Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Gone Green (Thanks NStar)

Okay, now I know there are many folks out there who believe strongly in the wisdom of private corporations to solve all our ills (aka Republicans). Now, I sometimes I think this comes from people who have never actually worked for a large corporations and who have never noticed the fact that in most big companies, the fact that anything gets accomplished seems like a minor miracle. An example of extreme productivity, they are not.

The latest example of corporate genius arrived in my mailbox yesterday. NStar, our electric company, recently offered us the chance to commit to consuming electricity generated exclusively by renewable sources--wind, solar, geothermal, or hydro. For an extra $5 per month, we could feel we were doing the "green" thing. We're liberal, lefty, tree-hugger types, so we bit.

So yesterday, a long cardboard tube arrives in the mail from NStar. It cost $1.64 in first class postage to mail it to me. What could be in this special mailing? A special solar panel for my window? A small little windmill to generate extra power. Compact fluorescent light bulb?

Nope. A little green flag and a stick. And a letter that reads:

Dear Customer,
Thank you for choosing NSTAR Green!

Your decision has demonstrated leadership in your community and a real concern for the environment.

In addition, you are supporting the development of renewable energy sources. Your participation in this program helps reduce fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions today, while ensuring the future viability of the renewable energy industry.

As further evidence of your commitment to the environment, we encourage you to display the enclosed flag to demonstrate to your neighbors your enthusiastic pride in this initiative!

So some genius thought that the first $5 of extra money we paid towards renewable energy would be better spent on an idiotic little green flag and the postage and packaging required to move it through the mail. Unbelievable. It's been a useful toy for Noah to wave around the house and pretend that he's in the Olympics, and I guarantee that the wooden dowel will soon be used as a pirate's sword, until the wrong person gets poked and it's taken away.

I'm a grown up. I don't need a little flag, and maybe NStar should try to grasp the concept that conserving energy and resources is as important as the way that energy is generated. A little sense doesn't seem like to much to ask.

1 comment:

M. said...

I just got the same thing in the mail today! What a waste of resources and money. I'm writing NStar Public Relations with the hope that they will curtail this. It completely contradicts the whole concept of going green. Jeesh. Glad to see I'm not the only person who's upset by this.