I’m ashamed to admit I had a familiar experience at the grocery check-out the other day. As the cashier rang up my purchases, I glanced at the plastic bags and said, “Darn, I left my shopping bag in the car.” The bagger chuckled and said, “We hear that a lot. Probably 80% of our customers say it.”
While it’s some consolation to hear I’m not alone, I still feel wildly irresponsible. To be sure, I reuse my plastic bags. They line my kitchen and bathroom trash cans; they serve doggy doody on walks. All the extra bags go in the recycle bin. But I see other women gamely struggling across a windy parking lot with an armful of green totes. Why can’t I remember mine?
So here’s the deal: The stores need to remind us well-intentioned but brain-dead customers. For instance, the local grocery recently posted a small sign on the front door: “Did you remember your reusable shopping bags?” OK, that’s a start, but some of us need a more heavy-handed tactic.
Like a big billboard as you drive in the parking lot: “Don’t forget bags!”
And smaller signs in front of each parking spot: “Remember reusable bags!”
And how about big bold reminders painted on the parking lot as you approach the store: “BRING SHOPPING BAGS!”
And a no-doubt-about-it poster on the front door: “Go back and get the bags.”
With all this helpful re-education, I might one day be able to pull out my canvas tote and say to the clerk, “I brought my own bag today.”