Friday, April 25, 2008

MagKnits & The Way Back Machine

Jennie hooked us up with a couple of links via The Wayback Machine, so Injeanius and The Saturday Market Bag links are now up to date. Thanks, Jennie!

Monday, April 21, 2008

We Need MagKnits Patterns!

With the untimely demise of the MagKnits site, a couple of our knitted bag patterns are no longer available. However, the rights to these patterns reverted to the original designers, so we're looking for them so we can relink to these patterns. We need new links for:

Injeanius from November 2005
Saturday Market Bag (two sizes) - June 2006

Can you help?

You Say It's Your Blogiversary...

Friday was my first blogiversary on my other blog, Tinky McFrog.

In the knitting blogosphere, this calls for a contest!

Random Last-Minute Belated Blogiversary/Earth Day Contest - Visit Tinky McFrog, and leave a comment on this linked post including...

1. One change you have made in the past year to tread a little lighter on the Earth
2. Your favorite color(s)

by April 30 to win an "Organic Nettie Kit" (enough organic cotton yarn to make a Nettie bag). Open to US and Canadian residents. (I just don't trust the mails any farther than that!) Winner will be chosen at random on May 1.


Some simple changes we've made in the past year:

1. Stopped buying juice boxes
2. Switched from buying pre-mixed juice (mostly water) in a big semi-recyclable plastic jug to buying juice concentrate in a very-recyclable aluminum can
3. Made a stronger effort to reuse plastic shopping bags for groceries
4. Started saving toilet paper tubes to use as seed starter pots (I'll let you know how it goes)
5. Started this blog! I hope it has helped you live a little greener!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Meeting Resistance From Store Clerks

Because I am lazy (besides the two jobs and three children), I tend to reuse my existing plastic bags vs. trying out all these neato patterns listed here. (That's what you guys are for - give me feedback!) However, last week I was flabbergasted when the Meijer clerk refused to reuse my plastic bags! Here's how the conversation went:

H (me) - Oh, I brought my own bags to reuse.

Clerk - We don't reuse plastic bags.

H - What?! (This has never, ever been a problem for me before.)

C - We'll use those new reusable bags we're selling.

H - (fuming) Funny, this was never a problem before you started selling those bags.

C - Well, it's just that reusing plastic bags is unsanitary.

At this point, I pulled out my two hand-knit Nettie bags and a Target bag - yes, I whipped out a reusable Target bag at Meijer! So there!

H - They're not any less sanitary than reusing the other bags. I'm sorry, but whoever is telling you this is lying to you.

I was still mad as heck, but trying to be nice. Clerk continues to bag items, using my non-plastic reusable bags and fresh new plastic bags.

H - So, is this a store-level decision or a corporate decision? I need to know who to talk to about this new policy.

C - (looking sheepish) Well, uh, actually, I think it depends on the cashier. I mean, this is something they told me years ago. It's just one of those things that stuck with me.

H - (mentally) AH-HA!!!!

Oddly, the conversation took a friendlier turn as I told her that I would be making more Nettie bags and that I would add a buttonhole to the top edge to make them eaiser for cashiers to use at the turnstiles.

Now, I am not the best at the quick verbal comeback. Here are some points I wish I had made:

1. I have never, ever, had a Meijer cashier, or any other store cashier, question reusing plastic bags before.

2. Up until Meijer started selling their own branded reusable bags, they would refund shoppers 5 cents for each bag they brought in to reuse, thereby encouraging shoppers to reuse plastic bags.

3. Every single item I purchased was already packaged and well-protected from any "uncleaness" lurking inside a reused plastic bag. Not one thing was going to be pulled out and put directly in my mouth without unwrapping it first. Not even the apples. (I am a little ashamed of this, but it's a valid point regardless.)

4. Do most shoppers who use the canvas/whatever reusable bags wash them out after every use? I doubt it.

5. Shoppers who use the U-Scan lanes may reuse plastic bags if they choose.

I hope the cashier will think about our conversation and realize the above points. She has worked at that store for a while, so I'm sure she is familiar with the former bag refund policy. In the meantime, since it appears this is a one-cashier situation and not a store-level or corporate-level decision, I don't feel I need to write a letter or anything.

I will still shop at Meijer because they are Michigan-based (local to me), have great prices, buy at least some of their produce from local farmers, and have an amazingly diverse line of store-brand organic food that is fairly competitive price-wise with the regular stuff. And, hopefully, next time I meet a resistant cashier, I'll be better prepared to educate her about reusing plastic bags.

Greetings From Signer #363

Beth at Fake Plastic Fish is helping lead a campaign to get Chlorox to take back Brita water filters. One of their tools is an online petition. Beth has an appointment with a Chlorox representative tomorrow morning, and would like to have 500 signatures by meeting time (8:30 a.m. Pacific Time).

To read about the initiative, click here.

To skip the background and go straight to signing the petition, click here.