The E-mail Commentary from Eco-Justice Ministries
The Recycling Bug
I was scolded recently for something that Eco-Justice Ministries did. The fact that the rebuke came from an old and trusted friend helped me take the message seriously.
In early June, I mailed out a special fundraising letter to about 600 of our best friends. (If you didn't get a copy, and you'd like to, let me know! If you did get a copy, there's still time to send in a contribution!!)
One of those letters went to Gerald, a wonderful colleague in the movement, who has been working creatively and effectively for 30 years around issues of consumerism and justice. Gerald wrote back to say, "We wish you well. We only consider requests received on recycled paper."
The correspondence that I've had with Gerald over the last couple of weeks confirmed my reaction that this was a sincere and principled statement. He wrote, "We find it hypocritical that the church and many organizations claiming to Care for Creation do not take the baby step of using recycled paper."
Thankfully, I was able to reassure him that our mailing was done on paper with recycled content (although, I confessed, the paper was not composed of 100% post-consumer waste). I just had not put the little "recycled" logo anywhere in the mailing.
I explained to Gerald that I got out of the habit of putting the logo on things quite a while back when I was making up a series of resources that I expected other people to copy. I didn't want to print the logo on the original version, and then have lots of other copies made on "virgin" paper with the logo still there.
(Oh, OK. I also need to confess that it was an annoying little hassle to have to include the logo on everything that I printed. It was one more step to remember, and it sometimes messed up my tidy formatting. So, I often didn't bother.)
Gerald's response? "The logo is a must. We cannot be responsible for it once it's out of your hands. The logo is a testimonial, a reminder. All we can do is urge our constituents to use recycled paper, such as, 'Please copy this item on recycled paper.'"
Thank you, Gerald, for calling me to task on this lapse. It is not enough to have an internal policy about buying and using recycled paper. It also is important to use the logo in publicly claiming that stand on everything that we print.
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Gerald's statements reminded me of two occasions where similar concerns were raised.
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Some basic suggestions:
Eco-Justice Ministries * 400 S Williams St, Denver, CO 80209 * 303.715.3873
Home Page: www.eco-justice.org * E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org