monetary reward for bringing their own bags, Trader Joe’s had a monthly prize drawing for a $50 gift certificate, that can only be entered by bringing one’s own bags. I don’t know the exact numbers, but it’s got to be tremendously less expensive to give out a single $50 gift certificate, than to give a nickel per bag as other stores do.

This information and display stick in my mind, and start to wonder why other area stores don’t adopt this strategy. It’s simple, and requires nothing more than a reminder sign, a roll of tickets and a small prize.

I call up the store in the evening and spoke with Mark Butler, an extremely helpful crew member. He tells me that the reminder sign is specific to their store, and that the bag statistics were compiled by an employee who took it on themselves to research this information. (I do know that the Seattle store also has a bag reminder sign in the parking area.)

Although Trader Joe’s only uses paper bags, which are recyclable, it’s still better to not take a bag at all. All carrier bags, whether they are paper or plastic have a negative environmental impact that could be easily negated by simply bringing one’s own bags.

It is estimated that 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are now produced annually for the world market. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter every year.

Although cute reusable bags are widely available for purchase, it’s also perfectly okay to use the ratty bags you most likely already own.

Want to learn more about the effects of plastic bags on the environment? Then click here to read my earlier blog post about how The Time Has Come to Stop Using Plastic Bags.

Are you remembering to bring your own bags when you shop? Perhaps a small reminder sign on the dashboard of the car is in order. I also keep a string bag in my purse for spontaneous small purchases. It takes up next-to-no room whatsoever.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.


Think Bringing Your Own Grocery Bags Isn't Worth It? Think Again

I love a good win-win situation. I particularly love when businesses find ways to save on expenses while doing a favor to the environment, (all the while garnering kudos and good feelings from their customers.)

An perfect example of this came today from my local Trader Joe’s grocery store. (A semi-national chain of stores that specialize in higher end/ higher quality food. They are most famous for their Three Buck Chuck, which is decent wine at just $3 per bottle.)

There are just a few items that I buy from Trader Joe’s, as they specialize in prepackaged meals, and I try and cook from scratch. But I needed olive oil, bleu cheese and chocolate chips, (and life without olive oil is a drab life indeed.) I’m making my way into the store when a wooden sandwich board outside the entrance catches my eye. It reads:

B.Y.O.B. — Bring Your Own Bags. Are your bags still in the car?

I like this. It’s clever, memorable and to the point. And yes, it made me double check my bag stash.

I continue my way into the store and am confronted by an enormous display explaining that Trader Joe shoppers at this one store bring an average of 14,634 reuseable bags to the store per week. There is also a large photo of a boxed-paper-bag-pyramid of that looks to be about eight by ten feet tall, depicting what 14,634 bags look like.

Unlike some stores that give a small monetary reward for bringing their own bags, Trader Joe’s had a monthly prize drawing for a $50 gift certificate, that can only be entered by bringing one’s own bags. I don’t know the exact numbers, but it’s got to be tremendously less expensive to give out a single $50 gift certificate, than to give a nickel per bag as other stores do.

This information and display stick in my mind, and start to wonder why other area stores don’t adopt this strategy. It’s simple, and requires nothing more than a reminder sign, a roll of tickets and a small prize.

I call up the store in the evening and spoke with Mark Butler, an extremely helpful crew member. He tells me that the reminder sign is specific to their store, and that the bag statistics were compiled by an employee who took it on themselves to research this information. (I do know that the Seattle store also has a bag reminder sign in the parking area.)

Although Trader Joe’s only uses paper bags, which are recyclable, it’s still better to not take a bag at all. All carrier bags, whether they are paper or plastic have a negative environmental impact that could be easily negated by simply bringing one’s own bags.

It is estimated that 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are now produced annually for the world market. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter every year.

Although cute reusable bags are widely available for purchase, it’s also perfectly okay to use the ratty bags you most likely already own.

Want to learn more about the effects of plastic bags on the environment? Then click here to read my earlier blog post about how The Time Has Come to Stop Using Plastic Bags.

Are you remembering to bring your own bags when you shop? Perhaps a small reminder sign on the dashboard of the car is in order. I also keep a string bag in my purse for spontaneous small purchases. It takes up next-to-no room whatsoever.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.


Think Bringing Your Own Grocery Bags Isn't Worth It? Think Again

I love a good win-win situation. I particularly love when businesses find ways to save on expenses while doing a favor to the environment, (all the while garnering kudos and good feelings from their customers.)

An perfect example of this came today from my local Trader Joe’s grocery store. (A semi-national chain of stores that specialize in higher end/ higher quality food. They are most famous for their Three Buck Chuck, which is decent wine at just $3 per bottle.)

There are just a few items that I buy from Trader Joe’s, as they specialize in prepackaged meals, and I try and cook from scratch. But I needed olive oil, bleu cheese and chocolate chips, (and life without olive oil is a drab life indeed.) I’m making my way into the store when a wooden sandwich board outside the entrance catches my eye. It reads:

B.Y.O.B. — Bring Your Own Bags. Are your bags still in the car?

I like this. It’s clever, memorable and to the point. And yes, it made me double check my bag stash.

I continue my way into the store and am confronted by an enormous display explaining that Trader Joe shoppers at this one store bring an average of 14,634 reuseable bags to the store per week. There is also a large photo of a boxed-paper-bag-pyramid of that looks to be about eight by ten feet tall, depicting what 14,634 bags look like.

Unlike some stores that give a small monetary reward for bringing their own bags, Trader Joe’s had a monthly prize drawing for a $50 gift certificate, that can only be entered by bringing one’s own bags. I don’t know the exact numbers, but it’s got to be tremendously less expensive to give out a single $50 gift certificate, than to give a nickel per bag as other stores do.

This information and display stick in my mind, and start to wonder why other area stores don’t adopt this strategy. It’s simple, and requires nothing more than a reminder sign, a roll of tickets and a small prize.

I call up the store in the evening and spoke with Mark Butler, an extremely helpful crew member. He tells me that the reminder sign is specific to their store, and that the bag statistics were compiled by an employee who took it on themselves to research this information. (I do know that the Seattle store also has a bag reminder sign in the parking area.)

Although Trader Joe’s only uses paper bags, which are recyclable, it’s still better to not take a bag at all. All carrier bags, whether they are paper or plastic have a negative environmental impact that could be easily negated by simply bringing one’s own bags.

It is estimated that 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are now produced annually for the world market. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter every year.

Although cute reusable bags are widely available for purchase, it’s also perfectly okay to use the ratty bags you most likely already own.

Want to learn more about the effects of plastic bags on the environment? Then click here to read my earlier blog post about how The Time Has Come to Stop Using Plastic Bags.

Are you remembering to bring your own bags when you shop? Perhaps a small reminder sign on the dashboard of the car is in order. I also keep a string bag in my purse for spontaneous small purchases. It takes up next-to-no room whatsoever.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.


Think Bringing Your Own Grocery Bags Isn't Worth It? Think Again

I love a good win-win situation. I particularly love when businesses find ways to save on expenses while doing a favor to the environment, (all the while garnering kudos and good feelings from their customers.)

An perfect example of this came today from my local Trader Joe’s grocery store. (A semi-national chain of stores that specialize in higher end/ higher quality food. They are most famous for their Three Buck Chuck, which is decent wine at just $3 per bottle.)

There are just a few items that I buy from Trader Joe’s, as they specialize in prepackaged meals, and I try and cook from scratch. But I needed olive oil, bleu cheese and chocolate chips, (and life without olive oil is a drab life indeed.) I’m making my way into the store when a wooden sandwich board outside the entrance catches my eye. It reads:

B.Y.O.B. — Bring Your Own Bags. Are your bags still in the car?

I like this. It’s clever, memorable and to the point. And yes, it made me double check my bag stash.

I continue my way into the store and am confronted by an enormous display explaining that Trader Joe shoppers at this one store bring an average of 14,634 reuseable bags to the store per week. There is also a large photo of a boxed-paper-bag-pyramid of that looks to be about eight by ten feet tall, depicting what 14,634 bags look like.

Unlike some stores that give a small monetary reward for bringing their own bags, Trader Joe’s had a monthly prize drawing for a $50 gift certificate, that can only be entered by bringing one’s own bags. I don’t know the exact numbers, but it’s got to be tremendously less expensive to give out a single $50 gift certificate, than to give a nickel per bag as other stores do.

This information and display stick in my mind, and start to wonder why other area stores don’t adopt this strategy. It’s simple, and requires nothing more than a reminder sign, a roll of tickets and a small prize.

I call up the store in the evening and spoke with Mark Butler, an extremely helpful crew member. He tells me that the reminder sign is specific to their store, and that the bag statistics were compiled by an employee who took it on themselves to research this information. (I do know that the Seattle store also has a bag reminder sign in the parking area.)

Although Trader Joe’s only uses paper bags, which are recyclable, it’s still better to not take a bag at all. All carrier bags, whether they are paper or plastic have a negative environmental impact that could be easily negated by simply bringing one’s own bags.

It is estimated that 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are now produced annually for the world market. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter every year.

Although cute reusable bags are widely available for purchase, it’s also perfectly okay to use the ratty bags you most likely already own.

Want to learn more about the effects of plastic bags on the environment? Then click here to read my earlier blog post about how The Time Has Come to Stop Using Plastic Bags.

Are you remembering to bring your own bags when you shop? Perhaps a small reminder sign on the dashboard of the car is in order. I also keep a string bag in my purse for spontaneous small purchases. It takes up next-to-no room whatsoever.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.


Think Bringing Your Own Grocery Bags Isn't Worth It? Think Again

I love a good win-win situation. I particularly love when businesses find ways to save on expenses while doing a favor to the environment, (all the while garnering kudos and good feelings from their customers.)

An perfect example of this came today from my local Trader Joe’s grocery store. (A semi-national chain of stores that specialize in higher end/ higher quality food. They are most famous for their Three Buck Chuck, which is decent wine at just $3 per bottle.)

There are just a few items that I buy from Trader Joe’s, as they specialize in prepackaged meals, and I try and cook from scratch. But I needed olive oil, bleu cheese and chocolate chips, (and life without olive oil is a drab life indeed.) I’m making my way into the store when a wooden sandwich board outside the entrance catches my eye. It reads:

B.Y.O.B. — Bring Your Own Bags. Are your bags still in the car?

I like this. It’s clever, memorable and to the point. And yes, it made me double check my bag stash.

I continue my way into the store and am confronted by an enormous display explaining that Trader Joe shoppers at this one store bring an average of 14,634 reuseable bags to the store per week. There is also a large photo of a boxed-paper-bag-pyramid of that looks to be about eight by ten feet tall, depicting what 14,634 bags look like.

Unlike some stores that give a small monetary reward for bringing their own bags, Trader Joe’s had a monthly prize drawing for a $50 gift certificate, that can only be entered by bringing one’s own bags. I don’t know the exact numbers, but it’s got to be tremendously less expensive to give out a single $50 gift certificate, than to give a nickel per bag as other stores do.

This information and display stick in my mind, and start to wonder why other area stores don’t adopt this strategy. It’s simple, and requires nothing more than a reminder sign, a roll of tickets and a small prize.

I call up the store in the evening and spoke with Mark Butler, an extremely helpful crew member. He tells me that the reminder sign is specific to their store, and that the bag statistics were compiled by an employee who took it on themselves to research this information. (I do know that the Seattle store also has a bag reminder sign in the parking area.)

Although Trader Joe’s only uses paper bags, which are recyclable, it’s still better to not take a bag at all. All carrier bags, whether they are paper or plastic have a negative environmental impact that could be easily negated by simply bringing one’s own bags.

It is estimated that 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are now produced annually for the world market. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter every year.

Although cute reusable bags are widely available for purchase, it’s also perfectly okay to use the ratty bags you most likely already own.

Want to learn more about the effects of plastic bags on the environment? Then click here to read my earlier blog post about how The Time Has Come to Stop Using Plastic Bags.

Are you remembering to bring your own bags when you shop? Perhaps a small reminder sign on the dashboard of the car is in order. I also keep a string bag in my purse for spontaneous small purchases. It takes up next-to-no room whatsoever.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.



Comments:

  1. Laestrygones

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  2. Eadlyn

    Yes indeed. I agree with all of the above. We can communicate on this theme.

  3. Emory

    Of course, it goes without saying.



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