This morning I was paying the monthly bill for my SBC phone-DSL service on their website. Now, you might wonder why I need to pay for pathetic service like the kind I receive from SBC. But that is a whole different rant. Anyways, as soon as I logged onto their website, I was shown this big screen stating that I should switch to paperless bills. The page also said something about saving trees. My curiosity was piqued and I clicked the link. A cute screen with lots of cartoon trees popped up and asked me chose one of them. I chose a tree and a small note at the bottom displayed the tree's actual geographical coordinates and proudly proclaimed that it had been planted in October this year.
Wow! I was impressed. These people really meant what they said about saving trees. I thought I should sign up but did not as I could not find the link which confirmed that my switch would contribute to the tree-growth fund (which was what the cartoon trees were all about). The whole incident then slipped out of my mind.Till I returned home this evening.
I checked my postal mail-box as usual. A whole bunch of advertisement papers fell into my hands. After scanning through quickly to see if there were any envelopes caught in between, I tossed them all into the waste-basket without a second glance. Then it struck me. Wait a minute. I throw away bunches of useless paper away everyday and they seriously expect me to believe that my signing up to not receive the *two* papers that constitute my phone bill will save a forest?? I agree little drops of water make the ocean. But we are talking about a really miniscule drop in a really huge ocean.
If anyone is really serious about saving any kind of forest, the first thing to do would be to stop sending all these paper ads. Or at least send them only to people who are interested in receiving and reading them. The next thing would be to ban all credit card companies from mailing out offers. If I want a credit card, I will apply for one. A special ban must be put on the citicard group. I am not kidding - they sent me two credit card offers every week for a whole year. I have stopped receiving them recently only because they haven't located me yet at my new place. I have a lot more suggestions but the above-mentioned will be good for starters.
I doubt if any such ban will happen though. On one side all these self-righteous companies will urge to save two more pieces of paper and will plant trees. On the other side, a forest will vanish in less than the time it takes to say "tree" because some other company decided that everyone on earth has to be persuaded to own one of its credit cards. Is it just me or do others also feel that in a lot of cases, there is a lot of clean up done after the mess is made? Why not just stop making the mess in the first place? For example, why not just leave the tree as it is instead of turning it into paper first and then planting another tree in its place?