It may seem counter-intuitive to think of a big box store as a place to go to help save the planet. But as they said when I started my psychology and social work degree: "You have to meet people where they are!"
And so it is with convincing a population of gluttonous consumers who rarely think beyond the past of their own increasing ass, or beyond the distance of the exponential belt lines. If you want to teach a nation of greedy pigs how to use less and conserve so that the Planet has a chance to catch up with our ravenous appetite for power, you have to take it to the Pig's Trough.
I have a Costco Card. I'm not going to pretend I'm not among the oinking. I may be a consumer pig, but I'm not a liar. I've wandered up and down the aisles of Home Depot, salivated at the horn of plenty of a Lowe's Home Improvement Store.
The way to make us want more is to convince us that there is more than we could possibly want. And like compliant little bovine, we set out to prove the prediction that we couldn't possibly finish it all a ridiculous miscalculation.
Big Box stores are places where you learn about "buying volume", and bulk supply. It's where you go when someone has convinced you that your family budget is going to magically go black because you bought 20 rolls of toilet paper instead of 4. Where you have to pay 50 bucks for a membership just to look at the wares. Where you get to the check out and see what you and your neighbors are buying and you stand there in shock wondering, "what in the fuck am I doing?!"
So I am at a loss to find anything wrong with the hottest craze, the biggest new thing, the new toy that the neighbor has that I ain't got showing up at the Costo Store.
The solar kits are “grid-tied” systems that include Grape Solar panels, inverters, and racking systems that are ready to install onto the roofs of homes and other structures. Grape Solar says the kits are designed to be expandable, so customers can start small and grow their system over time if they wish. In order to facilitate installation, Grape Solar has developed a network of over 5,000 installers who will be available to provide locally based customer support.
According to Grape Solar, it launched a test program in several markets starting in July of 2010. Customer response was apparently positive, so the program was expanded to include other warehouses in high-demand solar markets. Once the products are available on-line, they can be ordered and delivered to a buyer’s home in just a few days.
Grape Solar and Costco have teamed up to make buying a solar kit to install on your home, making "going green" as chic as flashing the fastest, gadget laden automobile up and down your block. There's the $18k 5060 Watter that would power a county fair. The nine thousand dollar economy kit that's more likely what a little bungalow like mine would need. Or the 880 Watt expandable kit that's really more of a tricked-out Muscle Generator.
"Look at the TEETH on this thing!! I'm thinkin' about taking these HUNTIN' with me next year!!" (Louie Anderson, mimicking his father marveling at his new steel jumper cables)
I'm fond of the realists who avoid talking about Climate Change as though it's a planetary crisis that we caused and have increasingly less time to fix, preferring instead to approach it as an opportunity to make a profit selling the items that fight Climate Change and create jobs designing new infrastructures. The Costco/Grape collaboration is one such opportunity. So now whether you're green-minded, or you're just a slop-slurping consumer who buys the newest iPhone, the fastest computer, the coolest video games and the biggest cars (whether you can afford them or not, because that isn't the point) ... outfitting your home with a new Solar Kit to save energy and help save the planet is not only possible but priced to buy before that asshole next door gets one.