The first thing
I do is research the customer service program of the company that makes
that new car I have my eyes on. The last thing I want to do is
buy a product that makes one go to the dealer and pay $100 to ask a
question. The Internet and all its frauds has also taught me that
I don’t want an 800 number thrown at me with someone on the other
end who is struggling with my language and knows nothing about the environment
my car and I live in—mostly near zero many months of the year.
I’d also like
to know how much of the price they are asking goes to pay for advertising
and trying to sell people on something they shouldn’t be buying.
Money spent for this stuff just takes away the product’s value and
adds to my costs: costs I don’t want to pay for. Sell me the
car; don’t sell me 30% car and 70% BS. Sure, just send me the figures
on the ratio on this, I’d appreciate it.
This next step
I don’t bother the poor salesperson with, I go directly to the SEC
filings of the company to find the answer. I don’t make much
more than the average U.S. income and it’s fine with me if others
make more or less than I do. But I would like to know what the
management is pulling from the company making this machine that is waiting
for me. It better be reasonable or I’m not contributing, OK?
Just post it on the window with the price: that would save us consumers
a lot time.
My final checkpoint
is pretty easy, and it would be helpful if this would just be placed
on the sticker, too, with the price that no one ever pays. My
1996 Ford gets 25 MPG and that’s too much if I am going to follow
Czar Gore’s mandate to shrink our carbon footprint on this planet.
It would probably last another five years with care. Now how much
carbon would be emitted in making the new car? I’d sure like
a new MINI, but how much energy would it take to turn out this shiny
new gem? If keeping my loyal old Ford for five more years would
amount to less of a carbon footprint and suck of energy, the better
environmental answer is drive what I have. When do the lines cross
and I can get a new one? Until I know that, I’m staying green.