It All Starts With a Paper Bag

Oh, Target, one of my favorite Big Boys… please go green! Offer Use paper bags at all your checkouts. Only have plastic for larger bags, or better yet design innovative paper for larger bags, too. Be a leader and a Visionary! Tell the world that plastic is out!

Think of the p.r. possibilities… you could ask Al Gore to be on your board to spearhead truly cutting-edge ideas, find an innovative reuse for the backstock of plastic bags in your warehouses, start asking “Would you like a bag for that” instead of assuming I need a bag for one or two items (think of the savings)… lead the way!

I refuse bags of any kind whenever I can (trees count, too!), but on big orders I’ve got to bag things. When I’m at my local Target, I am in pain thinking of all the wasted petroleum as my order is bagged. In my house we reuse plastic bags as wastebasket liners, but sometimes even with reuse the bags get ahead of the need. Target, you can’t really be ahead of the curve on this one, because green is here, but you are capable of reshaping the debate from your clever, culture-shifting bully pulpit.

*end rant*

Advice for Small Businesses

Go green and be part of the culture shift. The secret: Start with something small, like paper bags for Target.

With a little research, changes you make for the Earth can often save money and create fans, too. Although the environment is more top-of-the-mind than ever right now, it’s still being used very little at smaller companies, so there’s room to make changes that make a positive impression on your customers.

Beware: Don’t do it just for the press. Your customers can tell when they’re being played.

Be proud of it, and if you’ve made an innovative change that really makes a difference to your bottom line or to your Customer Experience, shout about it! Write a press release, make it part of a new ad campaign, or describe the benefits of your changes in a blog article.

You may attract new customers with your forward-thinking message. You will give current customers yet another reason to smile when they choose to do business with you.


Have you made a change that helped the Earth and helped your business attract new customers or delight current customers in the process? Leave a comment about it here!

Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson