CARVER – Shopping with reusable bags at Shaws in Carver isn’t just good for the environment, it benefits the local elementary school as well. Carver Elementary School has enrolled in the MY ECO App and Reuse Program. As a registered participant in the program, the school will receive donations when shoppers use their reusable bags at their local Shaws grocery store. The Carver Elementary PTA saw a unique fundraising opportunity to help the environment and earn money at the same time by participating in the MY ECO program.
For the last four years Shaws has had a zero waste policy. When the company learned about MY ECO, the grocery giant was excited about the opportunity. “Shaws and Star Market are excited to partner with a company like MY ECO to help promote the use of reusable bags,” Shaws spokesman Jeff Gulko said. “By making a donation to local schools, we feel that we are helping promote change through our future generations. Customers are rewarded for using reusable bags through monetary donations made to the school of their choice.” Gulko said schools have expressed their appreciation to both Shaws and Star Market and MY ECO. “The schools and PTO’s are excited for another way to help raise funds for their school programs,” he said.
Founded by the company’s president, Kristen Brown, MY ECO partners with businesses and communities to provide solutions for greater sustainability. Ironically, Brown’s father, Gordon Dancy, patented one of the first versions of the plastic grocery bag. His invention helped coin the iconic question, “Paper or plastic?” With the knowledge that both paper and plastic disposable bags harm the environment, 30 years later she sees the need for change.
According to the MY ECO website, the manufacturing process for paper bags is energy-intensive and increases water and air pollution. Plastic bags litter our environment, waste our diminishing oil supply, and harm marine life. The average household uses 1,000 disposable bags per year. A former environmental consultant for the federal Environmental Protection Agency, Brown believes the only sustainable option is reuse. As she explains at www.getmyeco.com, she invented the MY ECO Reusable Bag System as a fun, practical solution to the disposable bag epidemic.
To participate, community members need to download the MY ECO app for iPhone or Android, shop at participating retailers with reusable bags and start making money for their school. Each time a person shops with a reusable bag at Shaws, money is given back to a school or charity. A shopper’s reuse is tracked on the MY ECO app and they can see how many bags they keep out of the environment and the number of times they reuse. The app also shows how the chosen school is doing against other Massachusetts schools.