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Are we made to waste paper? Is it our nature to waste paper? Will there ever be a day where we “paper-waste” no more? Possibly, not really, maybe respectively. We may never live in a society where paper waste is non-existent, but the least we can do is use it more wisely. We use money wisely, we use timely wisely, but using paper wisely?
Merriam-Webster dictionary now includes “junk mail” and “junk E-mail” as additional definitions for the word mail. When the concept of a mailbox was created, certainly there was never consideration to the fact that something other than personal, wanted mail would ever be placed in the box. Today, collecting mail from a personal box, whether it be postal or E-mail, requires a garbage can in tow or a quick finger on the delete button. We could blame it on the government and say we are “government controlled,” when you learn that the USPS is fighting to keep your mailboxes full of junk-mail because “standard” mail (JUNK MAIL) “has become the lifeblood of the U.S. Postal Service and that jobs depend on it.” Hmm. The end of junk mail will jeopardize the jobs of thousands. In hard economic times like these or in any time, the loss of a job is not preferred. So, keep the junk mail coming?
Unless your child is disciplined beyond his years, a trip to the bank or post office involves picking up several “paper souvenirs” including brochures, deposit slips, etc. If these items make it to the car, the next stop for them is usually the garbage can. We start early with how we treat paper.
There may never be a day where paper waste doesn’t occur, but there are several things we can do to promote better uses (or none at all) of paper. If you are tired of receiving catalogs from “Bob’s Meat Shack,” when you’re a vegetarian or home decorating catalogs when your best piece of furniture is a tattered couch hanging on from your college days of 17 years ago, then make a choice and decide “what gets in.” If catalogs are not the problem, but regular junk mail is, then you can “get paid” to reduce it yourself or pay Green Dimes to do it for you.
All it takes is a few minutes to dispose of your paper in a recycling container so it can be recycled. If you do not have curbside pick-up, then you can always find a local recycling center. If you work outside your home, then hopefully, your office already has a recycling program. If not, then learn how to start one and become a ”green trend setter.” Many schools are already participating in recycling programs and it is a great way to involve children in the recycling process and educate them on consumption reduction.
As far as junk E-mail, if anyone comes up with ways to reduce if not eliminate, then please let me know.