Cracker Barrel on Regulating Responsibility

Business and the Environment

“When a cap-full of soap isn’t a good thing”

Interesting article in the NYTimes two weeks ago.  The topic is rather trivial.  How much soap should one use in the dishwasher?  If I don’t see suds in the washing machine, have I done something wrong?  How many dryer sheets are really enough?

When I read this article, I thought back to some of the laudable things companies have tried in order to limit their environmental impact – changing to concentrated detergent for instance.  The change to concentrated detergent saved money for retail stores on packaging and shipping costs, but without consumers breaking age-old habits of always using a cap-full of detergent this may have had a negative net effect.

Intuitively, before concentrated detergent you needed a full cap full to wash a load of clothes.  Now, you only need a fourth of a cap full.  But, wait, what if people are still using the old amount of the new and improved detergent?  Doesn’t that mean that now 4 times the amount of chemicals are going to the waste water treatment plant with every load?

Maybe the real question isn’t how do we sell people a more environmentally friendly product, but how do we get them to use the environmentally friendly amount?

Originally posted: 3/21/10


Filed under: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: