Monday, September 08, 2008

It's Not Easy Being Green

I am not one of those people who is intensely interested in being "green," but I do care and try to conserve in my own small ways. So the other day, I was quite annoyed when my efforts were thwarted.

I've seen the signs in Giant stating that if I bring in my own bags, I can save a nickel for each bag I bring, and I've ignored them. For some reason, I always bring my own bag into Trader Joe's because that store just kind of inspires cooperation and good works. But at Giant, why bother, right?

The other day I reconsidered my flawed logic and brought my reusable Trader Joe's bag into Giant...where it was blatantly ignored.

Although I mentioned it several times to the cashier, showing him the bag and stating the reason for its presence, he continued to place my groceries into double-bagged plastic cocoons. He halfway acknowledge me saying, "Oh, you know I just get used to doing things a certain way." But he didn't stop to putting things into plastic bags.

I told him that he needed to give my my nickel off anyway because I brought in the bag and it wasn't my fault that he ignored it.

"Oh, so you're saying it's my fault?" he challenged. At first, I backed down and said it wasn't his fault, but then I thought better of it. And I told him yes, it was his fault: I had pointed out the bag I'd brought and the sign directly across from his station that said customers got five cents off for each bag they bring in.

So I put all the plastic bags into the reusable bag so I'd only have one bag to carry (see it still came in handy). Then I told the store manager who seemed just as confused as the cashier.

When I got home, I read a review of Thomas Friedman's new book Hot, Flat and Crowded--Why We Need a Green Revolution and How it Can Renew America in which he says the U.S. can avoid utter ruin by changing our wasteful energy habits.

Nothing is impossible, but let me tell you Mr. Friedman, it ain't gonna be easy to change the wasteful mindset of the American people.


Sharon said...

did you get your $.05 refund?

JB said...

Yes, I insisted on it.