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A small change in the carbon footprint

7 August 2009

Starting today, new  ten, twenty and fifty centavo coins go into circulation.   Small business people find the small change (especially the ten centavos) difficult to work with, and often prefer to set prices at the peso amount.  Larger businesses (with automated systems) — especially chain stores — often ask if you want to donate the odd centavos to some charity like the Red Cross.

nuevasmonedas-espThe current ten centavo costs more to produce than it’s worth and the Banco de Mexico actually did studies of what people pick up when they drop their change.  People who drop ten centavos don’t much worry about it.

Although it’s already tiny (dismissed by gringos as “tiddlywinks”) the ten-centavo coin is being slightly reduced in size.   The present twenty and fifty centavos will use the same design, and — unlike the present 12-sided brass-alloy coins, will be, like the ten centavo, made of stainless steel.

The biggest reason for the change in change?  It takes less energy to produce steel than to produce brass alloy, and the cost and energy savings aren’t chump change.

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