Kindergarten students at Dillon Valley Elementary in Colorado, which is about 70 miles west of Denver, recently, completed a six week unit on water and oceans, and a main point the kids took away from their studies was that plastic bags are just no good. Lessons focused on water quality and ways to protect our waterways, students learned about the destructive impact of litter and that disposable plastic bags make up the overwhelming majority of litter. The devastating toll plastic bags take on the environment, particularly the world's oceans, was an eye opener for the kids. Many of the children were saddened by the knowledge that marine animals can become entangled or mistakenly eat discarded plastic bags which lead to their deaths. Empowered with this knowledge the students made the decision to forgo plastic bags in favor of reusable shopping bags. The kids also made a video, in both English and Spanish, to encourage their fellow classmates and parents to stop using plastic bags.
Grocery Store Chain Donates Reusable Bags
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, a grocery chain with a store in Dillon, does not provide plastic bags in any of their stores. In fact, they have never handed out plastic bags to their shoppers, a fact they pride themselves on. Instead they offer their customers extra, leftover boxes to pack up their purchases and encourage shoppers to bring reusable bags to carry items home. The Dillon branch of Natural Grocers donated reusable grocery bags to the kindergarten students at Dillon Valley Elementary. Cara Webb, a kindergarten teacher said, "The Vitamin Cottage of Dillon was gracious enough to donate 100 reusable shopping bags as the kids want to stop using plastic bags. They feel proud and are very excited to go home and share them with their families." This generous donation allows the kids and their familie
s to pass on plastic bags when the make their way through the checkout line and gets the students to start developing a life-long habit of sustainability. Some of the student's families already owned reusable bags, but the kids were excited to have their very own bags.
Marketing Advantages of Reusable Shopping Bags
This was a well-played move by the supermarket chain. Giving the bags to the students allows the store to lend their support to a cause near and dear to their heart and show support to the community. Since the students felt so passionately about this lesson the reusable bags allow them to put what they learned in the classroom into action. Donating the bags shows the students that their feelings on plastic bags are mirrored in Natural Grocers and this lays the groundwork for a loyal following from these students and their families. The students will probably be more likely to encourage their families to shop at the store and when they are old enough to make a decision regarding where to shop, Natural Grocers will probably be the store of their choosing. The store did not just win customers from the kindergarteners and their families, since this act was publicized eco-conscious shoppers in the community who saw the student's video or read about this story in the news may be moved to shop at Natural Grocers since they may now realize the chain's stance on sustainability. Other members of the public may also be tempted to check the store out due to the positive impact Natural Grocers has on the community.
The donated reusable e bags also serve as an opportunity for Natural Grocers to spread their branding message. Custom reusable bags can be imprinted with a company's logo or a specific branding point to spread the good word about their organization. It is so much more than the words or images printed on the bag. Pick the material to spread a more subtle message. Bags constructed from recycled plastics show that your organization is thoughtful about finding new uses for materials that do not break down, while natural fibers represent a more organic approach to sustainability. Reusable bags are a fantastic marketing tool because they are designed to be used again and again, and every time they are used they continue to remind customers and potential customers alike about a brand or a company. Since the kids from Dillon Valley Elementary were so excited to get the bags they will be sure to use them every chance they get, whether for grocery shopping, or school, or for trips. Natural Grocers did right by their community and the environment and solidified their brand in one fell swoop.
To learn more about the students go to http://www.summitdaily.com/news/dillon-valley-small-fry-make-big-splash-with-recycling-efforts/.