Monday, July 25, 2011

‘Reduce, Reuse, And Recycle’ Has Become ‘Increase, Use, and Maybe Recycle’

     As a cog in the machine there are often things that are out of my control to change, and as a person who is acutely aware of the big global problem we have with deforestation, pollution, and global warming, it is frustrating to witness companies that are lax on their recycling guidelines.  That is, if they have any at all.  I don’t understand why it is so hard to have 2 different bins located throughout a store that is designated for recycling and one for garbage.  If my job is any indication of how numerous other businesses work, then there are thousands of trees killed each day for no good reason.
     There are plenty of times where I’ve had to print something and it either doesn’t come out right or it turns out I printed it out when I didn’t need to in the first place.  Each time that that’s happened, whenever I have to toss that paper out, I feel a slight pang in my heart.  I’m apart of the problem and that really annoys me and I’ll tell you why.  I strive to fix problems, not be apart of them.  There are times when I might not recycle when I have the ability to do so and for that I’m at fault.  But when there are times that I don’t have an option, like at work, I get frustrated that I have that choice taken away from me. 
     My company likes to pretend that it is a great partner in the fight against waste but if even 1 of their stores isn’t recycling their paper, that claim is a sham.  They have advertisements about recycling old batteries and the like but they could be doing so much more.  There’s not much hope, in my eyes, of the world really truly fighting for conservation and recycling when big businesses aren’t doing all they could be doing.  I’m not saying it’s feasible for every single business to have ten different garbage bins in every single building, office, or hallway they own and to guarantee every employee will deposit the right item in the right bin, but that’s not to say that that shouldn’t be a goal to strive for.
     But instead of finding ways to reduce the use of paper, my work seems intent on finding more ways to burn through paper.  They’ll find ways to make us fill out more paperwork daily on the customers we’ve helped, even if it’s info we fill out on other paperwork for them already.  They’ll have us tag products with signs that display the same info that other tags on the same product already displays.  I’m sorry, but if a customer is too blind and stupid to read a sign that shows a sale price on it, they shouldn’t be accommodated with a larger sign on the same product.  They’ll print off e-mails to give to someone else when they could just forward it to that person.
     It’s such a wasteful environment.
     I have coworkers that print out copies upon copies of the same sheet when they could just scribble the info they need on a scratch piece of paper.  Whenever I see pages being printed out at my work, I picture a tree that’s stood for hundreds of years falling in some distant rain forest.  I don’t know how people will be able to look future generations in the eye and try to explain how we had the opportunities to reduce the use of paper that came from trees that were vital in the ecosystem of our planet.  To those future generations I say this:  I’m sorry for being apart of the problem, in whatever capacity that is.
     That’s enough of that rant for now.
     More soon from the frontlines...