Snide comments about being Zero Waste when shopping

Well, I had my first snide comment today in one of my local Greengrocers. Considering I’ve been buying my fruit and veg loose there for months now, I thought they were used to me with my cloth bag. I’m always super polite and try to help with packing it, even saying thank you after each type of item they put in the bag (to let them know I am grateful for that tiny bit of extra time). But apparently dealing with my 6 loose potatoes and 6 loose apples today was just TOO much for them. Cue the young assistant “we do have bags you know”… to which I replied that I preferred to use my own. “We have paper ones”. To which I replied- I prefer not to use them for environmental reasons. Assistant rolls eyes and states “It’s just easier”. I then had to bite my tongue, since I thought the customer was always right, they’re getting my business week in and week out. I’d inconvenience them for longer than 10 measly seconds if they had to re-set the scales if I used my own bags before I paid. There wasn’t even a queue! Next time I shall enlighten them on the waste and cost of single use packaging. It’s always easier for us to be lazy and it’s time we were all responsible for our waste.

Over to you, have you ever experienced snide comments like this? How did you deal with them? I’m sure I should have been more assertive, but I wasn’t in the mood and neither it is my strong point.

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6 thoughts on “Snide comments about being Zero Waste when shopping

  1. it is the right thing to do, so keep doing it. time to time we get something like that, but I try to omit their comments as maybe they have some hardship that they are going through. so try not to mind and do proudly what you are doing

    • Thanks! It’s good to have an on-line community of like-minded people to come back to, for reminders of why we do this and to keep pressing on. I do want to make some drawstring cloth bags, but I just haven’t had the time. Maybe they will ease relations a bit.

      • I do see many people with loose produce and to to tell you the truth I have never seen a cashier making a negative comment about them. I wonder whether this is an isolated case? if so I would not worry about this. I think there is a general idea now that we all are responsible for the environment. but if you think that it is better this way, sure use your cloth bags. in fact I guess they are healthier now that your produce will not touch the cashier band (I am always cognizant of the fact that it is probably contaminated with stuff..) cheers!

  2. It’s a slight concern of mine about cross contamination. I wash everything under the tap, in plain fresh cold water and that’s all- we’ve never gotten sick. I know some people like to use an apple cider rinse but I just don’t see the need. But I agree, cloth bags would help to lessen that a little. So long as they are regularly washed! Did anyone else read that news article about the horrendous levels of germs in re-usable shopping bags?!

    • I would not be surprised about the contamination in reusable shopping bags 🙂 a good washing practice as you described is essential, otherwise who knows what we would be getting in our bodies. I heard about the cider treatment but did not try it myself. I am more conscious about the contamination with animal products, like meat or chicken, which I am sure grow many bacteria. again, a good hygiene + washing should be able to limit this. cheers

  3. What an unwelcome comment! I mean, I do not know how the cashiers feel about it when I bring all my loose produce to the till, but so far I have not met any unkind comments or stares. I did confuse one worker when asking for my cheese without plastic wrapping at a deli. He did huff about my request and his demeanor turned negative, but he did withhold his thoughts if he had any!

    What can I say… just keep doing your thing 🙂 We will run into snide comments or looks in so many aspects of life because humans will always have opposing views and lifestyles. It is important to remind yourself why you are doing this, and you can feel good about doing it for your own reasons. Maybe eventually that person will think about your actions and rethink their own. Who knows! Inspiration can come from the strangest places 🙂

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