How much does it take to change your behavior?
For some bad habits, a lot, when it comes to me... But one thing that's really struck me these past months is how many Torontonians (including me) will alter their behavior for a nickel.
Yes, for years now, many environmentally conscious people have been bringing their own bags to grocery stores. I did when I thought of it... (my local market is basically a health food store, and they've always had really good, reusable bags... but I didn't always remember to bring them.)
But they passed a law in the Toronto, and since June 1, 2009, it's the law for retailers to charge at least 5 cents for a plastic bag. And I'm not sure I've spent a nickel yet. (Oh, yes I have. On delivery food. I mean, you can't take your own bag to the restaurant for the delivery guy to use. Would kind of defeat the purpose of delivery...)
I have a bag that's always in my purse... and when I go to get groceries, I never (rarely) forget my bigger bags anymore. If I do, I only buy enough to fit in the small one in my purse.
So, apparently, a nickel is enough to change my behavior. I guess it helps that it's a behavior I wanted to change... just needed the nickel push.
And it also helps that it's changed the behavior of the sales clerks. Now, they have to ask, "Do you want a bag?", whereas they used to just automatically start dumping your purchases into a bag and you'd have to stop them and say, "Hey, you know what? I've got a bag," or, "I can fit that into my tote bag, or backpack, or put it in with my sweaty gym clothes."
Apparently I'll do a lot for a nickel. How about you?