Harris Teeter – Not So Green? – Note from a Reader

The Crozet Gazette touts the new Harris Teeter as being the “greenest grocery” – but my experience was anything but. We’d been looking forward trying it (rather than driving to Martin’s… ever since Fabulous Foods closed, Starbreeze stopped delivering, and Horse & Buggy adopted the bad pick up time). However, the selection of natural, organic, or even local foods was truly pathetic – and I had to leave there and drive to another store to finish shopping. There were six packages of natural beef hidden on a wall of meats. Six. The fish case was technicolor. Three types of organic crackers on an entire aisle of snacks.

Shouldn’t green also include the products that you sell and their impact on the environment… or does it really end with laying asphalt and hanging signs?

The real icing on the cake was when the grocery bagger took my reusable shopping bags and put them in a plastic bag… and started putting my groceries in plastic bags. He seemed a shocked when I asked him to please unbag my items and use the reusable shopping bags. It’s sad. Crozet Great Valu does a much better job – add some more organic meats and better wine selection and they have my biz.

It’s one thing to be a monument to suburban processed crap… it is another to pretend that you are green.

Thanks,
Jacqueline

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13 Replies to “Harris Teeter – Not So Green? – Note from a Reader”

  1. How frustrating. I used to long for environmentalism to become mainstream, but it seems like the more it’s incorporated into mainstream society, the more watered-down and meaningless it is becoming. The baggers at the Barracks Rd. H-T are good about reusable bags, although one bagger put my gallon jug of milk into a plastic bag and then put the whole thing into one of my reusable bags. I was dumbfounded.

  2. I wasn’t that impressed with the new HT either – it’s just a grocery store. They don’t even have a salad bar or anything I could use as another eat-by-yourself lunch option in town.

    I guess we have to give the workers time, most of them don’t seem to have any experience what-so-ever and the store has only been open a week. The kid who bagged my groceries tried to put my 2 lightweight bags into a cart for me when I hadn’t even used a cart to shop. Then he decided to chase after me because I left my shopping list in the basket. Kind of annoying as it was clearly just a list, but I guess I’d feel different if it had been my wallet or phone.

    As GreatValu is right next door to work I see myself going there most of the time still.

  3. Yes, but I can order my groceries online, drive there, pick them up and be back home in less then 10 minutes. All with 2 kids under 2 in the back seat. I am sold!

    I love the store and I love that I don’t have to drive across the mountain anymore.

  4. neuronerd – huh? Respectfully, if you want to contribute constructively, please do so. If not, please refrain from random vituperatives.

    Crozet Mom – Agreed. There is a great convenience, but it comes at a price.

    Sara – me too.

    Patience, et. al. –

    Let’s give ’em some time. Hopefully they will read this, listen and act to improve. What they’ve done with the water, recycling, etc is laudable, and a step in the right direction … but they clearly can improve. Besides, they’ve set some lofty expectations, and it’s quite right of us to want them to meet and exceed those expectations.

  5. Allow me to elaborate, Jim: someone sent a link to this this on to me as an example of the narcissistic outrage that people with far too much time on their hands resort to when their lives have become gravid and fetid with the bovine contentment of bourgeouis life. I concur with her that this discussion is, in fact, an excellent exemplar of such a thing.

    Hopefully, I have masked my vituperative calumny in sufficient adjectival frippery to suit your obviously discerning and delicate palate.

    I dearly wish you well in your quest to end such dastardly perfidies as this outrageous and brazen purposeful understocking of gluten-free snack foods! The swine! (Free-range, of course).

  6. Dude, you’re on the wrong blog. Go to 4chan and hang with the /b/tards.

    On the topic, I just can’t bring myself to be surprised by this news. I didn’t want to be a jerk about it, but from when I first heard this announced, I thought this had “greenwashing” written all over it. Harris Teeter knows their audience. No doubt their market research showed that their demographic would have a lot of interest in environmentalism, so they went back to their architect and asked that some “green” be added. The LEED features that they’ve incorporated appear to be limited to those that save on energy costs. The LEED for Retail pilot program provides points for things like low-e paint, on-site renewable energy, water-efficient landscaping, light pollution reduction, etc. But those are all things that don’t result in any meaningful savings in utility costs, so I’d bet that Harris Teeter skipped all of those, and just did the things that would save them money.

    I don’t mean to imply that there’s something wrong with self-interested environmentalism. There’s not. My point is that Harris Teeter’s environmentalism will begin and end with the construction of this store, unless consumers start voting with their wallets, spending money at establishments that offer locally-produced goods, reuse existing structures (rather than building a new structure, as HT did), choose to locate in dense areas (rather than out on 250, as HT did), etc.

    Not that it makes any difference to me. I don’t live in Crozet, and I do most of my shopping at C’Ville Market, anyhow.

  7. Garsh Mister Jay-kwith, you sure told me!

    Afraid I’m not familiar with the “4chan” reference. That must be some of that double-top-secret Charlottesville internet in-crowd talk. I’m from Brooklyn, kid.

    BTW, I agree with Max.

    I’m bored with y’all (how was that? did I sound authentic?) Thanks for the tension release, kiddies. Enjoy your important debate!

  8. Waldo – Agreed. I still take mild comfort in the fact that they’re recognizing the value in saving money … I’ve long said that I doubt people or corporations will go green for environmental or altruistic reasons – they’re going to do it to save money.

    Neuronerd – seriously? I ask you not to call people names and this is how your respond?

    Please contribute positively rather than rant. I’d hate to ban somebody for the very first time. Thank you.

  9. Was really hoping the “recycling center” that was touted would be full-fledged. Yet it’s just paper and plastic items. I brought my emptied soda cans on the first day.. a worker said there wasn’t a place for aluminum cans but she did take mine into the break room where she said they had a place for them. No place for glass either. 🙁
    I second the post by Crozet Mom about online ordering and pickup – a lifesaver with four kids (including a 2 yr old and 8 month old)!!

  10. Hey there,

    I posted in a bad mood the other day, and was itching for a fight. While I still think the subject matter is banal, and will be willing to defend that position, I apologize for conducting myself the way I did.

    Along those lines, I think that using the suffix “tard” in any sense is rather uncool. Believe me, I know uncool. It is sort of like describing something as being “gay.” Perhaps you’d like to revisit that choice, Waldo. I’m not offended, but I know at least a few families with members who are severely mentally disabled who would probably be pretty hurt. I’ve read your blog from time to time, and thought you’d be better than that.

    As for myself, I am a loudmouth and hope I’ll learn to be less off-the-cuff in the future.

    Again, sorry for my part.

  11. A “Green” store should sell items that have very little wrapping or/and recycle all the non-consumable material.

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