Now that my shopping is limited to whichever supermarkets the shuttle goes to, I go back and forth between preferring Wegman's and Whole Foods. Contrary to popular opinion, or at least given the things I buy, price doesn't end up being the main difference. And the quality is probably better at Whole Foods. But the sanctimony - the atmosphere devoted to promoting smugness among the customers, to pretending that with each choice you make as a consumer, beginning but for sure not ending with the choice to enter their store, you can save the world, save your loved ones from your own untimely death-by-Cheetos, etc. I don't want to make a lifestyle statement, I just want bulk legumes and a week's worth of produce and cheese, to liven up the dry pasta from the regular supermarket.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
The latest thing there (make that here - the shuttle drops us off for two hours) is a version of where they ask you, at checkout, if you want to make a donation to whichever charity you of course have never heard of but you're probably a bad person for being so skeptical. In this version, however, what makes it different is, they ask you not merely if you want to donate, but if you want to donate your bag refund - the five cents per bag you get if you bring your own bags. It would seem - am I missing something? - that the point of this program is to get people to bring their own bags. It's a bit like - to return to an earlier discussion - if there were a campaign urging people to trade driving for biking, citing the relative cost, that also urged bikers to donate what they would have spent on gas.
But it kind of makes sense - why not target the contingent already convinced that little things add up? It also would seem to defeat the purpose of the bag refund. If you opt to bring your own bags because of the refund, only to find you've been shamed for being so petty as to care about twenty cents or whatever it amounts to, what's the point? The refund is there because people do care about saving these tiny amounts, bringing them back into the personal or household pot, and then deciding what to do with them - save, spend, get out of debt, or, say, donate to a charity that you actually know something about.