Grocery shopping is never anyone’s favourite activity, right? Between chaotic parking lots, crowded aisles, low stock, long lines, grumpy employees, and grumpier patrons, it’s not something I ever look forward to.

But one thing that always makes my day when I am out grocery shopping is the thrill of finding a free cart, one that still has the coin in it or has been otherwise unshackled. I don’t know if it’s because I feel like I’ve gotten away with something for nothing on the rare occasion that I find one, but it just makes me smile when I don’t need to use my own loonie or quarter to free the cart from its chains.

Weird, I know. But it really does make that chore feel a little lighter. To pay it forward, when I find a magical cart with the coin already in, I never take the coin with me when I return my buggy to the cart corral. No, no no — that would be bad shopping cart karma. It’s just not done. I always leave the cart untethered so that the person who uses the cart next can also partake in the miracle of the loose cart.

StockXchange - Phtographer Brokenarts

So I propose a way to spread this small bit of cheer: I hereby declare May 15th to be “Shopping Cart Karma Day!” A day where we purposely leave our coin in the shopping cart so that the next person who uses it doesn’t have to do the handbag shuffle to find a quarter at the bottom, frantically scour the car’s ashtray for loose change, or worse, do the walk of shame to the customer service desk and ask for a handout. No, every May 15th from here on forward, I will leave my cart free and unfastened (yet still safely returned to the cart coral — we’re not trying to damage vehicles or irritate the employees who have to manhandle all the carts) and pass along this small bit of good fortune to my fellow shoppers.

Go forth and spread some Shopping Cart Karma!