rocery shopping. Like so many other life chores, it’s something that’s got to be done. It generally requires the use of a shopping cart, that cumbersome web of wire on wheels. And as with any other mode of rolling transportation, the shopping cart is sometimes mishandled.

That’s where Cart-i-Quette comes in. We shoppers occasionally become so absorbed by the task at hand that we forget to recognize that other shoppers are also using the aisles. In doing so, we have a tendency to position our carts in ways that obstruct others from passing. Thus, just as there is driving etiquette for cars, maybe we can all keep in mind some common shopping courtesies – Cart-i-Quette – to help keep the aisles open and airy.

Check out a few examples of bad Cart-i-Quette and good Cart-i-Quette:

Cart-I-Quette I
Cart-i-Quette II
Cart-i-Quette III

Notice the way that good Cart-i-Quette is unobtrusive and leaves plenty of space for other shoppers to maneuver.

Speaking of leaving space to get by, one more thing about shopping carts. When returning them to the stalls in the parking garage, instead of piling them up so that they stretch out to where cars drive, wheel it to a stall that is less full. It’s a bit of extra time (30 seconds), but another way to show good Cart-i-Quette.

All that said, the next time you’re pushing your shopping cart up and down the aisles, be mindful of other shoppers. With a little foresight and consideration, we can all make our time doing grocery shopping as enriching and enjoyable as the products we purchase.

Have any other pet peeves about shopping carts and the way they are wielded?

Text by Dan Franch, photos by Lisa Fuchs, November 2013.