I was really excited to see the often run T.V. commercial campaign by Zellers regarding their new line of eco-friendly products for back to school...and at 30%. Well, arn't they the social responsible company! Then a beautiful, glossy, multi page flyer came in the mail touting that Earth Day is everyday at Zellers. Supporting those parents who want to make choices that help teach their children that we can make choices that look after our earth.
Well, isn't that grand!
I might have to live through another episode of the ever-generational struggle of trying to clothes shop with pre-teens that would make me want to poke my eyes out, but by golly I was going to be able to buy schools supplies with integrity and a conscious look toward the future of our earth.
The pens, pencils and paper that I was going to arm my children with to set forth on the continuation of their scholastic journey were going to going to support sustainable thinking in more ways then one. They were going to be able to use tools of the trade designed with their future in mind.
I walk undaunted after hours of clothes shopping in the designer brand name, crap music filled, tiny little stores with eighteen staff re-folding clothes looking soooo bored with life, into Zellers to find the glorious section of school supplies that I could feel good about buying.
Do you know what I found? A spot on the aisle, less then a third of the one side with four products on it.
The 1" binder was over $4.00, the other 1" binders averaged $1.69,
A pack of 150 sheets of paper over $3, others ran between .99cents and $1.25
Package of 2 pens made of 81% post-consumer material over $4, others pack of 8 for $2.50
A single subject notebook, that I think only had recycled cardboard for the cover,over $5 after tax.
What the heck, it's Club Z not Club Med.
I was so disappointed! Those prices were ludicrous. The average parent could not afford to purchase all of the supplies necessary for one child much less two or three at those prices. Why did Zellers have to put such a high price on this stuff? Wouldn't Zellers volume purchase power offset the price with the manufacturer? It was such a let down.
So after waffling back and forth between just purchasing the high priced eco-friendly products to make a point to support the movement, and the stuff I could afford, and the children begging me to stop standing there muttering to myself because people were starting to stare. Eventually the length of the list I had held in my hand for two children starting grade 5 and 7 made my decision.
So as we drove home breathing in the fumes from the plastic binders, plastic pen with rubber thumb pads and ink on the virgin paper, I wondered what that t-shirting wearing teddy bear would have thought about this whole thing? Didn't he always say that they had the lowest price because it was the law?
Well damn it, there should be a law about making it cost too much to do the right thing!