Saturday, 27 June 2009

Day 6: If you don't ask...

So there I was doing a quick trolley dash around Waitrose last night, with my eldest in tow on our way home from Chess Club.

I normally avoid taking my children shopping because being such a positive person I really dislike saying "no" and trips out with the kids normally follow the same pattern...

"Mummy can I have....?"


"But Mummy, can I have....?"

"Oh no"

"Mummy, pllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaase"



"Not on you nelly and that's the end of it!"

And that's just in the second aisle.

But last night there was hardly a murmer. I was beginning to wonder if he'd taken some compliancy pills because we'd done most of our shopping without a hint of a demand or a whingy-woo.

That is, until we got to the juice section and then it started...

"Mummy can we buy all those?" Pointing individually to each and every type of carton he could find on the shelves.


Perhaps one type of juice might be a reasonable request, but the whole aisle? That was a different matter entirely

"Oh no, no, no, no, no." came my reply.

"But we can recycle all the cartons." he said in his defence.

"There's even a recycling bin at the back of the car park."

He's obviously been taking notice of everything that's been happening this week.

Well it might be Recycle Week, and I know I've been working hard on my pledge but I'm not that dedicated I'd buy a whole range of fruit juice worthy of a well-stocked cocktail bar, just so I could recycle the cartons at the back of the car park.

Besides we already had stocks at home that hadn't even been opened.

But while we were both admiring the range of drinks on the shelves and arguing the toss, I couldn't help notice that something was missing...

...and something so simple too.

There may very well be an excellent recycling bin at the back of the car park for processing empty cartons, but how does the customer know?

There weren't any signs in the store or in the car park to advertise. Even if they are well used by those in the know, imagine the potential if more people were aware.

If it hadn't been Recycle Week, I might have simply paid up and wandered back to our car - yes, even me with my dedicated rubbish reducing antics.

But it's interesting how a public pledge and the mighty hand of a national campaign can motivate a busy mum with an impatient son in tow, to stop off at customer services and put in a simple suggestion that might help raise consumer awareness.

So while I stood writing out my letter to the the form of "Dear Waitrose.....can I have.....?", I dearly hoped that my idea to include some visible signs to their carton recycling facilities would be taken on board, rather than a "not on your nelly".

And if they do...that's what I'd call a Recycle Week result!

So keep your fingers crossed and if you find a similar opportunity to help your community waste less, remember the old saying..."If you don't ask, you don't get". And like the mind of an opportunist seven year old, even if you don't get, at least you know you've made a step in the right direction.



b said...

Hey Mrs A
Your posts have been exceptional this week and what a great idea, lets hope they take you up on the idea.


Thanks B - it's been a real fun week and I've learned a lot, especially about what can be achieved if you take some time out and try out new ideas.

I'm with you in hope. After all, what's a couple of signs between retailer and customer? ... as long as it's recycled paper and vegetable ink ;-)

John Costigane said...

Hi Mrs A,

Customer Services are for consumers. Talking to the staff can work and I hope we see these carton collectors in all supermarkets, with suitably flattened content.

It can be done and Jenny's campaign would certainly get a boost.

Layla said...

Mrs A, great that you have asked!!

I agree with John, talking to staff can be helpful too, so if you ever do have the time for that also, it would be great to see what they say & to get 'em on board!!
(also I hope you *did* mention recycled paper & vegetable ink?;) These things are not self-evident!:)

I agree, it's better to ask for many things, & then at least get some things done or know you've told them what you know would be better & it's now up to them!

Also about kiddies, Jen@Clean Bin had a meeting with a recycling officer or someone like that & he showed her a bag of residuals that remain after - not sure if tetrapaks or what? If you could get something like that to show the kids, they might understand better how recycling is better (than landfill or incineration), & still not-completely-ideal, & I bet they wouldn't nag for tetrapaks so much then! :)

cartside said...

It's an important and easy to fulfil request, so I hope they take it on! I would almost suggest to chase it up in a couple of weeks (when you've got a new boost of energy after this week, how on earth did you manage all this?????)


Hi cartside - thanks so much for your encouragement. Yes I will most definitely chase it up in a couple of weeks, should be enough time. As for energy...I must have some rechargable batteries somewhere LOL :-D

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