Thursday, November 02, 2006
Whole Foods has started selling wind cards. What are wind cards you ask? They are similar to gift cards, but instead of being redeemable for a product, they help the wind energy industry to market their product. Shoppers can buy cards in $5 or $15 amounts, representative of the cost of energy for an individual or a household per month, reported Planet Ark. The grocery store bought wind power in January to offset the company's dirty energy costs. Renewable Choice Energy, which is selling the cards with Whole Foods, provides the market with its wind power credits.
On the Renewable Choice Energy website, the company advertises a free gift card to Whole Foods if you sign up to pay for a monthly card. It is not clear, however, exactly whether the cost is meant to offset individual or household carbon emissions by purchasing clean energy, or if the money is just for industry marketing.
The idea of some sort of carbon card is not new. This summer, David Miliband, the environmental secretary of the UK, proposed a personalized carbon card system. Each UK citizen would get a certain number of carbon "points," which would be deducted depending on what that person did. Drive a Hummer and your points are spent in an instant. Thankfully, you can buy more. The system hasn't been implemented yet, so we will have to see if it works.
Regardless of the form they take, the cards are a nice reminder of what it costs to fuel the way we live, whether you buy into it or not.