I don’t go to Crate and Barrel often… but when I do…
I get WECK JARS!
These plastic-free, glass-topped containers were $3.90 each and will jazz up the fridge quite ferociously with their smooth sides, widemouth tops and ample space for leftover rice, beans, veggie broth, and all sorts of food. I know you’re as excited as I am!!
Unfortunately, there had to be one thing about Crate and Barrel that ruffled my naturally-shed feathers. As I set the jars on the counter at check out, I politely said something like, “Oh, don’t worry about wrapping them up; I can just carry them out to my car.” Then I signed for the electronic receipt (yes, they send the receipt via email now!) and noticed the nice lady had neatly nested the twin containers in a paper bag stamped with “CRATE & BARREL” in bold letters. “Oh, actually you can just keep the bag… I’m totally fine with carrying them out,” I gently insisted. Here’s how she replied.
“Well actually, they like it when items are put into their bags and then carried out. (pause…) But we recycle. We’re green!”
After the quickly exchanged courtesy smiles and the disappointed walk back to the car, I studied the bag. It was FSC-certified 85% post-consumer recycled paper and printed with “environmentally friendly water-based inks.” Oooooo. And I will certainly use the bag many times again. But this thought kept dangling in front of me: How “green” can consumerism be? If I carried my recently-bought items in my own bag and walk past would-be consumers, well GEE, how will they EVER remember to stop by Crate and Barrel on the way home to pick up a festive mug and decorative napkin holders for the upcoming fall holiday?
On the opposite side of the consumerism spectrum, a very enjoyable experience was had this morning at the farmers market when I happened upon an energetic hippie lady selling lavender. She told me all the ingredients of the soap I bought, and was understanding when I asked to use my own bag for the purchase. Now I’m going to tell lots of people about the lavender lady. Great customer service and a passion for your product– shouldn’t that be the way to advertise a business?
What do you think about consumerism and the current “go green” movement in regards to businesses?