DC Bag Fee User Experience
February 09 2010 | Rise Above Plastics,
by scott harrison
Alan Honadle, a California boy (former Surfrider San Diego chairman as well) is currently working in Washington, DC and filed this report from his local drug store there:
San Diego Surfrider member Alan Honadle, presently freezing his tuckus off on a three month work stint in our nation's fine capital, shuffled up to the counter of his neighborhood business district CVS yesterday morning. In hand he clutched some vitamin D milk for his milkless java, which was sitting sad, cold, and alone on his office desk. The nice lady behind the counter then informed him of the new 5 cent fee on all plastic and paper bags in the city.
"If you wanna bag, we gotta charge you five cents now," the CVS lady hesitantly explained.
"REALLY!?!", Alan shouted back, half surprised but with a grin that grew larger by every passing second.
"DUDE!........SaWEET!", Alan's synapses finally starting to fire.
"Saweet"? The CVS lady softly repeated back. She wasn't expecting that response.
"Ya man....less plastic, right?" Alan offered up.
"Ohhhhh.....ya, that's right.", the lady said as she started to come to life herself.
"Ya, that green thing.", she went on. "Ya, i guess we're really doing this." Then, after a bit of a pause, "it feels pretty good too, actually."
Alan tried to jump in too fast, as he always seems to do in conversations. But he had no shot this time. The CVS lady was rolling now, taking back control of the counter.
"And, if you buy this green reusable bag over here for one dollar", placing the bag in front of one delighted Alan, "every fourth time you use it in our stores, you get one dollar off your purchase."
"OK", Alan proclaimed, with an instant kangaroo bounce in his step. "You have a really great day Latosha!"
"Oh, I'm sorry Latisha." Alan replied sincerely and with apology.
"Not to worry", Latisha said, as clear and warm as a bright sunny day. "You have a fine day too....By the way, what's your name?"
"Alan", Alan replied, feeling quickly overcome with joy and happiness that can only come from a personal exchange as pure as the one that just transpired.
"Cheers", he said while exiting.
But then, while walking back to work, and with more time to think about what had actually just happened, it dawned on him the REAL reason for his bursting joy and happiness.....
He stopped, dead in his tracks, and realized in a moment of clarity, that a few really cool people can actually make a huge difference. People like Julie Lawson and the Washington DC Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.
Congratulations DC on your Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Act of 2009! Your Redskins may bight serious cheese [Disclaimer: this is not the official Surfrider position. ], but your 5 cent bag fee REALLY made my Monday morning (and the morning of a whole lot more people who actually know what's good for us all)!
Surfrider was and is simply the vehicle. Your passion and determination provided the victory for a cleaner city, local waterways, and beaches. Let us all replicate and turn our noses with confidence to those that think a bag fee isn't a positive step forward. National and State laws are great, but here's to you not sitting around waiting for that to happen.
Stand Proud, Enjoy your Moment, and keep fighting!"