[Sust-mar] environmentally responsible power

Paul Falvo pfalvo at chebucto.ns.ca
Sun Jul 2 19:08:17 EDT 2006

Dear Mountain Equipment Co-op:

I am a long term MEC member -- and a believer in your socially
responsible mission.

So it disappoints me greatly that you sell so many DISPOSABLE batteries.

WORSE -- you often don't even give members a choice. Most of your
bicycle lights come with disposables -- no other option.

How do you reconcile this with your mission statement: "We are . . .
striving for social and environmental leadership."?

Your practice of including disposable batteries not only contributes to
depletion of resources and polluting of landfills -- you are EDUCATING
people that throw-away batteries are A-OK.

Sure, you take them back -- at your stores. That is no good to the many
of us that live far away from stores. And Recycling as you know is not
as good as Reduction. Plus, this adds to your costs.

You don't sell motorised products. Why not extend this to
environmentally IRresponsible disposable batteries.

With your buying power, surely MEC could make a difference by requiring
suppliers to provide rechargeable or NO batteries ... instead of
accepting what they may offer. Just as your members reject less socially
conscious retailers in favour of MEC, I urge you to reject or work to
change suppliers that are not environmentally responsible.

You could be industry leaders by being the first Canadian retailer to
sell NO disposable batteries -- or include NiMH rechargeables.

At the very least, offer a discount to any member who declines the
disposable batteries that come with many of your products.

Even Lee Valley refrains from including batteries with many of its
products -- urging customers to acquire them locally instead.

I am sure you'll agree that becoming a leader in eliminating disposable
batteries would better fulfil your mission statement.

Paul Falvo
MEC member since 1995

cc: Sustainable Maritimes (sust-mar) email list [350 subscribers]

* We have an 'environmental crisis' because we have consented to an 
economy in which by eating, drinking, working, resting, travelling, and 
enjoying ourselves we are destroying the natural, the god-given world.
*                 ~Wendell Berry

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