Saturday, April 25, 2009

A truly 'Green' idea

Well...I checked three 'green' items at Dominion this morning.

I couldn't actually check the black bags as they were all sold out. Guess they'll have to order some more from China. To me (as I've probably mentioned once or twice already ;0)), this screams "Cash Grab" , it comes on the backs of customers and uses the environment to do so.

There are other ways if they had they truly did have environment's best interest at heart. I'm sure they could come up with several, if they'd just try.

Not sure if anyone remembers the old grocery store ....Knob Hill Farms? I used to shop there with my parents and myself when I was first on my own (back in the 80s). They had an excellent idea...way ahead of their time. It dealt with the issue of plastic bags, saved the environment and in the end, did not cost the customer any extra.

Their system was quite straight forward. At the checkout, the cashier would put your groceries into basket type containers, some were cardboard, some were hard plastic. If you took the cardboard type, they cost $1.00, the plastic, $2.00. They were sturdy (especially the plastic ones...we still had one up until we moved in 2007), held a fair amount and were convenient for lugging groceries. Upon your next visit to the grocery store, you'd simply return the baskets for a full refund.


Straight forward.

Kept plastic bags out of landfills.

No extra charge for the customer.

A win win situation all around....

and it truly did help the environment.


Renee said...

Sounds good to me...right now Joel keeps heavy duty reusable bags in the car for when he shops. Where we live, we need to return pop cans or lose a nickle for each one we do not return ....must be other things we can do this with too!
What you have shared has made alot of sense.

Catherine said...

I am intrigued by the whole plactic bag issue - we have introduced a green tax on plastic bags a number of years back - in 2000 or 2001 - in Ireland and it has been an overwhelming success. Shops now give paper bags or you pay about 20cent or more for a plastic bag, and they are a bit like smoking, not socially acceptable! It has led to no more rubbish dumped in hedgerows, and it is not destroying the plastics industry as presumably they have diversified into eco-plastic that self-destructs in a fairly short time, and recycling clear plastic bags for the local authorities to supply as part of their reduce reuse recycle policy. So it is something that should become global. We have adapted as good as we adapted to the smoking in public places ban 5 years ago - back then it was seen as the end of civilisation as we knew it! Now we all use heavy duty reusable plastic bags or canvas or unbleached cotton, and the not a plastic bag movement has become chic in other countries. A good news story from Ireland - we don't have too many!

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At Home on the Rock... said...

Thanks, ladies!

I like that there is an incentive (return the pop can for refund) or alternative provided (free paper bags)....I think they both go a long way in encouraging people to do the right thing. It seems to go a lot further than just cutting things off with no real alternatives provided.

Where we were in Ontario, they reduced the amount of garbage pick up allowed, raised taxes, reduced services and then charged more for extra bags of garbage. That only led to an increase of people dumping garbage (single items out car windows, bags of garbage along the side of the road and even huge household furniture and even the cement contents from a no longer wanted inground pool on the side of the road or farmers' fields.)

Shannon said...

Today I was driving through a new subdivision in Brampton and was disgusted by the garbage that had been dumped all along the road in one area. Not just your typical new construction rubbish of wood and bits of shingles, but green garbage bags, grocery bags, fabrics, cardboard, papers and just lots of junk. I asked a friend who lives there if there was no garbage pick up yet and she told me that this stuff has been dumped by new homeowners who just don't know what to do with their garbage!!! Oh my goodness!!! We were all sickened by it.

I know that had nothing to do with plastic bags, but your comment about garbage along the roadsides and in fields brought this immediately to mind. People can be so dumb!!

At Home on the Rock... said...

Thanks, Shannon. This illustrates *exactly* the point I was trying to make.

When people are cut off from ways of getting rid of their garbage/recycling or donating things responsibly, they (unfortunately) resort to desperate measures. I'm not sure what the answer is.

When we moved, we needed to get rid of a lot. The usual groups everyone suggests(even the town councillors were suggesting these charities but when we'd phone them, they said nope) to donate things to do not accept items (some may take a bit but even those limit the amount of items they will take).

There used to be donation boxes set up in our town by a charity where you could drop off clothes, small household items etc. The mayor decided those boxes were an eyesore and threatened to make them (the charity) get a permit in order to be there. That made them move their boxes every week or so. Larry would spend hours driving around town looking for the new location of the boxes, so he could donate our stuff. I guess it kept it out of landfills, but all that driving didn't help the environment any.

This is what bothers me though...they tell us to recycle, reduce, reuse etc. and then make it difficult to do that. They talk out both sides of their mouths and some days, it seems like we're chasing our tails.

I too used to witness those bags of garbage etc., and the more 'green' the local gov'ts tried to make us, the more garbage on roadsides would appear.

I even had one person tell me if they don't have any little grocery bags to use as garbage bags in their car, they will simply do the alternative and chuck their garbage out the window. This thinking really bothers me and I wish the powers that be would see these things too.

Thanks for your post.