Goal #8: Avoid Being a Walking Advertisement

I don’t go to Crate and Barrel often… but when I do…


The best jars ever.

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!”

Forced advertisements?

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?


About bornagaingreen

I love to interact with people who are excited about their passions! Decreasing my impact on the planet and increasing my family's health are high on my values list, along with minimizing distractions from a meaningful life. Share your story with me! Let's move forward and give a voice to our values and passions, one interaction (or lots!) at a time.
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2 Responses to Goal #8: Avoid Being a Walking Advertisement

  1. Caitlin says:

    Many chain stores (well, at least a couple.. I know of Kroger and Target) give a discount if you bring in reusable bags. I have never taken a reusable bag into the mall, but it’s something I want to do. I need to keep some in my car for the rare occasion I’m at a department store or mall.

  2. Oh man, I want some! I have some of the non-wide-mouth Mason jars, but they’re only good for soup. And I have a bunch of mismatched plastic stuff I want to replace eventually. These would be great!

    I was at an outlet store the other day for one of the big clothing chains, waiting for my sister to be done shopping. The chain has started selling reusable bags branded with their logo, and if you bring the bag back for your next purchase, you get a discount. I thought that was extremely interesting!

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