More than likely, you’ve received the following notice (or some variation thereof) from your financial institution, mortgage company, credit card company, etc.

Acme Bank will begin processing our 2009 year end statements on January 2, 2010. All year end statements will be mailed on or before January 31, 2010. In an effort to be more eco-friendly in our approach to sending out year end statements, we will no longer provide the history on the year end statement.

“Eco-friendly”? Are they serious? What is so eco-friendly about cutting down on the amount of paper that they mail out each year? Paper, the last time I checked, was still a renewable resource.

And answer me this, eco-earth-day-proponents… If mailing out less paper is an example of being eco-friendly, then why do I still get junk mail, weekly ads tossed onto my driveway, flyers hung on my front door, and up to 18 different versions of the same Holiday (read: Christmas) catalog per merchant I do business with (plus another half dozen versions via the merchants I rarely do business with)?

It seems to me that sending out less paper has less to do with being eco-friendly than it does with saving printing costs, resource expenditures, and postage expenses.

This disingenuous view of being ecologically responsible was evidenced at my place of employment, recently, when a new initiative of daytime cleaning was implemented. The cleaning crews, normally dispatched in the evenings, when the office workers had gone home, now do their rounds during working hours. One of the driving reasons behind the initiative was that it was tremendously cost effective, since less money would be spent on utilities to support the cleaning crew at night. Another big “benefit”, we were told, was that such an initiative was environmentally friendly. As part of the marketing promotion for the policy change, we were even given plastic toy figures stamped with “Going Green” on them. Never mind the fact that the production of such items is, in itself, not a green activity.

So, the moral of the story is, in order to better sell an idea that minimizes your own company’s cost expenditures… simply stamp it GREEN.