Tuesday, December 7, 2010

this may make me unpopular

BUT, I must get this off my chest. I am so sick of hearing things that drive me crazy, things that are not factual but based in green eco-friendly myth... so this is just one side of a multi-faceted problem we have today. And, please, let me know what you think.

Ever wonder where the economy went? Try looking in your recycle bin

A friend on facebook recently told everyone to take their name off as many catalog mail lists as they can- to save the trees...

Myth- by not printing a catalog you save a tree... false. This is down right stupid and it drives me nuts. Listen, I am pro-environment, I am but this is just bullshit. Actually, there are logging laws. You cannot import trees/pulp into the US without documentation and paper trails. In fact, there are now multiple organizations that do just that- research the hell out of where the trees come from. Mills own huge forests that they log and turn into pulp. They then re-grow these forests. So, actually there is no tree saved. People in America aren't out tearing out rain forests so you can get your Pottery Barn catalog. And, recycled paper sometimes isn't as healthy for the environment (think chemicals) as it is to grow a tree and cut it down and replace it with another tree. I know, we want to be sentimental about the trees but here is what we are NOT sentimental about- the jobs. Do you know how many people are, or should I say were, employed in the paper, print, and distribution industries? Thousands have lost jobs in the last year... that is right ONE year. Think about your local mailman who is about to lose his job or have his pension cut. Think about all the mills that have gone out of business, printers laying off workers and it trickles down to catalog companies hiring less people to answer calls, and less designers needed to lay out pages, and trucking companies not hauling loads which goes to people not having jobs at local malls. These people who you say are not necessary are incredibly valuable to us, they are part of our economy PEOPLE. These are the people buying houses, cars, groceries, eating at restaurants, shopping, IN YOUR TOWN. But, we DO have nice shiny smart phones and apple products... made OVERSEAS. It's not about a carbon footprint. Do you know most printing companies capture their exhaust and use them to supplement heat their plants? So, it is not like there are these huge puffs of smoke going out into the atmosphere... it's just not so.

Itunes.. ever talk to a song writer about how he/she gets paid? Ask them how fast they get a check from itunes. Ask them if they think the check is accurate? Oh, yeah, let's not forget that we have done away with all the record stores, no body wants them right. What about the people who sold them or the companies that made them, made the packaging, etc. Sure, an ipod is convenient and it is conveniently made in... google it it rhymes with SHINE-Ah. I am not hating on the Chinese but we have to realize every decision we make effects our own pockets or gives to someone else's. Why is it we are in such a hurry to ship jobs out when we desperately need them at home?

And then there were books... don't even get me started. I appreciate an e-reader, I really do. But I love the smell of a book. So there are no more book stores, well there are the mega brand stores that mostly sell more $5 coffees than books now, and certainly no locally owned book stores. Again, no one printing the books, shipping the books, etc. I feel so green- I saved a tree, we didn't use the gas to ship it! Nope, we gave that away again to another country and laid off thousands of workers. Think there is no carbon footprint in shipping from China to US? Think there aren't serious labor issues in China? THINK AGAIN- and keep supporting that but you save a damn tree, make that a theoretical tree. WE have to protect OUR planet but WE have to be smart. I am so sick of people jumping on band wagons and not thinking about any consequence.

Yes, technology is a good thing. No, it is not the devil, but let's think about it. We are a nation that makes NOTHING. I think this is our problem. Our economy flew out the window... no ma'am it did not. We gave it away. We couldn't wait to sell it off. So now what do you do? Make an app for a $1? Like for instance, does ANYBODY write a letter anymore? Is the art of the love letter now an email or a sext? And, I really freaking hate text messages. We don't talk anymore, we prefer to text.

It just really bothers me that so many people are unemployed and we make nothing as a country. Unlike paper, you cannot recycle our economy. I am all about being green but I think we need to think about if we ARE actually being green or if we are being e-friendly. The two are confused. Someone tell me how you recycle an ipod? An old laptop? Sure you can but there are environmental risk factors there, too. And how many old devices do you have? We need to figure out how to do that better than add plastic and LED screens to dump piles- because that stuff is more toxic than OLD PAPER ever was!!

To conclude, because you are sick of my rant and hopefully getting the point... I think the only way we are going to get the economy fixed is to make something (a product) and employ people. So, please put down your iphone and think about that for a minute. That's all I ask...