We got our Girl Scout Cookie fix early this year.  Mr. Apron brought them home from work, where 2 coworkers are selling them (assumedly for their daughters, but I see more adults shilling the cookies these days…).  He bought the lame peanut butter sandwich cookies, which don’t even have a proper name, and also a box of Thanks-a-lots. 

Thanks-a-lots, which were new last year (or recently, at any rate), are the best cookie there is.  Yes, Thin Mints have their die-hard fans, and Samoas do satisfy a certain need for junked up cookie + caramel + chocolate + coconut, but Thanks-a-lots are special.  They have the gimmick of the phrase “Thank You” printed in different languages on their circular surface, but at the basest level, they’re just shortbread dipped in fudge.  They are beautiful dipped in tea, as the fudge melts ever-so-slightly, and the cookie soaks up the yummy warmth.  They’re excellent following a snow-day meal of soup.  They’re just the best.

The cookie is no different this year.  The packaging, however, is.  From the GSA’s PR department:

“It’s Girl Scout Cookie time, and this year’s sale demonstrates thinking outside the box—literally.

“In a pilot program, “Thanks-A-Lot” Girl Scout Cookies, a shortbread layered with fudge and embossed with “Thank You” in five different languages, will be packaged only in its film-overwrapped tray, discarding the use of the traditional paperboard carton.

“Even though the cookies come in a different container, each package has the same number of cookies found in the traditional paperboard box, and the film-overwrapped tray keeps them fresh. Both the film and tray are recyclable. In addition, the packaging change saves energy.”

To which I say, bullshit. Now, instead of a cardboard box I can recycle easily, I have to throw the whole package into a large Ziploc bag since the “film-overwrapped tray” does not reseal.  I cannot find the # the plastic is made of on the outer packaging, so I effectively cannot recycle it.  Many cities do not accept plastic for recycling.  And I am generating more waste with my additional plastic bag anyway. 

“The packaging change saves energy”?  It generates good PR for GSA is what it does.  If it’s so awesome for GSA, why didn’t they do it for all the packages, instead of just this variety?  Why didn’t they pack them up in resealable packages to preserve the cookie, too?   Why not use recycled containers?  Why not use eco-friendly inks?  Why not mathematically rearrange the # of cookies to minimize the surface area of packaging in the first place?

I’m not just ripping GSA a new one; I’m venting on the “green” trend so prevalent in commercial products in general.  I’m so sick of companies trying to swindle us into believing they’re good for the environment.  Oh, the Deer Park water is using a smaller cap so as to conserve plastic?  Good for them.  How about getting a reusable bottle and eliminating the need for Deer Park water altogether?  Equally nauseating is trend of the non-woven grocery bags being offered for sale.  They’re all made of polypropylene, so we’re using more fossil fuels (yes, it’s plastic) in order to fuel our need for reusable bags.  What’s wrong with a tote bag made of renewable resources, you know, like cotton canvas?  It seems all companies are doing these days is slapping a leaf or the word “green” on their packaging and calling it a day.  They’re still selling you a product, and more consumer waste products.  Girl Scouts of America is no different.

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