Green When Green Wasn’t Cool?

It is rare I share forwarded emails, but the one I am about to post, whom I do not know authored, struck many moral chords deep within, in that for so long, I have thought each and every line!

In a time when “going green” has become a household catch slogan—and unfortunately, a bandwagon PR and marketing tool for big companies to utilize in the hope of polishing their questionable images—the true concept and mission of lightening our footprints on the fragile biosphere by living a life where less can be discovered to be more—has been lost.

Let’s take a look back in time to discover that while certain threats to the world’s environments certainly existed, others, that we have recently introduced, did not! Just think if we could implement more of the ways of the old lady referenced below.

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that plastic
bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized to her and explained, We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.

That’s right, they didn’t have the green thing in her day.
Back then, they returned their milk bottles, Coke bottles and beer bottles to the store.

The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and
refilled, using the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But they didn’t have the green thing back in her day.

In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn’t have an escalator
in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and
didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two
blocks.

But she’s right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they washed the babies diapers because they didn’t have the
throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling
machine burning up 220 volts wind and solar power really did dry the
clothes.

Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters,
not always brand-new clothing.

But that old lady is right, they didn’t have the green thing back in her day.

Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house not a TV in every
room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a pizza dish, not a
screen the size of the state of Montana.

In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn’t have electric machines to do everything for you.

When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used wadded
up newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut
the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power.

They exercised by working so they didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right, they didn’t have the green thing back then.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty, instead of using a cup
or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water.

They refilled pens with ink, instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But they didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar and kids rode their bikes to school
or rode the school bus, instead of turning their mom’s into a 24-hour taxi service.

They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of
sockets to power a dozen appliances.

And they didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But that old lady is right. They didn’t have the green thing back in her day.

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 1:53 PM No comments:

CURB THE JUNK MAIL WASTE STREAM TO YOUR HOME

For as long as I can recall I have hated junk mail. Credit card offers, coupons, catalogs, insurance, grocery ads, or just anything I did not solicit on my own. I have no problem of being informed from time to time about a product, service I have shown an interest in—-or a worthy cause I have supported. However, in recent years, the stream of unwanted mail that goes above and beyond the occasional update, has seemed to escalate to the point it has undermined any effort I took over the years to curb its flow.

I used to call every sender of junk mail that I would have never solicited and requested that I be removed from their lists—and—EVEN tried to create a mailbox that would only allow for standard sized envelopes to be delivered. That worked for a little while until the carrier started leaving junk mail elsewhere. Most recently, I wanted to take a stand to curb excessive junk mail once and for all when I discovered a whole new heap of it in my mailbox from sources I could not possibly trace to any purchase I made or submission of personal information. No matter how hard I tried to connect the dots as to how this mail could have found me, I could not. Maybe there is someone out there who does not like me and thought it cute to give my name to a supplier of urinary health and control products for the elderly, as well as a manufacturer of an electronic cigarette! Who knows?

How ever this mail must have reached me, it was either going to be recycled, burned or pitched as I have always done–and to be truthful, these are tasks I wish to not have levied upon me by a relentless direct mail marketing industry, or our very own post office management which must seem to feel it is ok for the public to serve as their dumping grounds. I called the post office and spoke with the manager on how to best deal with the new wave of junk mail assault. I was given a few numbers to call for those “do not mail” services that are supposed to stop the flow, (I have already tried this in the past and have had marginal success) but after the manager offered what she must have thought to be helpful tips, I had to wonder about their interest to curb it at all when she then tells me how much they depend on the delivery of junk mail these days to keep the US Postal Service functioning!

The manager insisted their funding from the government has reached an all time low. I immediately thought that if they would find a way to stop being the sole conduit for mass mailing from advertisers, perhaps they’d save quite a bit of operating cash that goes out to simply deliver unsolicited mail which most, the moment it is received, ends up in the trash can! I also had to wonder just when has the sole purpose of the US Postal Service become about serving the needs of advertisers sending unsolicited mail?

Sure, I can understand mail order business being of value to them due to the growth in internet usage which has all but eliminated anyone ever sending a real letter anymore—But I am not talking about the USPS serving the needs of customers who have ordered products/goods/services through mail; rather, I am talking about downright plain and simple unsolicited mail. I have little pity for the struggles of the USPS if in fact, their main function and source of revenue now depends upon them sending people garbage they don’t need or never asked for!

Because of all this, I have read a lot of the latest information about how to curb the junk mail. What was so illuminating to me was being reminded of the staggering and alarming waste of natural resources that goes into this whole direct mail marketing industry from the forest that produced the trees that supplied the paper, to the journey to the landfill where most of it still goes, and all the oil used throughout the production, delivery and disposal processes.

Even if some of the junk mail is recycled, such a process still consumes energy that did not have to be wasted in the first place. So, again, if delivering junk mail is the main source of sustenance for our postal service, perhaps they need to find a new sustainable and productive function in this day and age. Think about it: From life giving forest….to paper….to junk mail….to delivery…..to garbage can…to landfill! What a futile waste of natural resources. The act, in my opinion is about as productive as bailing water out of a boat with a bucket full of holes!

The postal manger I spoke to basically justified the junk mail delivery for the sake of job preservation and her “just throw it away” attitude was a sad testament to the wasteful attitudes pervasive today. Her comments reminded me of the sentiment of the whalers of the 1800’s how they justified the endless slaughter of whales in the name of preserving the whale oil/product industry. The only difference is that we slaughter forests as the living entity. The old “destroy much to save little” ideology! (The end of the hey day of whaling didn’t give way to any kinder of an industry, but that is another story!)To top it all, the manager added that any junk mail returned or left behind is NOT recycled by USPS! The question I left her with was simple: Do you really think this is a wise use of limited resources? Well, if she didn’t think of today, maybe she will think of tomorrow and her children.

Finally, I want to take this time to pass along helpful websites that I have discovered to be very helpful in curbing the stream of waste and environmental destruction caused by junk mail. Here they are:

1. STOP THE JUNK MAIL MONSTER: http://www.ecocycle.org/junkmail/index.cfm#step7

2. 41 POUNDS DOT ORG: http://www.41pounds.org/

3. DIRECT MARKETING ASSOCIATION: https://www.dmachoice.org/dma/member/home.action

(Oh, by the way, here is a little tip too…. Just save all your junk mail in a box, black out your address on all articles….then send it back to the post office or the last or most frequent mailer of junk mail with a note that states: “YOU ARE THE WINNER OF THIS MONTH’S JUNK MAIL AWARD!”…. No, just kidding… seriously, don’t try that at home folks!)

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 3:39 PM No comments: