Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Small Changes Make a Difference

Martinsville & Henry County Virginia is fortunate to have plenty of natural beauty in the form of our rivers, lakes, and mountains. As beautiful and well kept as our community is, we are like most communities across America in the fact that we have litter. I am often saddended when I see plastic shopping bags stuck in trees and flapping in the breeze. To do my part I have adpoted the practice of using reusable shopping bags when I go to the store for groceries and other items.

Kroger was the first store in our area to begin offering bags, followed by Wal-Mart, CVS and a number of other stores. The other day I noticed that even the JC Penney Outlet has begun offering reusable bags and you can get a discount on certain days of the week just for using them.

The first thing that I noticed when using these sturdy bags several years ago was the sheer amount that they could hold. One bag from Kroger will hold the contents of 3 to 4 plastic bags. In addition to freeing up your hands, this takes up less room in the trunk of your car and doesn't slide around spilling food everywhere like plastic bags do.

Occasionally I still encounter a cashier that looks at me like I have two heads when I hand him or her a canvas bag to fill, but by the time this person has finished bagging they have a look of shock after seeing that ALL the items did in fact fit in the bag like I said they would!

I was very pleased to read in the Martinsville Bulletin today that Target "will announce Monday plans to give customers a 5-cent discount for every reusable bag they use to pack their purchases". This also affects us locally as CVS is participating in a similar iniative. CVS "plan[s] to give participating CVS customers $1 cash bonuses on their CVS cards every four times they buy something but don't request plastic bags".
According to the Bulletin article, local CVS stores are participating.

Choosing to carry resusable bags is a small change that can make a huge difference. I am happy knowing that I am not contributing waste to the landfill and that my bag isn't going to end up swinging from a tree branch over the scenic Smith River. Make a difference in your community by opting to use a reusable bag rather than paper/plastic on your next shopping trip.

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