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Thursday, 11 October 2007

Recycling at the Supermarket in Korea

Living next to a shopping mart, which in our case was Homever (formerly Carrefour, RIP), had its pros and cons. You're probably thinking that I'm crazy, but seriously let's take a look at what can be good and bad about living 100 meters away from a retail/grocery store.

- No need to take transportation to buy groceries
- It's extremely close
- Hot deals are just minutes away
- You can buy small chunks of groceries at a time, instead of filling up a cart
- It's extremely close
- You can con the parking attendant guy to let you slip by with a shopping cart since you're next door (shopping carts are not allowed to leave the premises)
- ...And one more reason, it's extremely close (this helps when it's absolutely freezing in the wintertime)

- Buying groceries can get out of hand (do not go when you're hungry)
- The grocery part of Homever was three floors underground, resulting in long escalator rides (the stairs became our new friend)
- That Homever song got extremely irritating after a while
- Never shop during peak hours...or get ready to have your heels bashed by a shopping cart! ;) The method of "how to walk through crowds in Seoul" has no impact here--you're out of luck
- It's extremely close
- Did I mention Homever was extremely close? Wait a minute...these are negatives! Doh!

Joking aside, Korea does have some pretty efficient and well integrated recycling programs. Check out their recycling initiatives if you haven't already. It was weird coming back home and not separating all my garbage and plastic drinking cups, along with lids and straws. Most supermarkets recycle their cardboard boxes by letting people put them back together again to carry their groceries home.

Usually there is a boxing station where it all takes place. The boxes, scissors, and plastic tape is all included. Check out this boxing station at Homever:

There you have it...you can put back together that ramen box to carry home your individual packs of ramen:

Quick tip for people who live next door to Homever and shop there...register for one of these free points memberships and receive cash back! Here is my 5000w gift certificate I got after spending who know how much at Homever. It took me a few weeks to realize that I had the option to redeem my points. Remember to bring your ARC for this!


John from Daejeon said...

Now imagine if you lived withing walking distance of Costco. My wallet is always empty and my apartment is stocked with bulky items. There are too many pro and con points to list here.

amanda said...

Wanna know where all the old carrefour brand products went?

They are on the shelves in Taiwan's Carrefour stores.


Alex Case said...

Like the box thing, haven't got that in Japan

Gdog said...

john: haha, Costco can be evil at times. You end up buying so many groceries in bulk, you get bored of the food and your wallet gets empty.

Amanda: that is too funny!

Alex: Thanks for visiting...yeah, the boxes can come in handy. We just used our free Homever bag most of the time though. ;)

Chris said...

Right - if you have one, bring your ARC card. Because of my situation in Korea, I don't have one, and for some reason I chose to apply for this card the one day I was shopping alone without a Korean friend. After about 10 minutes of confusion, they WERE finally able to give me one using only my passport. Just FYI....

Anonymous said...


Check the following website for more information about Vietnam recycling. It is designed to promote and sponsor recycling activities in Vietnam.

Vietname Recycling

Thank you!

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