As many of us Honolulu locals now know, Hawaii is the first state in the U.S. to have a plastic bag ban in effect. My problem was forgetting to bring a shopping bag with me everywhere.
On July 2nd, I was caught off guard when I arrived at the Target check out stand and was asked politely by the cashier whether I brought a bag. Even though I had less than 10 food items, I immediately asked myself the following important questions:
1) Do you really need all of this? What can I return?
2) Can I put anything in my pockets or carry them in my shirt like a hammock?
3) Am I willing to pay the price – up to $9.99 – to buy a bag?
Embarrassed, I replied “no, sorry” and the Target cashier cheerfully told me that Target will give me a FREE reusable bag, and if I need additional ones I would have to pay for those. Fortunately, everything fit in the one solitary bag and I left happy and unscathed. I promised myself I would use the Target bag from now on since the customer service was so awesome.
On July 4th, I went to Longs and forgot to bring my favored Target bag. I had all my weekly sale items lined up when the cashier politely asked if I had a bag. “DARN it!” She was very helpful and suggested I just push a cart to my car. As I left the store I asked myself why I didn’t think of that.
On July 11th, I went to Longs and again forgot a bag. Feeling a bit lazy, I asked how much the reusable bags were and they were a whopping $5.99 so I said forget that. I juggled a bag of ice, a case of “beverages” and 2 bags of chips carefully to my car. Yes, I forgot I could push a cart to my car.
On July 12th, as I was rushing into Foodland I saw the most wonderful sign – “Bring your bag- and get $0.10 off.” All I needed was the visual reminder and I ran to my car for my favorite red bag. They were also promoting the new Hawaiian Airlines Grocery Tote, but unfortunately they ran out of these.
On July 14th, I went to Tamuras and I had a bunch of groceries and “sigh” – no bag. This time, for an affordable $0.10 I purchased their nice thick bag. It is now rolled tightly with a rubber band stuffed in my already stuffed purse.
So what did I learn from this 16 day banned plastic bag experience?
1) That I need constant reminders to bring a bag – like a BIG sign,
2) Motivation to earn rewards might train me in the right direction, and
3) I should find a nice compact bag that I can affix to my purse indefinitely – that can also be thrown in the laundry without bleeding color all over my clothes! I’m testing out this attachable, expandable tote bag now.
One day it will be second nature for me to bring a reusable bags to grocery stores, but until then – I’m gonna be pushing carts to my car for a while… if I remember.