Today is Earth Day – the day when we guilt ourselves into reusing that cup at work and not running the water while brushing our teeth. While New York is getting dirty in some other ways, the talk of “going green” lately has been deafening. It’s a wonder that New Yorkers aren’t doing simple things that would not only cut back on our use of resources, but also save money. It all starts at your local bodega.
I don’t know how many times I’ve been offered things I don’t need. Even worse, I don’t know how many times I’ve had to specify to the cashier that I don’t need a bag. It should go without saying. Here are some simple guidelines that I think every bodega in New York should adopt. Not only will they save the earth, but they will save them money, which could be the biggest motivator of all.
- If a customer buys a single item, never give that customer a bag unless the customer asks. If I buy a Snapple, I don’t need it tossed in a paper bag. Last time I checked, it’s not illegal to drink Snapple in public… it’s just in poor taste.
- If a customer buys two items but has two free hands, never give him or her a bag unless asked. See these things at the end of my arms? They’re called hands! I can hold something in them! Sometimes, I can even hold two things in them at once!
- If a customer buys a soda in a 20-ounce plastic bottle, do not offer that customer a straw. Would you like a straw for your Diet Coke? Sure! That straw is really going to help me sip my beverage when it’s all the way down in the bottle!
- For ready-to-eat items, provide a napkin dispenser. Thanks for giving me ten napkins with my turkey sandwich the other night. I really needed all of those, since dry turkey sandwiches are so messy to eat.
- Keep your doors closed. Feel that burst of cool air outside your door during the summer? That’s the feeling of money being thrown out the door.
I don’t think these are difficult rules to follow, and they could do a whole lot of good for our city.
Make it clear to your bodega cashier that you won’t take crap from anyone. And by “crap,” I mean, those non-biodegradable plastic products that you really don’t need.
Oh, and this summer, kick the doorstop out of the door if it’s being held open. That’ll learn ’em! Nobody ever said going green means going soft.
Flickr Photo Courtesy of nebneb