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It pays to bring your bags

Beyond environmental reasons to bring your bags to the grocery store or anywhere you shop, many retailers are now giving a small, but encouraging incentive for bringing your own bags.

EarthFare - offers a Choose or Reuse Program. Each time a shopper reuses a grocery bag, the company donates $.05 to a local organization dedicated to eliminating childhood obesity in their community. If you forget your bags, be prepared to make the donation yourself. Where:  Battleground Avenue next to Lowes in Greensboro.

Whole Foods
- Eliminated plastic bags altogether in April, 2008. For shoppers who bring in their reusable bags, the grocery store will offer a $.05 – .10 credit (depending on the store) at checkout. Where:  Miller Street in Winston-Salem.

Target - Target is now offering a $.05 credit off your total purchase per reusable bag you bring and use at checkout. You may want to double check with the clerk just to make sure you get the credit.  And you don’t have to use a Target bag – they will accept any bag.

CVS -Offering a similar program but requires the purchase of a $.99 CVS bag. CVS will give participating CVS customers $1 cash bonuses on their CVS cards every four times they buy something but don’t request plastic bags.

Toys & Company – With locations in Greensboro, Charlotte and Myrtle Beach, they have always offered a great reusable bag to take home your toy and gift purchases. Now they will give an additional 10% off future purchases when you bring their bag back to the store to use again when shopping.

It’s great to see a few major retailers really getting on-board to encourage the use of reusable bags. What other stores offer a similar program in your area? Also, did I miss a big one? Let me know.

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