Daily Archives: February 16, 2007

An ugly shade of green

I took the bus to Tesco this morning, for a big shop. It’s quite a long time since I last went there, as the Tavistock shops are now so convenient. But there are a few things Tesco has that I can’t find locally.

Since I last went, they’ve introduced “green points”, based on things they deem to be “green” (by what criteria I can only speculate). My big backpack apparently qualified me for several, presumably on the basis of not using carrier bags.

So far so good, even if the value of the points is mere tokenism.

The problem is, these are just clubcard points. Tesco’s clubcard is not a consumer-friendly scheme like, for example, the Coop’s. It’s a card that, at best, earns you discounts on selected items (their selection, not mine, and I’ve yet to see anything I want to buy discounted). And worse, the means of delivery is by utterly wasteful and anti-green junk mail arriving in your letterbox.

So, you have to be anti-green to qualify for green points. Jolly good. I ditched my clubcard years ago. A rather greener action, I think, than saving carrier bags (which I always keep for re-use anyway).

BTW, don’t get me wrong. I don’t subscribe to the “Tescos are evil” view peddled by some of the meeja (and politicians in search of a scapegoat). On the contrary, I thoroughly approve of what they’ve done to bring quality and value to consumers. And of what they’ve done to make themselves accessible to everyone (today’s bus, provided by Tesco, being just one example of that). When you’re as poor as I was around 2002/2003, you really appreciate the value of pasta at 12p for a 500g packet, and pulses at 80p for a full week’s worth of protein.