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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Corporations and the Environment

OK. , I'm not one of those super obsessed environmental folks that won't buy anything unless its recycled, has a compost pile in my backyard (mainly because I don't have a backyard) or clogs the rear bumper of my car with environmental dooms day stickers about how our children will need to wear gas masks to go out and play, and save the Polar Bears. It's not that I don't care about the environment, it's not that at all, but for one thing, I can't afford to just go out a buy a hybrid because its energy efficient, I can't swap out all my appliances for new energy savers no matter how much I would like, and frankly I can't always remember to carry in the cloth bags into the grocery store in addition to the diaper bag, car seat, oh! and the baby of course. But I do try to be conscious of my environmental footprints and monitor my energy consumption. My husband and I carpool, I try not to get plastic bags when it can be avoided- like when I'm shopping by myself and I just can't manage the monkey, his diaper bag and a paper bag I need carry. I stopped buying bottled water, which isn't really that big a deal since I hate water, and I recycle the plethora of aluminum pop cans (I'm from the mid-west and you will never hear me say SODA) I consume during the day.

Now, to the reason I explain all of this. My job uses an inordinate amount of paper, and I mean massive, extraordinary, mind blowing amounts of paper. My boss alone kills about a rains forest a day due to her compulsive need to print every single email she receives and attachments everyday, which amount to the hundreds. She prints so much she needs a printer in her office and still sends about 3 massive print jobs for me to print out per hour *yes she has made me an accomplice to this carnage.* The rest of the corporation is no better. Every month there is a board meeting, which consists of 9 members and everyone of them receives this large Webster dictionary sized booklet on the corporations action and consent items. The people don't even read the thing- every month. What really baffles me is the information is published on our website and can easily be viewed from a laptop. I mean people will copy large sets of papers and find an error in them, chuck them in the recycling bin and copy them all over again. It's good that they recycle but, I'm willing to bet that we are adding to the air pollution with the massive amounts of energy required to breakdown all that paper. Last time I checked, recycling took place in a large factory with most likely large amounts of coal emissions. I've tried to speak up and mention that maybe instead of copying all this paper, each board member be asked to view the docs on their corporate laptop decide what they want to print out, if anything. Then it wouldn't be the fault of the corporation, but I was quickly dismissed and hailed an environmental nut bag, which we have already determined is so not true.

If all corporations are as wasteful as mine, we are never going to make the kinds of environmental leaps that are needed to help this planet, without some serious legislative and legal requirements. Just my opinion.

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