Executive Decision Making or: Don’t Park There!

I’ll be judged for this, I know it.

So let me start by saying, “I care.”

I recognize the importance of the environment. I recycle. My groceries come home in reusable shopping bags and I use bento boxes for lunch instead of plastic bags. I’ve worked beach clean ups, and do my best to make sure Quinn knows we have to take care of the world we live in.

But there’s this thing, this one thing, that drives me nuts.

The Hannaford grocery store  in Augusta has done it’s best to be self-sustaining. Plants on the roof of the building help cool it in the summer and preserve heat in winter. Cold air from the freezers are recycled into their AC system. Long life bulbs that turn on and off based on motion keep them from over-utilizing electricity. Even the parking lot is “green.”

But these signs irritate the Hell out of me.

For one thing, they are actually closer to the store entrance than the Handicapped spots. Because what? We need to reward people more than we need to care for those less able?

But beyond that, the logic of this slays me. This company took such great care in the construction of their store, doing everything in their power to construct it to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

Then they put up those signs in a tidy little row along the front of the store, defying logic. Smug hybrid drivers can just slide in and out quickly, no circling the lot to find a good space. A reward for being environmentally conscious.

I? Do not drive a hybrid. I drive an SUV.

I know – it’s an environmental menace, blah blah. I’ve heard it before. If you want to know what I think about your opinion you can check out my little parking lot altercation from last spring. FYI: There is a lot of swearing in that post. Don’t click of you have delicate sensibilities.

But back to the logic of the signs. Let’s look again at the last relevant statement:

“Smug hybrid drivers can just slide in and out quickly, no circling the lot to find a good space.”

… no circling the lot to find a good space.

From an environmental standpoint, wouldn’t it make more sense  to reserve those front slots for SUVs? It is far more damaging for us to circle the lot than it is for the hybrids to do so.

In addition to the logic of making us drive less, thus preserving the environment, this theory is also good for those who like to judge. They can walk by our row of pollution and shake their heads at our ignorance.

Those slots  can be like the chair in the front of the classroom where the disruptive kids are placed as an example of how not to behave.

This lack of logic drives me batty. So when I go to Hannaford, I drive right up to the front, and park my giant, gas-guzzling SUV in the spots with these signs.



And I walk inside knowing I just made the best decision for the environment I could possibly make at the moment.




3 thoughts on “Executive Decision Making or: Don’t Park There!

  1. Lynnette,

    The logic of your “environmentally” conscious store perplexes me. I would think if they were going to try and be eco-friendly they would reserve most of the front row for bicycle parking (or horse and buggy….yikes)! Rewarding someone for driving a hybrid with a parking spot is insane….especially if the spots are closer than the handicap spots. I wonder what AARP would think about that. It might be worth considering telling them how the store is slighting the elderly….just a thought of course but it could be advantageous to let them know. The store might want up with a boycott until they change there slighted ways…..



  2. Bike slots, I could’ve lived with, without objection. It was actually the handicapped access part that first irritated me – I used to take my Dad to that store when he was ill, and started parking in them then to make it easier for him to get in and out. It was a bit later before I realized how dumb it was from an environmental standpoint.


  3. Well! Let me just alert the AARP Emergency Response Team! Just kidding, although I am a member. I thought as you did, immediately, Lynnette. If the grocery has thought so carefully and gone to so much trouble and spent money to save energy, why the blind spot here over something that would have one of the largest impacts on the environment? It is also one of the ways that is most visible to the public and I’m sure the grocery corporate guys and gals are interested in all that good publicity. Just a thought and since it seems to be boycott season anyway, Aaron’s idea may be just the thing. Good post. You rock, Lynette!


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