Thursday, October 21, 2010

You're Only as Green and Eco as Legal Will Let You Be

A few months ago, I was in the in the habit of getting the day's groceries on a bike. Now that the worst of summer is behind us, I might take it up again. On one of my trips, I came up with an idea: (Well, it wasn't an original idea, since people have been delivering groceries on bicycles since the early 1900s.) But why not have a chain store offer localized delivery? I thought, "Surely, the average carbon-footprint-obsessed corporation could get behind this and sell it to their equally concerned canvas bag-toting customers." So, in my never-ending quest to do many things not-very-well instead of sticking to one thing and doing it well, I contacted Publix headquarters in Lakeland with what I thought was a cool pitch (delivered in a Dynamic Powerpoint Presentation, since corporate guys like that shit). I laid out the costs and benefits, the strategies and logistics, offering to oversee the pilot program at my local Publix, with me being the first delivery guy.

It got some attention and even a phone call from a guy with a big title that had "VP" in it. He actually thought it was cool, but in the end, legal would trump cool, and the potential liabilities of bicycle delivery (accidents, spoiled food, etc.) would outweigh the convenience to Publix customers. Too bad. He suggested going it independent. Maybe.

Here's a Minnesota company doing it, although they only do produce.

I still think it's a cool idea.

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