Greens and Misguided Do-Gooders
Usually the idealistic and the young are in the forefront of noble causes. In our modern world, we are in the age of instant communication. Those who take up causes, often do so without regard for effects caused by the changes they advocate. Often these martyred causes are good ones, but just as often, they are severely flawed.
I regularly get upgrade notices from those that I purchase goods and services from. A growing trend has been to switch from monthly statements sent in the mail, to “paperless” transactions, in which you either get an email or have to sign in somewhere to figure out what you have been charged for that company’s services. If you wish a monthly account sent to you, you have to pay an extra $2 a month.
All of this in the interests of saving our forests.
The Unintended Effects of Paperless Transactions
The pulp (paper) used for these paper statements comes from the by products of our forestry industry. No trees are cut down to get this paper. Now, the by product will just be discarded as useless waste. Revenue to forestry mills will decrease, the price of wood will increase, and no trees will have been saved.
But in their zeal for “doing the right thing”, Do-Gooders have increased the profit of the very companies that they love to hate.
How About a Monthly DECREASE of $2
I have yet to get a notice saying that if I agree to receive paperless accounts, my monthly fee will decrease by $2. The only notices that I get are that my fees will “increase” by $2 monthly if I ask for paper statements.
Other Negative Effects
Another more personal effect, is that when a statement comes in the mail, it is an envelop that you inevitably open. You see how much you owe, or how much you purchased, or how much interest you have been charged. It is vivid and real.
However, in a paperless transaction, there is no urgency to the notice, and no difference to the numerous advertisements, social matters, or emails received from anyone and everyone. Not a lot of people will intentionally go and search for their monthly statement. After all Ignorance is Bliss, isn’t it?
Another Do-Gooder Stupidity
In our rush to save our garbage disposal sites from the plague of plastic garbage bags, the repeated use of shopping bags has been mandated. If you want an unused bag, it costs $0.05. Not that I mind the $0.05, but this revenue goes nowhere except into the merchants pocket. None of this money goes to “green” uses.
Disposable and bio environmentally safe garbage bags have been around for decades. They literally disintegrate after a few months. Isn’t this a decent solution, and the cost is minimal.
Using garbage for the production of energy is growing rapidly. Garbage bags aid in this process. Yet no-one considers this.
GE Technology long ago figured out a way to burn garbage at high enough temperatures that the resulting energy far exceeds the energy used. But no encouragement for this process has occurred.
Most Important – Health Reasons
We publish a report below in which the obvious has occurred. Reusing grocery bags is a REAL HEALTH HAZARD. Foods scraps, runoff, or waste allows bacteria and viruses to grow and multiply, and every reuse of a shopping bag increases this danger.
Green shopping bags linked to stomach flu
By Denise Amrich, RN | May 9, 2012, 7:15pm PDT
Summary: An entire girl’s soccer team was infected with an outbreak of norovirus. The source: a reusable grocery bag that they ate cookies from.
The potential for “green” reusable shopping bags to carry dangerous pathogens has been discussed here on ZDNet Health in some depth. Past coverage brought up mixed feelings for readers. Some readers thought the issue was being blown out of proportion. Other readers thought that because I was openly discussing a legitimate issue with something “green” that I was in some kind of environmental denial (which is not the case).
The Journal of Infectious Diseases says this represents the first verified occasion in which the virus was transported by an inanimate object, and that, “this also illustrates one of the less obvious hazards of reusable grocery bags.”
Dr. Charles Gerba, a professor in the Departments of Soil, Water and Environmental Science at the University of Arizona who conducts research about the transmission of pathogens through the environment, issued the following statement:
“The latest outbreak of norovirus reinforces the research we have conducted about the propensity of reusable grocery bags to act as hosts for dangerous foodborne bacteria and viruses. In reality, reusable bags are likely at fault much more often than we realize: cases often go unreported and uninvestigated.
“The cause of roughly 70 percent of foodborne illness cases, the norovirus spreads very easily and symptoms include projectile vomiting and severe diarrhea. It can have such sweeping consequences as school and emergency room closures. This incident should serve as a warning bell: permitting shoppers to bring unwashed reusable bags into grocery and retail stores not only poses a health risk to baggers but also to the next shoppers in the checkout line.”
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