Hmm. Go Green and Lose Some Green?

moneyUnless you’ve been hiding under a rock you have noticed all the businesses in the past few years “going green.

While I think reducing waste is a great idea, I get a little peeved when companies jump on the bandwagon merely for the sake of marketing.

For example, a local bank has been advertising on billboards for a while about “Green Banking” – just a clever way to say they offer electronic banking.  Which has been available for years and nearly EVERY bank does that.  Okay, so this complaint is lame; I just think it’s annoying that they’re just cashing in on the fever to “go green.”  I’ll bet you the bank still uses the same amount of paper that they always have used. I’ve SEEN mortgage documents – they are RIDICULOUSLY redundant.

OK, here is another one.  The IGA supermarket near me recently decided to stop mailing their sale flyers.  They had signs on all the registers announcing that it was part of their effort to “go green.”  Baloney.  It was part of their effort to CUT COSTS.    Why not be honest and say “It’s a tough economy.  In order to keep prices low for you our customers, we are cutting back where we can.”

Come on.  We all know what this tough economy is. It’s hurt us all.  I really don’t like my intelligence being insulted.  Just tell us the truth.  We’ll respect you more.

The last thing I’ve noticed and I’m sure others have noticed this too is the fact that “green” things, or products that have been made from recycled materials, are very expensive.  Look at the cost of “recycled” aluminum foil, vs. the “regular” stuff.

Hey, pardon me, but if we’re REUSING, shouldn’t it be less expensive?     Is it possible that foilmore energy is used in recycling stuff?  So while we may be keeping stuff out of landfills, we are increasing pollution and wasting energy?  Why does it cost more to recycle???

(BTW, My mom used to recycle foil ALL the time. When I was a kid that’s what I thought the drawer under the oven was for – solely to hold neatly folded scraps of foil until you could no longer cover a darn thing with it and had to finally throw it out.)

When I was in Sam’s Club I noticed Scott Tissue “Value” Packs.  There were two different varietiesBoth of them looked about the same sizeBoth had the same number of rolls.  Both were the same price. (I do believe they both had a SIMILAR amount of sheets per roll but that part I don’t remember….)

toilet paperWhat was the difference between them?

One was “NOW, A GREENER SCOTT!”  Oh look! They made it WITHOUT the cardboard roller. (Great, now little kids all over America are going to be missing out on a gazillion arts and crafts opportunities…)   AND I think the toilet tissue itself was made from recycled paper. OK, that’s great.  Wonderful.  I almost fell for it.  Until I looked at the numbers.

The “Green” version had about half the total square footage of the un-“Green” version.  Same number of sheets, maybe- but all the sheets are obviously smaller.  Which means, I’ll need to use MORE sheets, which means I’ll run out faster, which means I’ll have to use MORE gas to go to the store MORE often to get MORE toilet tissue.  Sigh.

A food product (I forgot which one) is now saying “In order to protect the environment, we’ve eliminated the zipper seal from our wrapper.”  Oh, great, so now, we have to buy a Ziploc bag to keep the leftovers fresh – that’s making MORE waste….or if I use a reusable container, I’ll have to use more SOAP and WATER on it, using more ENERGY…when I could have just zipped the little bag shut and stuck it back in the fridge.  I still have a bag to throw out.  Only now, it’s more useless than it was before. Before it served TWO purposes – packaging and storage.

Come on, you weren’t worrying about the environment. You saw a chance to cut corners and then say it’s to save the environment…because that will make you “relevant” and all the tree-huggers will just FLOCK to your product, without even stopping to think…they are being ripped off!  Think about all the products we’re having thrown at us with headlines of “Less packaging! Less waste! We love the earth!” but in reality, it’s causing MORE packaging and MORE waste because you run out sooner and have to go buy MORE.

Orange juice – used to be 64 oz.  Now many are down to 59 oz.
Coffee – used to be 16 oz.  Now, a lot of 10 and 11 oz.
Yogurt – used to be an 8 oz cup. Now most are 5 or 6 oz.
Ice cream – used to be a half gallon.  Now it’s 1.5 quarts.

In my opinion, this is deception at its worst, and highly insulting.  I like to think I’m just a little smarter than that.


3 thoughts on “Hmm. Go Green and Lose Some Green?

  1. Joy says:

    So true, Karen!

    We have a supermarket here that’s gone over to paper bags–to save the environment from the ills of “unrecyclable plastic bags.” Meanwhile, they’ve had a large bin in the entryway for a long time–it’s a recycle bin for plastic bags! Of course, they have the new reusable and eventually “recyclable bags” on sale for 99 cents and more. The paper bags are difficult to carry and get wet with veggies and frozen foods. How many trees are they destroying by using paper bags? And soon (as there’s a big effort to OUTLAW plastic bags in this state) we may not be able to get plastic at all. Oh, then we’ll have to buy plastic garbage/trash can liners for kitchen and bathroom to replace the plastic grocery bags we now use for that purpose!

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