Published: Jan 27, 2011 9:41 PM EST
Updated: Jan 27, 2011 6:48 PM EST

You might file this one under the heading:  Sounded like a good idea at the time.
A local restaurant has tried and dropped a 4% environmental surcharge, tacked on to every bill.  The extra money would go to make the restaurant, Big Al's City Grill in Collier County, more environmentally friendly.

"It doesn't really disturb me, but I think they could have alerted us, about what we were participating in," said Kevin Phillips, when informed he had paid an extra 4 % for his lunch at Big Al's earlier this week.

The restaurant calls it an experiment, a test, that did not raise enough money to be continued.

Spokesman Richard Karp told WINK:  "Our average bill at lunch is 10 dollars.   So the fee would raise 40-cents.   It's just not enough to justify the fee.    We figure it would cost 1-million dollars to convert one restaurant to all green, including solar power."

However, the restaurant had planned to do the same thing at its 2 locations in Lee County, if it had worked.

It highlights the dilemma that restaurants and other businesses face, when trying to go green.

"It is very cost prohibitive," said Bonnie Grunberg, owner of Oasis in Ft. Myers.   "We have bought two electric cars to deliver food in the downtown area, but we can't afford to do more, much as we would like to.    And charging the customer is not the way to go;  they would see it as an additional tax on the consumer."

Big Al's says it will refund the  4% to any customer that wants the money back.