Thursday, May 14, 2009

It Pays to Complain

Some weeks ago, I shared the problems I have with some of the "big box" stores' un-user-friendly policy toward reusable shopping bags. You can read about that here. Well, I sent numerous e-mails to corporate headquarters explaining my experiences and what I thought needed to be done about it.

I am happy to report that the store clerks are ALL VERY HAPPY to see me coming with my own bags and are HELPFUL and COURTEOUS in allowing me to bag my groceries. But this one takes the cake: yesterday I went through the self check out and the overseeing clerk proudly pointed out the "new button" on the registers, "I have my own bag." This button recalibrates the scales to recognize the weight of your bag so you don't have to weigh your items on the scale and then transfer them to your own bag.

Do I think I personally, single-handedly caused this change? No. Do I think I contributed to cause this change? No doubt about it!

It definitely pays to complain. My orange juice recently underwent a new name, new recipe, new ad campaign and new packaging. Why? Because enough people wrote to the company and asked that the natural no calorie sweetener (Stevia) replace the artificial no calorie sweetener (Splenda) they had been using. This change involved a lot of time and money on the orange juice company's part, but they did it because enough consumers told them they wanted it.

So when you see a company with a non-green policy or product, let them know. While you're at it, let your politicians know how important the environment is to you. This is the only way to effectuate systematic change on a global scale.

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