Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day!

I've been following a wonderful blog for a while. I've been getting the emails for Whispering Earth since the end of last summer when I was trying to find something to do with the melisse I'm growing. This blogger has a few options. I love her posts. Based in England, she uses herbs from her garden to make tinctures, creams and healing salves. It seems everyday is earth day for her. This year she hosted a blog party. Her latest entry lists all of the bloggers who participated in her party. You can check it out here - or to the right on the blog roll. There is some wonderful reading to be had!

Inspired by the blog party I thought I'd post my own Earth Day post. It's on a slightly different vein though...a little bit rant-ish.

This morning I woke up early and went to Trader Joe's. I needed a new toothbrush and so I grabbed one quickly while heading for the coconut water. It wasn't until I got home I realized that I had picked up something awesome!This toothbrush comes in a package that is a mailing envelope. You can mail your toothbrush back to the company for recycling! Isn't that fabulous? Oh - and did you see? The envelope is made from recycled yogurt cups! And no - I don't think they just sanitize, repackage, and resell the toothbrush. Ahem. But I do wonder if I can just throw this in a mail box or if I need to take it to the post office... I'm sure a tooth brush is under 13oz? I was really thrilled about this because it was the second item I encountered this week that is trying to be more friendly to our little earth.

Sprint rolled out it's new billing envelope. My cell phone bill came last month with a lot of warnings and "heads-ups!" that my next envelope would also be the return envelope.
They weren't lying!
Here's this month's bill. Front: Back:
And after following the directions - the inside!
I love it! I know this is nothing new. Neflix was absolute genius at coming up with an envelope that could be used to send and return the dvd rental all-in-one several years ago. But my question is this: why is it taking other companies so long to design similar possibilities? I love the easy of popping the dvd in the envelope and throwing it into a mail box. Same with the tooth brush. And truth be told, I'd even be happy to take the package to the post office and drop it off there. It won't cost me a penny (pre-paid envelopes rock) and I don't have to figure out where to mail it to. Easy-peasy!

This all being said, my biggest conundrum for some time has been these stupid Pur water filters. For those of you unfamiliar with this product, you get this little Britta-filter-type thing for your faucet and your water is immediately filtered. The water in the Philadelphia area is a little bit suspect so water filtration of some kind is a necessity. But they are made of heavy plastic. I use mine far longer than I should because I feel so guilty about replacing the filter - and throwing the old one out. There is no recycling indicator anywhere on the filter. I've had big plans to save them up and then mail them to the Pur company and say "Hey - fix this!" But so far that hasn't happened. But the excitement of the above two mailing possibilities made me re-visit my conundrum.

I examined the box thoroghly today and it actually says: "RECYCLABLE" in tiny writing. Then in even teenier tinier writing; RECYCLING PROGRAMS FOR THIS PACKAGE MAY NOT EXIST IN YOUR AREA. Ah-huh. What exactly does that mean? Where DO they exist? And do they mean the product? Do they mean the package the product came in? This pronouncement is right under the text about their program for safe drinking water for children. ??? Talk about mixed messages.

Further investigation reveals this is a Proctor & Gamble product. This information was found on the very bottom of the package in the tiniest writing of all. Sigh. If you go to P&G's website (mind you, Pur has its own website) you find the web page actually has a tab for sustainability. There it states P&G's goals:

Our Long-Term Environmental Sustainability Vision

Our Vision, announced in 2010 includes:
  • Powering our plants with 100% renewable energy
  • Using 100% renewable or recycled materials in all products and packaging
  • Having zero consumer or manufacturing waste going to landfills
  • Designing products that delight consumers while maximizing the conservation of resources
Did you see that?
Having zero consumer or manufacturing waste going to landfills
There it is - 3rd point down. Here it is 2012...not doing too well on their goal are they?

I think at this point there is no excuse for this kind of nonsense. It would be so easy for the product package to turn into the mailing package. And as I said - I for one, would be happy to mail it at the post office. I would even be happy to pay the few dollars more for this product that has the easiest possibility for recycling over another product. Proctor & Gamble? - Get it together!

I'm sure P&G will not be looking at my little blog. So stay tuned - I will be sending all of my used filters to them with something close to this blog post. I'll let you know what happens.

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