FirstBank Going Green with Reusable Grocery Bags Distribution Program

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Christian Broadbent and Stacie January from FirstBank give away free, reusable shopping bags on Saturday, December 1, at The Marketplace to encourage environmental awareness about plastic. St. John Tradewinds News Photo by Eliza Magro

FirstBank and green go hand in hand — the color is featured on the bank’s logo and throughout its promotional materials. Now, the bank is bringing “green” to a whole new level with its “Think First, Think Green” campaign to join the global effort to preserve the Earth.

The campaign included the distribution of “Green Bag” reusable grocery bags at Starfish Market on Saturday, December 1. The bags will be distributed throughout the Virgin Islands.

“It doesn’t sound like much now, but when you realize how much plastic one ‘Green Bag’ can save from filling our landfills, becoming litter, destroying marine life and requiring more and more petroleum to manufacture them, you’ll realize that every one of us can make one huge difference,” according to a press release issued by FirstBank.

The corporate-wide initiative, which started in Puerto Rico, includes internal measures to make operations at the bank more environmentally friendly. Although the initiative originated in Puerto Rico, it’s being implemented first in the Virgin Islands, explained FirstBank Marketing Officer Sadie Taylor-Clendinen.

“We’re a little bit ahead of Puerto Rico in that department, but they’re okay with that,” said Taylor-Clendinen. “The initiative was first discussed the middle of this year with a projected roll out at the end of this year or early 2008. We’ve always wanted to do something for the environment, and we thought, ‘why not start here in the V.I.?’”

The holiday season is the perfect time to begin the Green Bag initiative, Taylor-Clendinen added.

“We thought the bags were a good place to start because it’s something everyone can relate to,” she said. “During the holidays with all the extra shopping going on, it’s appropriate to launch it now.”

Kids Club mascot Seymour the Sea Turtle will also help with the “Think First, Think Green” campaign by relating to children how plastic bags can kill sea turtles.

“We want to bring him in as an advocate for the environment, because turtles think plastic bags are jelly fish, and they eat them and die,” said Taylor-Clendinen. “We want to incorporate things like that into this launch.”

Residents are encouraged to bring their reusable grocery bags to the store in an effort to lower the amount of plastic bags in landfills and littering the Earth.