Going Green is a big farce!
Are you sick of some of the bigger corporations and organisations with those big ‘going green’ claims? I am.
Let me cite a few recent conversations and issues I have had and will let you understand my feelings on this. I live in a
London borough, which claims itself to be ‘a better place to live’. Not sure from which angle – is it the constant in-fighting amongst the elected councillors or claims of corruption within the local papers or is it because of the council’s inability to deal with constantly growing problem of filth and rubbish all over the place. Apologies, I am digressing from my main topic of discussion (but, these big claims and corporate strap lines with no substance get me going!!). I have always been a bit confused why I could not recycle my used yoghurt pots and cereal boxes in the council provided recycling containers as most other councils encourage this or so I thought! While talking to a temporarily recruited agent who was visiting the local residents discussing the ‘recycling’ issues, the truth came out. I discovered that the councils are only interested in recycling the items which they are able to sell off! Confused? The items collected from the residents are passed on to other commercial organisations that use these to produce other goods after the necessary treatments and other processes. This is the reason why I cannot recycle my cereal boxes and yoghurt pots, because these commercial interests are not looking to process these leftovers. The council are not offering you the recycling services out of the goodness of their hearts or because they believe in ‘Green’ issues. It is purely a commercial enterprise for them and if it is not profitable, they are not interested. OK? Agree that they have made an investment in staff and equipment to collect the items that they do recycle, but who do you think paid for it? Them? I doubt it. Why is your council tax on the rise every year? The words ‘fat cats’, ‘MP’s Expenses’ and ‘Councillor’s expenses’ come to mind.
Another example is these online, self-service invoices. All these claims trying to be ‘more green’ by not sending out paper invoices to the customers by these fat cat Utility companies are a complete non-sense. In my naivety and ‘I trust all people’ thinking, I opt for online-billing (also called paper-free billing by some) with all suppliers of services who offer this facility. This includes BT, who you are about to hear about. At some of the properties, I manage, I have opted for paper-free billing, which as the name suggests saves BT from having to send me their monthly or quarterly bills and the obligatory additional pieces of paper to sell me other services products from their group or ‘carefully chosen’ partners i.e. anyone who is willing to pay them a fee to use their database. I recently discovered that I am only able to access the previous six month’s invoices when I log into my account. I needed some older invoices for tax and reporting purposes. So I thought, no problem, I will send out an email and get the older ones sent to me as pdf documents, which means that I still won’t be causing some paper prints. A company in the field of communications, surely, must have systems in place to do so. Hey no. I was so wrong. I received an email reply (surprisingly the very next day, which is ‘a result’ by BT standards), suggesting a charge of £4.60 plus VAT for every invoice if I wanted from over 6 month’s ago. Now, where is the justification in that? Is the process too laborious to generate an invoice for something I have already paid for, that they need to charge me such an extortionate fee? The only alternative is that I print out the invoice as it becomes available online for me every month/quarter, but I was trying to save paper in the first place by opting for the paper-free option. The purists amongst you might claim that computer systems with huge storage facilities also consume energy, but which is the lesser of two evils?
I rest my case.
Is being green only viable if it is commercially profitable for the big organisations? Do they have the right to preach us, ordinary citizens, to change our life styles to be more green if the above is an indication of their own behaviour?