Reusable Shopping Bags at Kroger

Yesterday while grocery shopping at Kroger I saw a display tree near the checkout lanes that had reusable shopping bags on special, 5 for $4.  I paused in front of the display for about half a minute, then picked up five: three bright blue ones with the Kroger logo on them and two black ones with the words “Earth Sound,” a globe, and very tiny Kroger logo underneath.  I love them!

I have to admit: this is not really motivated by a sense of environmentalism.  I just truly hate those little plastic bags they have been using for the past several years.  Those plastic bags are small, tend to tear if they have the slightest hole in them (especially with canned goods in them), and my cats have WAY TOO MUCH FUN playing with the noisy things at 2 A.M.

I have been reusing those little plastic bags for years as trash can liners for the small trash cans in my office, my bedroom, and my bathroom (the ones that don’t tear).  Before the plastic ones came into vogue, I also used to use the paper grocery bags as trash can liners.  But since the plastic bags are so flimsy and small, I have at least a year’s supply of them still here in the house, stuffed down into an unused trash basket in hopes the cats don’t discover where they are hiding.

Back to the new cloth reusable grocery bags: these are nice and roomy!  Yesterday the bag boy fit all my groceries except the kitty litter into only three of the bags.  If he had used those noisy plastic bags it would have used 6-8 of them.  The new bags have looped handles which fit over my shoulder nicely.  They come with a small cardboard rectangle for the bottom to stabilize the stuff inside.

Then I discovered the nicest part: the cashier gave me a $0.04 discount off my total for each bag used!  It’s not much at all - I mean it saved me a grand total of 12 cents LOL - but since I only paid $0.80 per bag, I figure they should actually pay for themselves by the end of the year.  That was a neat little bonus.

  • They won’t tear nearly as easily as the plastic bags
  • They hold a lot more than the plastic bags
  • The cats have shown no interest in playing with them, and even if they did it won’t make noise
  • They are easier to carry
  • For each bag used, a get almost a nickel off my grocery bill at Kroger
  • They’re cute little bags and I got nice colors

As we were loading the groceries into the trunk, my son was telling me about the environmental benefits of using these reusable shopping bags.  He bought less than half the amount of groceries I did, and used four of those noisy plastic bags.  He pointed out the plastic ones are technically petroleum products.  As he put his groceries away at home and threw the plastic bags into the trash (since we have a surplus of them) he noted that with my new bags I am reducing the amount of plastic in the trash.

Glancing at the calendar, I notice tomorrow is Earth Day.  I didn’t buy these reusable shopping bags with the intention of saving the Earth, although I admit that is a nice side effect.  I bought them because they will benefit me in the form of convenience and usability.  I also love the shade of blue.  Let’s not forget they hold no interest for the cats :) so eventually there will be no more plastic bag “wars” waking me at zero-dark-stupid.

Musing as I finish my first cup of coffee for the day, I think this is the key to getting environmentally sound practices to really take hold with the general population: when it’s convenient and provides benefits for the average consumer.  The small discount off the total bill is a very nice little incentive as well, so hats off to Kroger for coming up with that idea, and making/carrying/marketing a product that can make life a little easier for me (the shopper) and can make my son think I am a bit of an environmental hero.