Does This Replace the Wafer I'd Get In Church?
My partial redemption card. I bought it. I bought it for $5 at Whole (Paycheck) Foods. It was a chance to blog, a chance to understand- sort of. But when I call for information, I'm asked to leave a message so they can call me back. What's the business model behind this I wonder? In all the little diagrams, a closed system of consumption is not what I'm offered- and it's what I expect.
This lovely hunk of plastic (it doesn't give a plastic type code on the back) is worth two hundred fifty kilowatt hours. Buying it, I ensure those hours get placed onto the national power grid! I wasn't promised those watts would be sold to anyone and no specification was given as to geography about where this was happening.
With environmentalism as the new religion, we're being asked to redeem our lifestyle by being consumers (at the low end of personal actions we can take). What we buy, how we live, whether we proselytize to others or not are all at stake; as is whether or not we cut SUVs, especially Tahoes and Escalades, off in traffic because (regardless of how many kids you have) we don't like the choice of vehicle you made with your hard earned dollars.
On the back I'm given the chance to "view my impact" with a Personal Impact Code. So I go to their site and type in my code and all the obligatory direct marketing coordinates (no fields can be left blank). Oh boy, I get to see my impact- I can't wait! Oh boy oh boy oh boy!!!
Here's what I get:
In 2007, Renewable Choice will launch an online home for our nationwide community of wind power customers.
Features will include:
Personal environmental impact tracking.
Offset pollution from driving, plane flights and events.
Create and join custom communities.
View and share environmental impact information and tips.
Was it the scorn and surprise in the Whole Foods cashier's voice when she asked, 'You're buying that?' that tipped me off? Or was it the full rack of plastic "lifestyle choices" this selection hung on that told me for sure this would be something (nothing) to blog about.
Did they think there would be a blind, unquestioning rush to be part of the solution by WF shoppers? It's like I've re-lived the lonely blind man scene from Young Frankenstein in context:
"OK, now. You have your five dollars. Do you? Do you have your five dollars? OK, show it to me."
"UNGHHHHHHHHHHHH" [bill has thirtysomething environmental redemption drool on it]
"OK, now let me scan it through the register. It'll just take a moment. Hand it to me. OK, it's alright, now hand it to me."
"Okay now stay here with me until sometime in 2007 we can log on to our computer and track our impact, okay?"
"It's alright, you won't be lonely. We have each other. We'll use wind power!"
PS- Sorry for the crap photo of the card. Believe me, in not seeing the fine print, you're not missing anything.