10/17/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Runnin' on Dunkin' and Proud, Sort of

I love Dunkin' Donuts.  I love the way they taste and the way I feel
after indulging in them.  I don't eat them often.  Donuts, in general,
are not the healthiest choice in eating you can make, but then, not
everything you do has to be good for you. But when the Dunkin' Donuts
corporate office decided to couple its "Six for Three" bagel promotion
with an environmental program, I had a hard time buying into it.  As a
native New Yorker, I have to dispense with my ideas about what a bagel
is.  If Dunkin' Donuts can sell these "bagels" more power to them (but
let's just say if it's round and has a hole in it, that doesn't
necessarily mean Dunkin' Donuts will be good at making it). 

For its environmental promotion, Dunkin' Donuts is remaking its
in-store banners into Dunkin' Donuts tote bags.  Franchisees recycle
their store banners to reduce waste in their communities.  The "Six
for Three" banners will become the first round of totes, going to
loyal customers and hard-working employees as merit awards.  According
to Missy Maio, Manager of Field Marketing for Dunkin' Donuts in the
Central Atlantic Regions, "This two-tiered program offers our
customers a great value option and marks a small, symbolic step in
increasing our commitment to the environment."

Is it unreasonable to think that this is probably not the most
effective way to promote a truly healthy environment? As a matter of
fact, this is a small step and one that could have been much larger. 
Perhaps, a switch to more cost-effective lighting and HVAC systems
would actually make a larger impact on the store's carbon footprint. 
And then there is the idea of recycling any used vegetable oils (if
there are any) for biodiesel fuel to run the many Dunkin' Donuts
trucks. Or no more styrofoam coffee cups. How about giving customers a
discount for bringing in their own coffee mug and donut box?

As I stated, I love Dunkin' Donuts, but I'd I'd rather eat my
wonderfully delicious donuts in peace and quiet than be distracted by
a "green" promotion that blurs the lines between true, responsible
environmentalism and a cynical marketing ploy.