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Minnesota Duluth Goes Bag Free

Posted by Joe Clarkin on 11/9/14 10:00 PM
Topics: college store stories, sustainability

As part of a university-wide goal to make the campus a little greener, the University of Minnesota Duluth bookstore went bag free between November 3rd and 7th. Ann Pellant, the Buyer Supervisor at the bookstore, says that they are planning to make this a biannual event from now on, after only doing it in April for the past six years.

UMD Bag Free

"We wanted to start to do some more sustainability efforts and make it known that our store makes an effort to use recyclables," Pellant said. Though some customers were initially resistant to the thought of having to supply their own bag(s) or something else to carry their items in, things have gotten easier as they've gone along. The transition was made simpler when the bookstore supplied their own reusable bags for customers to grab. They actually set it up as a "bag tree" so customers could pick a bag off of a branch as they walked by.

The store has promoted their bag free week in a variety of ways. In addition to social media, Pellant and her employees put signage up around the entire Minnesota Duluth campus in order to spread awareness. They even have a "bag monster" costume that one of the employees will dress up in occasionally to help support the cause.

As an even further incentive for customers to go along with the store's bagless idea, the university offered to donate a nickel for each person that used a reusable bag in store. "Over the course of the program, we've donated hundreds of dollars," said Pellant. So not only are are Minnesota Duluth customers helping the environment, but the bag free promotion is helping those in need as well.

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