When the whole “green” scene started awhile back, many activists encouraged shoppers to bring their own bags to the grocery store. Usually it was a canvas bag, something L.L.Bean-ish, that was sturdy, made out of recycled material, and, best of all, reusable. While in theory this was a great idea, the reality was that it put the total burden on the shopper. You had to either have a canvas bag or buy one (which could get pricey) and then you had to remember to bring your bags to the store with you. But recently, grocers, small and large, have tapped into a novel idea: sell the bags right at the checkout. Tonight when I stopped by my local grocery store to grab a few things (which, of course, turned into a lot of things), I managed to remember two of the four bags I had bought a few weeks ago at the food store. Each one cost 99 cents and for every time a used them, I’d receive a six-cent credit on my food bill right then and there. They were (and still are) available for purchase at checkout. So when I needed more tonight, I just bought two more. And while six cents isn’t much, it’s something — and my house isn’t being overcome by plastc grocery bags! Plus I get the feel-good benefit because I’m reducing and reusing for the sake of the environment. Think about what little bonuses you can offer to your customers at minimal cost that will have a great return value – that’s not necessarily financial. It will go a long way toward building customer loyalty and brand integrity.