"Going Bagless at UMD"

By KBJR News 1

August 4, 2010 Updated Aug 4, 2010 at 3:16 PM CDT

Posted by Jeff Edmondson

Getting a plastic bag to transport your purchases home is something we have come to expect. But what if there were not any bags that you could use? In this weeks Your Green Life, Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson takes a look at one store that stopped offering plastic bags to its patrons.

Whether you need to grab a quick snack or a gift for that special someone. The stores at UMD have it all; clothes, toys and treats to satisfy your sweet tooth. But when your ready to check out, prepare to bring your own bag.

"We started a program giving out wooden nickles to people who brought their own bags and they could give that nickel to charity," said Ann Pellant of UMD Stores.

The money raised from people bringing in their own bags goes to the Compass Program at YMCA, Safe–Haven Women's Shelter, and the UMD office of Sustainability.
But encouraging their customers to bring in their own reusable bags was not enough. They stopped offering plastic bags for any purchases made.

"We started April 1st And did it for Earth Month," said Ann.

Going bag less at UMD is not just going on at the Kirby Store.

"All UMD stores; upper level, lower level, and the express store," said Ann.

Since all of the campus stores started this, the feedback has been positive according to UMD, and in addition, they plan to continue to stay bag free through finals week.

"We are hoping that the awareness of it will have people coming in, bringing their own bags and just word of mouth will extend it," said Ann.

And since they started, UMD has saved over 3500 plastic bags.
In Duluth, I'm Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson, The Northlands NewsCenter.

In the next school year, UMD Stores plans to continue and implement more environmentally friendly ideas around campus.