Saturday, April 28, 2012

It's Not Easy To Be Green

  I was complaining to my environmentally friendly friend about my electric bill. It has doubled in the last couple of years. "The company's passing on the cost of those stupid windmills which are going to end up being a crock anyway."
 "It's about time you paid the piper," said my friend, smoke shooting from his ears.
     And then my employer built a new nursing home for me to work in. Not only is it beautiful, it is also the first totally green nursing home in the state. The first thing we workers noticed was the water saving faucets. These innovative devices mix air with a tiny amount of water. The water exits the faucet  with a force capable of removing the varnish from your fingernails. During the ten seconds you are allowed access, water redirects off your hands and sink bowl and covers the mirror, the counter and your face. It takes about a dozen paper towels to dry everything off. We were saving water but destroying forests. After receiving a waiver, we were permitted to remove the aerators from the faucets.
   And just yesterday Teresa asked me to sign us up to receive the prospectus from our investment company on line. Once a year we get a phone-book sized volume listing  thousands of investment opportunities which goes right straight to the landfill. I’ve felt guilty for years about not signing up. A little tree on the prospectus cover tells me I can prevent clutter in my mailbox, keep the landfill tidy, save a tree like him, and save his company the expense of complying with silly regulations about keeping its customers informed of their options.
  I am averse from making changes with any of the companies I do business with. It always results in heartache. But yesterday I sat down and logged on. Of course I had to open an account. Of course the computer asked me several questions about myself, “Because your security is important to us.” However the questions all referred to my son’s doings. I knew the answers and was tempted to use them, but that would be wrong. My son might inadvertently cash in my investments. I had to call tech service. We’ve all been there:  Explain everything in detail to three people only to be referred downstairs. “They’ll call you back later today, sir.”
  They did call back and I was able to log on, change my password, and change my preferences. “A tree will be planted in the Adobe Forest in your honor,” said the confirming e-mail.

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