Shop With a Reusable Bag – Keep a State Park Open

Posted by — July 11, 2011 3:31 pm

Portola Redwoods State Park is one of 70 California State Parks slated for closure, if additional funds are not found. Photo Courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle

Many residents of California and Nevada are aware of state budget cuts biting deeply into operational expenses for their state parks.  In California, 70 parks are slated for closure by 2012, and in Nevada, all but two of their state parks are on the chopping block.

There may be hope, however, with the announcement of  the “NickelAid” program by Raley’s Grocery Stores.  Currently,  any time a shopper uses a reusable bag at the check-out counter (canvas, paper or plastic), 5 cents will be donated to special state parks accounts with the goal to donate $75,000 to California State Parks and $25,000 to Nevada Parks during the 2011-2012 fiscal year.  The program is in effect at all Raley’s stores: Bel Air, Nob Hill Foods, Food Source, as well as all the Raley’s Supermarkets.

In addition to the donation, Raley’s will absorb all administrative fees in the effort “to build sustainability of the park units on the (parks) closure list.” stated Mike Teel, President and CEO of Raley’s.  He continued  that “Northern California and Nevada have been Raley’s home for more than 75 years, so we know how important our state parks are to our customers and to our employees.”   In a statement issued by Raley’s , Teel wrote “I think NickelAid will be a great success because so many of our customers who already reuse their shopping bags do so because they care about the environment and are looking for ways they can make a difference.”

Raley’s intends to promote the fundraising campaign, not only at their check-out counters, but throughout its stores, as well.  The program will replace the 5 cent discount that Raley’s has offered to its shoppers who bring their own bags to the store.

Ruth Coleman, Director of California State Parks stated “It is our hope that other businesses and individuals follow Raley’s lead and join this effort to help save our state parks.”

We hope so, too!