As the planet warms dangerously, many of us are looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint. We try to recycle and drive less. Those who are really ambitious may install solar roof panels, or even stop flying except when absolutely necessary.
By comparison, bringing your own reusable bag on shopping trips may seem like a trivial change. However, 1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year, according to the Earth Policy Institute.
By switching to reusable bags, you can help turn the tide toward more sustainable shopping practices.
There was a time not so long ago when “hip” retailers were offering rewards to shoppers every time they brought in their own reusable bag — a program sometimes known as “bring your own bag,” or “B.Y.O.B.”
Unfortunately, many such stores have abandoned this practice in recent years. But others continue their commitment to promoting Earth-friendly practices.
Following are seven stores that offer cash back or other bonuses to patrons who skip the plastic.
One of America’s favorite retailers continues to reward shoppers who make the planet’s health a priority. Shop Target and you will get a 5 cent discount for each reusable bag you use.
2. Whole Foods
Shoppers who believe in sustainable practices of all kinds tend to flock to Whole Foods. Bring your own bag here, and you can score up to 10 cents off per reusable bag. However, Whole Foods also notes that “each store determines the specific details about what they offer discounts on.”
3. Trader Joe’s
This beloved grocer hopped aboard the reusable bag bandwagon long before many of its competitors.
“Trader Joe’s has been selling our canvas bags since 1971 — more than 40 years,” says spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki.
Bring a reusable bag to Trader Joe’s and you will receive some type of incentive — such as a gift card or reusable bag filled with goodies.
“Every store decides what the incentive will be,” Mochizuki says.
At this Southern California grocer, you get five fuel points for every reusable bag you bring in, up to a total of 10 bags in a single store transaction. Which would you prefer — plastic or savings at the pump?
5. Lowes Foods
This chain — which serves Virginia and the Carolinas — offers 5 cents in fresh rewards for every reusable bag you use up to a total of 20 per transaction. Are you ready to bag those savings?
6. Sprouts Farmers Market
Sprouts Farmers Market also offers a great deal to customers who are good to the earth. Sprouts spokesperson Kalia Pang offers a breakdown of the policy:
Customers (excluding California) who bring their own reusable bag and present at checkout will receive a 5-cent “bag credit” towards their purchase for each reusable bag used. Additionally, if the customer purchases a Sprouts reusable bag and uses it during the same visit, they will receive a 5-cent bag credit per reusable bag used during that visit and for every subsequent time the reusable bag is used.
If you need one more incentive to relocate to paradise, know that Hawaiian grocer Foodland offers 5 cents off for each of your reusable bags. Or, if you prefer, you can get three Hawaiian Airlines miles per bag.
Do you know of other retailers that offer price breaks for customers who use reusable bags? Share them by commenting below or on our Facebook page.