Nowadays many companies spend a lot of money on portraying a "Green" image to the public - the current customers or potential customers. One day there was an email from my credit card company asking me to switch to electronic statements and also asked to kiss good bye to paper statements! The reason stated in the email - it is their new "green" initiative. If I switch to 'e-statements' the company will plant a tree on my behalf, there by aiming to offset the carbon emitted to the atmosphere by somebody else or by their own office buildings. The email also had a nice digitally enhanced picture of a tree. The bottom line is to reduce their expenses on paper statements - which includes the cost of paper, printing, envelope and mailing charges. But the email puts a "green" cover to all those hidden motives. The credit card company collaborates with some tree planting initiative and they will give money to them to plant the trees. God only knows whether the tree actually gets planted or not. Instead of all these efforts, they can make some real efforts to reduce the energy bill of their multi-storied office complexes. That will be a true effort.
For the sake of argument, lets just say that they in fact gave the money for planting a tree for my simple action of switching to e-statements. Generally, it takes 5-10 years for a tree to grow to a decent size to start consuming some decent amounts of carbon. Just imagine how much carbon would have been emitted during that time. As per Greenfleet it takes about 7-17 trees to offset the amount of carbon emitted by 1 passenger car. Doesn't the marketing campaign by many companies like my credit card company seems to be a blatant lie covering their intended bottom line?!
But I did end up signing to e-statements with a hope that they do give some monetary help to improve the environment.