suburbia spotlight: Safeway

I felt like a tourist, wheeling my shopping cart through the rows and rows of aisles filled sky high with stuff at the local Safeway. This was not the same Safeway where I shopped over 15 years ago. Literally; it had been rebuilt one year ago on the other side of the parking lot.

This new Safeway is huge; it’s like a village. You could connect your computer to the wifi (free, I assume) and hunker down all day and night (it’s open 24 hours!) by the in-store Starbucks and prepared-food section.

I haven’t shopped at Safeway in years–since I preferred to buy organic and local and had other options in San Francisco and Oakland–but since it’s one of the closest grocery stores now that I’m back in Palo Alto, I went to check out the organic/enviro-friendly options, which I know have increased.

Sure enough, there were more options, though a fraction of the total. Organic veggies/fruit is available, though only a tiny percentage, and more wilted. I hope they continue with the offerings, though it’s a catch 22. I’m willing to pay more for organic and happy to buy from Safeway, but not if it’s wilted. But if enough people like me don’t buy, Swiss chard wilts.

The highlight was finding refillable Method liquid hand soap, and on sale at that. I’ve had a hard time finding “healthier” refillable soap. Great to know that Safeway is dedicating some shelf space to more planet- and people-friendly products.

Next time I’ll take my backpack and walk. It’s hard not to get sucked into the car-centric suburban mode.

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