The cashier at Trader Joe’s asked if I wanted a ticket to enter the drawing for people who bring their own bags. I said, “I’d rather have a nickel.”
The cashier looked confused. “But you might win $25.”
I thought I might have been exaggerating, but I said, “I’ve been shopping here for 12 years and I’ve never won. If I got a nickel for each bag, I’d have over $100 by now.”
The cashier clearly didn’t believe me.
So, I went home and did the math. 12 years times 52 weeks is 624 weeks.
I shop on my bike, which limits my carrying capacity, so I go to the store 3 times a week. That’s 1872 trips to the store. I often use two bags, but if I only used one bag per visit, at 5 cents each, that’s $93.60. I was not exaggerating. As the inventor of the bag refund, I have a stake in this.
Obviously, I don’t choose my grocery store based on bag refunds. And I don’t bring my own bags to get a rebate. My bags hook onto my bike rack, and enable me to get my groceries home without wearing them on my back.
I took the little rebate ticket. I filled it out, and put it into the raffle box. And then I thought, as a true eco-freak, maybe I should stop taking the tickets. Saving that little bit of paper might eventually save a tree. That’s what the bag recycling is all about anyway.