Monday, September 17, 2007

An excuse to keep all those canvas bags!

I don’t consider myself to be a tree hugger, but I do pat myself on the back every so often for being environmentally conscious. Since I’m headed to the grocery store today, I have this on the top of my head…

A few weeks back, I needed some produce from Hy-Vee, so I decided to take along a mesh breathable tote bag that I had recently acquired at a garage sale. (For the record, it was filled with toys for the kids, so the bag was just a bonus.) I figured it was easier to carry than the typical Hy-Vee bags and it made me feel like my produce would just be happier. When I arrived at the checkout, the clerk saw me hand the tote to the girl bagging my groceries. She said “Oh, don’t forget to ask for your bag credit when you bring that in. I almost missed it.” Bag credit? What is that? So, of course, I asked. She said “If you bring in your own bag, we give you credit for not using one of ours.” Curious, I prodded her for more details. She said “Doesn’t matter if it’s a canvas bag or a plastic bag, if it’s your bag instead of ours, we give you credit.” I double checked my last receipt and it’s a nickel per bag. Cool. Not a lot of money, but every nickel adds up. I currently have a collection of plastic bags that I use for lining the garbage cans or picking up after the dogs, but honestly, how many of those do I need to keep? I also have multiple canvas bags that I’ve acquired throughout the years that I had to recover from my “future garage sale pile.” So I’m quite excited about this new revelation - that I can use my own bags; dwindle my supply of plastic bags and get a few cents back on each trip to the grocery store. As a bonus, it’s good for the environment.

Since then, I have mentioned it to a few friends and none have been aware of the Hy-Vee bag program. Fortunately, all the checkers are familiar enough with it that I haven’t had to mention it once to get the credit. I just throw the canvas bags on the belt in front of the groceries and they punch in the credit.

Thanks to Hy-Vee for this program! Do any other stores offer similar bag credits?