I hate when I make a point of gathering together all my tote bags, walking to the grocery store, spending the whole shopping process trying to buy local, organic food with the least amount of packaging, only to finish paying and then get handed a mile-long receipt, sometimes two separate ones if I paid with credit card or debit. I always recycle them when I get home, but still, it provokes a lot of that frustrated, Marge Simpson kind of grumbling.
The worst are the receipts that are twice as wide as the standard cash-register size, printed on glossy white paper and have so much useless information on them they end up running 10 times longer than need be — like this Walgreens one here, which has a personalized thank-you message from the employee who helped the person, an advertisement about the store’s phone-in prescription service, another ad about the survey you can go online and fill out in order to be entered for a cash draw, the entire thing printed over again in Spanish and the date and time printed twice.
I understand that some computers and high-tech registers are programmed to automatically spit out a receipt when a transaction is made, so it’s not always possible to decline one. And there are certainly purchases where it’s a good idea to get one if there’s a chance it’ll get returned or exchanged.
But from now on, whenever I buy something — especially if it’s something I’m going to eat straight away or that know I won’t be bringing back — I’ll at least ask for no receipt right when I step up to the counter.