Monday, March 15, 2010

Save the world, Green Thursday: Be considerate where you leave the shopping trolley.

This is my pet peeve. I saw this shopping trolley abandoned in a creek where lots of volunteers had worked hours cleaning up the pollution to make it a clean creek.

When people abandon the trolleys, they don't think their idiotic action has a long chain effect. When supermarkets lost the trolleys, they just pass on the cost of replacing it to customers. Our food prices go up. Then there is the hidden cost of cleaning up as in this case, the creek. Some people leave the trolleys around, and an "invisible" driver drives the trolley and knocks against cars. The poor victim comes back to see a dent in his car.

I wrote the following article a few years ago. I used to, when I was a faculty wife spent every morning discussing social issues. I miss those sessions. Do give your thoughts on this issue.

Shopping carts or shopping trolleys are available in supermarkets for our convenience when we buy our groceries and cart them to our cars or taxi stands. We take them for granted and when we cannot find one available, our blood boils and our grocery shopping becomes more unpleasant. Some how, we feel that it is our right to have a trolley when we need it. How often, we get cross when the trolley is wobbly and has a mind of it own, and goes to a different direction from the one you want to.

Many years ago when I was in Singapore, the supermarkets decided to impose a S1 rental in order to use them. There is a small mechanism where you slot your dollar coin which will unchain your trolley from the trolley in front of you. When you have loaded your shopping to your car, you push your trolley back to the supermarket’s trolley bay, and retrieve your $1. Customers complained about this pettiness. It was inconvenient to wheel your trolley back to the bay especially when you had a taxi or a bus to catch. Who will watch over your purschases when you return the trolley?

Supermarket management were unfazed, the system helped employees from running about for shopping trolleys left all over the place, and worst still from being stolen by a small community. Each trolley cost them over one hundred dollars, and the supermarket management reported that many trolleys were stolen per week. The expatriate community wrote in to the forum of the news paper to complain, that no where in the world did shoppers have to pay for use of the trolleys.

This rental system has since been introduced in some European countries, though in USA, Australia, Malaysia and New Zealand, I can still use my trolley without this cumbersome system.

This reminds me of over thirty years ago, I was a student in a university in Canada. There was no public bus to the nearest shopping mall. Students used to push their purchases in the shopping trolleys and then dump them at the hostel corners. The supermarket management would send boys to retrieve them.

When I was in Singapore, I used to shop in a certain up market supermarket. If you purchase more than $150 of grocery, they will deliver without charging you a delivery fee.

I remember once, supermarket boys will push your trolley to your car, load it in your car boot and then take the trolley back to the supermarket.

In Australia, the supermarkets have storage facilities with freezer and chiller for your icecream or meat. The idea is you go to the mall, do your grocery shopping when you are less tired, go galliavanting in the mall, have a cup of coffee. Then you pick up your purchases without worrying that your icecream has melted or meat gone off.

It’s the same everywhere, in Singapore and in New Zealand. You walk around the neighbourhood. There are abandoned trolleys at every nook and corner. Some people use it for their laundry basket on wheels, others a convenient way to transport their barbecue meat. Some are blatant vandals, and dump the trolleys in creeks, beaches, landfill or other people’s front yard. Some leave trolleys so they run into cars. Such people have no social conscience.


Dave said...

I agree with you Ann. Some people are low-lifes with no respect for other people or their property. I see this happening here too. - Dave

Ah Ngao said...

i saw that happened in Kuching one person even carted away the trolley inside his van... yeah,i can imagine when there's short of trolley around

Ruth said...

One supermarket near us charges 50 cents per cart and like you describe, it is returned when you lock the cart back up. Other nearby stores have some kind of locking mechanism in the wheels so that when you leave the parking lot with the buggy, you cannot push it. The carts and system must be very expensive. But I have heard that an ordinary grocery cart costs $200.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Very interesting, Ann... You have been fortunate to have lived in so many places in our world. That is so special!!!! I love reading about what different areas and countries do when it comes to grocery shopping.

I have never heard a grocery cart called a trolley before. That is neat!!!! Here in the USA (in the south), we call them buggies.... ha

I remember when the grocery stores would always have a teen who would push your buggy out to your car and even load your car for you. Some of the stores still ask IF you need help with your groceries.

We have specific places in the parking lots where we are supposed to put our carts after unloading our groceries into our car. People are still LAZY and don't bother to take the carts to the designated areas, and just leave them all over the parking lot. Drives me crazy!!!!! Why are people so lazy???

I loved what you said about Australia offering places where people can keep their groceries --while they do more shopping.... NEAT!!!!

Great post.

Lavender and Vanilla Friends of the Gardens said...

Hi Ann; I agree with you, some people do not care. I guess they were, are and will be around. Luckily the majority does the right thing. The careless ones are the ones who cry loudest when something happens to them.A few times I have found a purse or a bag and the first thing is you bring it to the Management to be returned to the owner. Once I found a wallet with passport and money from people from New Zealand on holidays here. I brought it straight away to the police, gave my name etc. You don't believe this but they found the couple the same day and could return their wallet. I know because they sent me a card from New Zealand. It is said what goes round comes round.
Ann, thank you for your comment on Dulse. It might grow in the colder part of New Zealand. Generally it grows in the cold waters of the coast of Canada, Iceland, and Ireland. Perhaps in other cold parts of the world as well.
Guess what, on the 10th of April I am travelling to Auckland for a short holiday.

Ensurai said...

Yes! In some neighbourhoods in Miri parents put their little kiddies in these trolleys and wheel them around..I have even seen a small time hawker selling her food from house to house using a supermarket trolley. She had removed the banner.
Some people just enjoy nicking a trolley from the supermarket...for fun! No wonder RN1.oo is charged.
I agree people should be more considerate and be civic minded.
More people should read your article. Thanks.

Unknown said...

ha! you know how it is sad, but still happening :(