I just took my daughter to the dentist. I have greened so many areas of our family life, and plastic bags do not enter our home. Well, except from the dentist.
Why can’t I stand up to the dental hygienist and say, “No plastic bag, no tube of toothpaste please”. No goodie bag!
RDH, a magazine for dental hygienists, explains:
If you’re like me, you’ve been handing out goodie bags to patients since the first day of your first job. The goodie bag is as ubiquitous as prophy paste in most dental offices. Patients expect them, practice owners are used to providing them, and hygienists fill them by the hundreds…
Offering a goodie bag is not exactly advertising (creating awareness of a product, dentistry in this case), and it’s not exactly marketing (creating demand for a product). What a goodie bag does best is help create goodwill toward your office. In business, goodwill is defined as “an intangible asset that provides a competitive advantage, such as a strong brand or reputation.” (www.investorwords.com) The value of goodwill can’t be underestimated. Goodwill is what keeps a family loyal to a dental home, and what spurs them to recommend your office to others.
I have no problem rudely interrupting a cashier and making them take my items out of a plastic bag. What do I fear at the dentist? Am I worried they will discover that I am an eco-freak? Um, they probably already know that.
I vow next visit to the dentist, there will be no plastic bag. There will be no toothpaste or floss sample. There will be nothing that we will toss when we get home.