Many of us do things on a day to day basis that make us feel good about ourselves. Many of these things are considered “green”. Maybe you recycle a bottle, or walk to lunch instead of drive. Some of us don’t drive at all, and some of us drive a hybrid car. They do save a lot of fuel. What if you drive an electric car? Should you feel more proud than me for using less than I do?

I pulled into a Starbucks on my way to work this morning, right behind a woman in a Nissan Leaf. The popular 100% electric car was voted, “best car on earth” and it said so on her back windshield. Needless to say, she was proud to drive this car. We both get out, get in line and order coffee, her first. After they take her order, she reminds them that she brought her re-usable Starbucks cup and places it on the counter. The Batista  throws the other cup away and starts over using the re-usable one. The cashier we are in front of asks for the total and the woman pulls out her phone. Pulling up the Passbook app on her iPhone, she flashes the screen at the cashier. The cashier pauses for a second, looks at the phone with a crooked head and says, “alright one second.” She positions the phone a little bit, grabs a scanner from under the counter and spends about 4 seconds trying to scan the bar code on the phone, and finally gets it. The woman is done, no receipt, no paper, no tip.

My point here is that in all seriousness, this woman in front of me is doing everything right. At least for this portion of her day, she is wasting as little as possible. Her lifestyle (in the morning) at least is a green one. And by the sticker on the back of her car, you can tell she was very proud of this. This green way of performing daily tasks is still a little foreign to us. her constant blushing and RIDICULOUS sticker on the back of her car definitely says to me that neither her or anyone around her is used to this way of life yet. The car, the cup, the phone with a method of payment, it’s all unexpected. And is noticeable to anyone in the room. When it comes to the people making coffee at Starbucks, with no dis-respect to them, I don’t think they were expecting any of the green curve balls she threw this morning.

What this tells us, is that while we all want to be better at saving the environment and reducing pollution, we still feel a bit awkward about it. We design our electric cars to look really futuristic and become surprised when someone tries to pay with some non physical means. The idea that the woman seemed so obviously proud of her actions is a whole other topic that I hope to write about soon. I think, overall, the fact is that the technology to be green is there, but we are not. We are still behind, we are trying, and we are struggling. But, you have to start somewhere.