Teaching on the Phone

ngjune04Even though it was a snow day, I still got to educate someone about sustainability.


Me: Hello?

National Geographic Representative: I’m calling from National Geographic.  We’re going to send you a free satellite map and a trial of our new video to thank you for being a customer.

Me: Oh, that’s nice. 

NGR: After your 14-day trial, you can either purchase the video or send it back to us for no charge.

Me: Oh, then why don’t you just cancel the video now.  I’d like to save on any unnecessary shipping.

NGR: Well we won’t ask you to pay for shipping.

Me: Haha! I’m not talking about money, I’m talking about fossil fuels.

NGR: What?

Me: You know, greenhouse gases.  I’d prefer to limit those.

NGR: I don’t understand.  Us shipping a video contributes to greenhouse gases?

Me: Yes.  Shipping items across the country burns fossil fuels, leading to pollution and greenhouse gases which cause climate change.  I’m not going to purchase your video, so sending it back would mean more shipping.  I’m just trying to do my own little part here for the environment.

NGR: Um, okay…  Well if there’s anything else we can do for you give us a call.

Me: Thank you!

Haha! Have I turned into that crazy person who’s trying to educate anyone unfortunate enough to talk to me?  But seriously, I would expect someone who works for National Geographic to be educated on the issue.  I do love National Geographic.



Filed under Home, Sustainable Living

10 responses to “Teaching on the Phone

  1. Ruth

    How clever! I’m going to borrow that line next time I get one of those calls!

    Bravo for you!

  2. David

    Next time you might want to also ask them why they run so many advertisements for SUVs and trucks in their magazine, or promote tourism. Both of those increase CO2 emissions as well.

  3. ~G

    I LOVE it!!! Good for you for speaking so eloquently and on cue. FABULOUS!

  4. Mom- Thanks.

    David- This guy on the phone was clearly not an authority… just reading from a script. I don’t think he’d have the kind of answers (or even access to the kind of answers) we’d like to hear. To be honest, I hadn’t noticed SUV/truck ads in the few issues I’ve gotten since I subscribed. I mostly look at the articles online.

    ~G- That’s what I do! As I told my students today when I recounted the story “It was a teachable moment.”

  5. Oh my gosh that’s funny. You go!

  6. Apparently back in the 90s in California, department stores were fixing cosmetic prices and as a way to fix the damage, certain brands were forced to give away certain products at every department store in the U.S. The options ranged from mascara, to moisturizer, to perfume; everyone who went got one item per department store. It was very cool!

  7. Lauren

    I was at my local burrito place, where I always turn down a plastic bag and walk out with a foil-wrapped burrito, and a new employee was behind the register.

    When I said, “No bag.” He looked at me funny and said, “You got something against plastic bags?”

    Haha. Funny you should ask. “Umm…it’s a big waste. I live two blocks away and will just have to throw it out when I get home. Plus the burrito is a great hand warmer.” Smile. Walk away.

    Yes, I guess I do “have something against plastic bags.”

  8. This cracks me up! I do this kind of thing, too, and my family gets completely embarassed.

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