As I was driving home this evening I couldn’t help but notice the staggering number of little slips of paper on my dash. Our office is in a part of town with a lot of parking meters. Most of the old school meters have been replaced with the single kiosk that accepts credit cards.
As I was pondering the paper, it occurred to me that while most things are moving toward a leaner, greener footprint, the parking meters are actually going the other way.
Old school parking meters require no electricity. They generate no waste paper. They don’t involve dial up or broadband networks to process the transactions.
Moving to a system that is more “efficient” has actually moved us to a system that generates paper waste and consumes electricity (albeit relatively small amounts) for the computing power to handle the credit card transactions and keep the kiosk running.
At a time when we say we want things to be more green, we’ve replaced almost the perfect green model with one that is arguably the anti-green solution. It just demonstrates that our commitment to environmental friendliness ends when we can come up with a solution that makes our lives a little easier.