So, in view of Earth Day, I figured, I can waste a little bit of e-space, create a little e-waste of my own.
Hari Kondabolu tweeted today “We have ‘Earth Day’ in the US, but we also have ‘National Egg Salad Week’, I believe this clarifies our position on the planet” (kindly-to-be-informed – HK is a brilliant comedian of Indian descent and to all those who want to yell out “Russell Peter” – shut up. They live on different planets, HK on an intellectual one).
So, on Earth Day, all you businesses that claim to be “green” by putting a green colored logo on their ads and ad – material and give out a “green tip for the day” in print and on their products – I want to applaud you and tell you “good job” like I would indulge a little child. The right idea, but, really, I think a young child would have a better sense of responsibility and awareness of the larger scheme of things than a lot of our ‘everyday businesses’ we deal with.
Case in point: Kohls. Ok, I admit, I have a Kohls card, love their jewelry, the store layout, they do make shopping easy. But in the recent months I have considered cancelling my card and not shopping there simply because I am pretty sure, they hate our earth. Why else would they send out 5 pages of heavy paper, wrapped in a plastic bag, sent to me every other week or sometimes every week, with yet another non-bio degradable peel off on the mailer that hides what percentage I can shave off my bill if at all I chose to shop there. Why can’t they average out the savings for everyone? At the store, a kind looking lady asked me to sign up for email list and I thought great, that way I can get rid of the paper solicitations. Oh no no, the paper assault continues. Not only that, I get a gazillion emails from them, I had to block them!
Here a suggestion Joel Stein made about yet another business “why doesn’t Bed Bath and Beyond just lower the price of everything in the store by 20%”. Nuff said.
Have you looked at a Nicor bill lately? I signed up for automatic bill pay ages ago but recently changed the plan and forgot to do the sign up for e-billing – that is a whole different procedure than automatic pay, so I got a paper bill (thick envelope, including a return envelope) with a bill that tells you that they will deduct the money in so many days. Who on earth understands anything written on those bills except for the owed amount? Even people who work there don’t know what half those charges mean. Just don’t bother telling us, take the money and leave us alone! Don’t stuff a bill with pages on “going green tips”, we have the internet. Even old people get online. And if they don’t, lets face it, they might not really care about going green.
If you put on a solar roof on the store and keep chopping down trees to market your goods – how much difference are you really making? Ask us right off the bat – “do you want to receive paper anything”. With any business transaction, please make it possible for us to also sign up for ‘electronic everything’ right there at checkout. If you are still taking the trouble to solicit us over phone for anything, your first duty should be to take us off the paper trail.
We are the ones who have to go to websites and sign our names and addresses to get on ‘don’t call / don’t mail’ lists – get verified that we really don’t want to be responsible for the slow painful death of the earth. We recycle meticulously, plan our trips so we don’t use too much gas, use public transportation (even the painfully slow ones that take a generation to reach anywhere), promptly refuse a coffee cup sleeve if we have to buy coffee when we forget our reusable mug, carry a steel water bottle everywhere even if it is a job to remember to bring it back, carry our own reusable totes and refuse plastic bags, refuse receipts, pay extra to buy organic and local, turn off (ok- well atleast think about turning off) all electronic devices at night and unplug the charger units, get our windows insulated, buy as many ‘energy star’ appliances not just to save money but also our dear earth. But we have to sit back and watch these businesses trying to take us for a ride, call upon us to applaud their efforts for this one day so that tomorrow, they can go about their daily task of demolishing a rainforest.