Like so many others in the industry, Dell, the nation's largest retailer of one of the world's most eco-unfriendly products, computers, could stand to take some really positive steps in going green. While we appreciate their participation in The Green Grid and that recycling program they have set up, we'd still like to see them moving to ensure their manufacturing and materials are sustainable, envirofriendly, and carbon neutral. Unfortunately, they've once again sidestepped the issue with this latest leaf-on-a-hook we just caught wind of: the Dell Plant a Tree for Me program. Basically Dell's partnered with The Conservation Fund and Carbonfund.org to help donate money -- your money -- to the worthy causes. What that means is the next time you check out at Dell, you'll be presented with the option to cough up some cash -- a hundred bones is supposedly enough to make your purchase carbon neutral. (Note: even though the program was announced this January, even when we tried a few times we weren't presented with the option.)

Nope, Dell's not going to match all (or any) of your contribution, nor are they going to knock down your price or even cut the tax on your purchase. They're just making it easier to clear your conscience when buying from them -- but those who want a clear conscience without taking Dell's bait can always just hit up either charity directly: The Conservation Fund, Carbonfund.org.

[Thanks, Wilt J]