Co-op shoppers who want to do their part for the environment and support UConn’s sustainability efforts now have the opportunity to do both at the register.
The Co-op Cares Bag Program, launched in April, is intended to reduce the use of plastic bags and promote environmentalism. For each customer who declines a bag, the Co-op will donate 5 cents – the average cost of a plastic bag – toward one of four charities, including the UConn Foundation’s Green Campus Fund.
Customers are given a wooden token to put in collection bins for the charity of their choice. The four charities, selected by the Co-op’s board of directors, include the Green Campus Fund, which supports sustainable building, water conservation, recycling, and other environmental initiatives at UConn; the Carlee A. Wines Memorial Scholarship Fund, named in memory of a UConn freshman who was killed in a car accident in 2007; SoundWaters; and the Joshua’s Tract Conservation and Historic Trust.
Customers who need to use bags may still participate. Marcia Firsick, marketing manager for the Co-op, says that some shoppers have been purchasing the nickel tokens or simply dropping cash in the collection bins.
She also notes that customers can feel better about the bags they’re using because the Co-op is now using bags made of 100 percent recycled materials; they also are 100 percent recyclable.
Firsick modeled the Co-op Cares Bag Program after a similar one at New York University. She says it has been a great success so far. By Sept. 3, a total of more than 22,300 tokens – worth more than $1,100 – had been collected, including 9,560 tokens ($478) for the Green Campus Fund.
To support the Green Campus Fund, call 800-269-9965 or 860-486-1173.