Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What would be better than me sharing Pam's story with you? Pam telling you all her story in her own words - so here it is:

Here is her tale:
I grew up with cloth bags (cloth diapers too) just goes to show you the kind of Mom I have. But Mom will be the subject of another post. She's been using cloth bags for groceries for as long as I can remember (ballpark the 80s), long before it was vogue and the "green" thing to do. More on that later.

My bags
Growing up with cloth bags means I've amassed quite the collection. The oldest one in my collection is a tote (perfect for going to the library) made by one of my best friends for her grade 10 sewing class project. Needless to say, after more than a decade of use the straps are getting a little frayed. The newest is a bright red bag from one of our divisions at work and the subject of one of my stories below.

One might think that even though I was the kid getting the cloth bags out of the closet to go do the weekly shopping that this would not be a habit I'd have to work on. Well, my dirty little secret is that every now and again, I would "forget" my cloth bags to get a few bags for the garbage. Thanks to yesterday's post, I now have alternatives (who knew!) and will be actively pursuing them once my plastic supply runs out.

The Stories
I've had a few adventures with my cloth bags over the last few weeks that have caused me to laugh. One would think that even though all of the stores are selling their own versions and becoming more "green" focused using cloth bags (no matter what size, shape or colour they are) would be a breeze.

Challenge #1
There's one large grocery chain that I visit on an irregular basis where I no longer get my groceries packed. I haven't quite figured out if it is because I'm not using their bags, if it is because my bags don't quite fit on their miniscule bagging stations or if pack your own is the new vogue as well. While it irked me at first (the people in front of me using plastic got their groceries packed for them), I actually quite like packing my own groceries. Still, it just goes to show that if you buck convention sometimes you're out on your own.

Challenge #2
At another large grocery chain store (which I visit regularly), I seem to have a hard time finding baskets lately. DH and I only go through $20-$40 worth of groceries a week (plus the stockpile of meat, canning, etc. in our freezer), so I'm usually in and out of the grocery store and the express checkout quickly. Recently, I've taken to using my cloth bag as a basket, filling it up as I go through the store, emptying on the conveyor belt to be scanned and providing my bag to be filled again so I can go home. Seems simple, seems logical, right?

Well, let's rewind a couple of weeks. It's 4:30, I'm leaving the office and I need to pick up a few things. Luckily my newest bag (bright red) is still in my car. Brand new; hasn't been used yet. Perfect. Off to the store I go, not a basket in sight. No worries, I have my new bright red bag. I head off with my bag, pick up my items and get in line. My turn comes, I take everything out, line it up on the conveyor belt, and put the bag at the end. It's once of those nice one's that has a flat bottom and stands on its own. Did I mention my bag was brand new (I think I did). Because of this is has a environmental tag on it (brown with green arrows and a thank you message on the back - I believe).

The cashier rings everything through. I'm digging for my wallet and waiting for her to give me to the total. I don't hear anything so I look up. She's examining my bag, trying to find the UPC code to scan it. I gently tell her that it is my grocery bag and she gives me a look and then my total. I can't believe she tried to charge me for it!
Note: said bag is bright red and that store's bags are black and green!
I think it is super cool that you still have the bag your friend made you in Grade 10 and use it. I think that is so awesome and what a good friend that makes you! Do you still see that friend? Does she know you still have the bag? So many questions...

Please share your funny stories about this if you like - post them in the comment section or you can send them to me and I will post them here for you...

Here are some ideas for you:
-Have you ever held up the line because you left your bags in the car?
-Do you have any cloth bags that are printed with something not quite appropriate but you use it anyway? (OMG if you do, send me a pic too!)
-Do you have a pet peeve about a certain bag because of its shape or size?
-Have you ever been accused of stealing because you pack your groceries in the bag and then carry them to the counter? I do the same thing as Pam mentioned where I leave the cart/basket and shop using the bags (when I just have to grab a few things) but I am just waiting for someone to come and ask me if I "plan to pay for those carrots?!"

Actually I have a short story. I was using a reuseable shopping bag on Thanksgiving weekend that was a thick plastic. My gramma bought it when we were at the beach for carrying the wet towels around and so I took it to the store - and the handles broke while I was carrying cauliflower and broccoli which kept half rolling out of the bag. So the man in front me in line offered to let me place my bags in the bottom section of his cart (since it was empty anyway) and his wife looked at him with this LOOK. You know the one right? He was really sweet but I declined. I didn't want to cause any trouble... ;)

1 comment:

jenn said...

Kim LMAO at your story there...I know the look well ;) and Pam thanks for sharing your story!!!