Just got back from a visit to MEC.

MEC is the mountain equipment co-op – a store that sells outdoor gear, clothes, rock-climbing equipment, tents, snowshoes, fire-starting kits, etc etc etc.

I’ve been a shareholding member for about 12 years. To buy stuff there you need a membership. THough everyone and their brother’s best friends have them. At the till you tell them your phone number and that’s how they know who you are – from what i saw there were about 15 people with the same phone number as me.

Today i picked up a nice “freeriding” shirt. It’s for biking. Not that i bike, i just really liked the fit and the colour. The shirt also has no logo on it, so it’s nice.

The best part of my visit was going to the cash register and the cashier asking me if i needed a bag.

I quickly thought – “hmmm, this is a granola like store that cares for the environment, i certainly can do without a bag – yeah, i’m a guy who doesn’t need a bag.”

So i said. “No”

And the cashier goes, “Thanks.”

I see on my bill that something says 5 cent donation.

I ask about it.

Every time you don’t get a bag at MEC they donate 5 cents to a cause.

THis month’s cause is a food bank.

I think this is awesome!  First off, not only is MEC looking out for the environment, but they’re rolling the cost of the bag into another great cause.

What i loved most about this: they didn’t tell me about it.  I had no idea they were doing this really cool thing with the 5 cents and bag thing until i got to the register.

That’s great PR.

Compare how another company might have handled that. THey would have spent a lot of money to tell you about their great program where they’re helping people because they care blah blah blah etc etc etc… There’s nothing worse than that kind of giving that has a camera flash going to capture how “philantrophic” a company is.

That’s what makes the MEC example so great and genuine.

They’re not trumpeting the fact they’re doing something really awesome to impress people. They’re just doing it because they believe in it.

That’s the way it should be.

Great work MEC.