Posts Tagged ‘groceries’

A pre-earth day nudge: “Paper, plastic, or personal?”

April 20, 2009

Using canvas shopping bags at the grocery story instead of the usual paper or plastic ones is one small way to help save the planet. Many companies have adopted strategies for encouraging people to bring their own bags from home by giving small rebates, charging small fees for plastic bags, or placing displays for reusable bags near the checkout counter.

Reader Will Katz sends along another approach stores may want to consider using. Instead of asking customers if they want to use “Paper or plastic?” Katz suggests that clerks tweak the question by asking “Paper, plastic, or personal?” He says there are lots of advantages.

-It costs nothing to implement.
-It plants the seed of an idea in shoppers’ minds and reinforces it every time they shop.
-It keeps the alliteration, making it more memorable.
-As more people got in the habit, bag usage would extend to other stores or shopping situations.
-If the supermarket provided canvas bags for sale at the checkout area, implementation would be immediate.

And if supermarkets didn’t provide canvas bags in the checkout aisle (say, because the markup on candy is a lot better), reminding the customer about reusable bags would still be a worthy service.

An grocery delivery service that lets you see when its vans have plans to be in your neighborhood

August 18, 2008

Ocado, a U.K. grocery delivery service operates a green van that allows shoppers to take delivery at times when a delivery truck is already planning to be in their neighborhood. The screen shot below shows green vans for delivery stops that are already scheduled in this user’s neighborhood. We hope Peapod, which may be familiar to our American readers, is paying attention.

For customers who want to be green, but find alternative times more convenient, an additional option to this service could be allowing customers to select two times, a green time, and a convenient but non-green back-up time. Customers would agree to take delivery from the van that is already in their neighborhood at a given time, but would have their delivery changed to the back-up time (which is more convenient for them, but not as green) if a minimum of, say, four customers also chose it as their back-up time.

Hat tip: Rory Sutherland.