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Babies “R” Us Earth Day FAIL

Babies “R” Us Earth Day FAIL

I had to sigh this morning when I read the recent “Earth Day Deals” story at Yahoo! Green.

Babies R Us will give you a free reusable tote bag if you bring a valid coupon (PDF) into its stores through April 22. Plus, you’ll get a 25% discount off all the clothing and shoes you can fit into the bag.

A lot of used paper in several very large bins.

Why not add some more? Photo by ChurchHates Tucker

Set aside for a moment the obvious FAIL of turning Earth Day into a consumer orgy to begin with. I mean, I certainly understand that commerce is a part of civic life and I much prefer corporate America acknowledging Earth Day than not.

But wow, how does requiring people to print out a .pdf coupon for a free reusable tote help save the planet in any way shape or form?

Yes, it is good to increase awareness about reusable shopping bags, and free giveaways are a nice draw to generate more sales – hopefully those folks will remember to re-use those bags. However, I wonder what the net loss or gain is from requiring people to use electricity, ink and paper to conserve plastic or paper shopping bags? It’s a complicated formula I’m sure, but the data is there and I hope it is not a “loss leader.”

Why require a coupon at all?

How about next year, Babies “R” Us simply requires a code word or phrase be uttered at the point of sale, like “Let’s help save the world for our babies, can I have a free reusable tote please?” or some equivalent. This exercise would be MUCH more effective at honoring Earth Day than having people use ink, paper and electricity as a requirement of participation. I’m sure that you will still generate a lot of good will and attention from your customers – not to mention sales.

What do you think about the Babies “R” Us Earth Day giveaway?


  • Wow, good point! that’s lame to make you print out the coupon! Forward this to them, eh?

    • Ya. I too am glad that earth day has been recognized by Corporate America, but I guess it would have made more sense to tell people to walk or bike to Babies R Us, and if they didn’t then they wouldn’t be allowed in the store for the day. Though if they did use some form of alternative transportation to get there then they would receive a free reusable bag. I like this idea better. However…I don’t see it working.

    • Ginger, I went to find some sort of email address for customer feedback or anything appropriate for commenting to no avail.

      Apparently, as a friend of mine was mentioning on facebook, they are not so interested in any type of negative feedback. Apparently, they censored a message she tried to add to a baby shower gift registry because it contained the word “poo.” Yeah. Go figure.

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