By Johnny Jackson
Environmentally conscious Kroger customers have a chance to design the grocery store's next reusable shopping bag.
Kroger's Second Annual Design a Reusable Shopping Bag Contest lasts through May 15.
"We have some creative, talented Kroger customers throughout the Atlanta Division, and we would love for the winner to come from Georgia, South Carolina, Eastern Tennessee or Northern Alabama," said Glynn Jenkins, director of communications for Kroger's Atlanta Division. "Our reusable bags aren't just fun - they also serve as an important piece to Kroger's commitment to protecting the environment."
Last year's design, by Atlanta resident Lisa Lanne, beat out more than 36,000 design entries across the U.S. to be featured on the front of Kroger's reusable shopping bags.
The winner of this year's contest will receive a $1,000 Kroger gift card and a chance to see their bag design sold in Kroger stores. Four finalists will be awarded $250 Kroger gift cards and five runners-up will receive $100 Kroger gift cards.
Kroger has also partnered with CafePress to allow designers to purchase a reusable bag featuring their design. Anyone who designs a bag, and has a valid shopper card, will receive an electronic coupon loaded directly to their card for a free reusable bag worth 99 cents, where valid. Each reusable bag is estimated to save 1,000 plastic bags over its lifetime.
Designers can enter the contest by visiting the www.kroger.com/green web site.
"The bags are very, very popular," said Jim Pusateri, store manager at the Stockbridge Kroger store. "The thing that we try to remind our customers to do, however, is to not forget their recycling bag."
The company's Atlanta Division said it recycled more than 77 million pounds of old corrugated containers and nearly 1.7 million pounds of plastic in 2008, while selling more than 6 million reusable bags.
On Saturday, Kroger grocery stores throughout Henry County will conclude their "Kroger Round-up" fund-raiser to benefit A Friend's House, the local non-profit children's shelter.
Kroger cashiers are asking customers if they would like to round their purchases up to the next dollar in support of A Friend's House. Proceeds collected during the annual fund-raiser will go toward the shelter's general operations.
"It's going really great," Pusateri said. "This store alone hopes to achieve close to $2,000. We certainly appreciate the community and applaud their generosity in rounding up at Kroger for A Friend's House. With these programs, everybody wins."
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