Miles of Ribbon

When driving the roads in my neighborhood over the past few weeks, I have noted how much trash my neighbors, and really, all Americans, generate. It is downright obscene how much stuff we consume and throw away. During the holidays, the problem is exacerbated by the huge amount of paper and plastic waste produced by gift giving. The packaging and gift wrapping industries have little incentive to eliminate their lucrative multi-billion dollar markets, so the amount of single use items continues to proliferate. Sure, recycled materials have found their way into packaging, but how much of a difference is that really making? The real issue is consumption.

A November article in the Washington Post said that, “If every family in the United States saved and reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of the trimming saved could tie a bow around the planet.” That is sick. When I read that, and then drove by a neighbor who was lugging four times his normal garbage load to the curb, I thought about an International Herald Tribune article that I read when in Geneva last summer. The article described how the tony Long Island town of East Hampton, New York has “pay as you throw” trash disposal. The article goes on to say that, “…that you become intensely aware of how much garbage you generate, and intensely motivated to generate less.” What an unique concept! This proves that most things in life are about incentives, or the lack of incentives. Read the book, Freakonomics and you will become blissfully aware of how incentives work. You can even keep up with the authors’ fresh ideas on their New York Times blog.

The same argument about incentives can be made for gasoline consumption as trash consumption. Unless people are given a strong reason to reduce consumption (often through higher prices), then patterns of use and abuse will not change. Our family wishes that everyone else would care as deeply about how much household waste they generate, as we do. At the most, we throw out three small bags of garbage a month. We reuse much of the packaging that we consume. We compost our food waste. We recycle all our plastic, metal, paper, and cardboard. When you take these steps, your true net garbage is next to nothing.

1 Response to “Miles of Ribbon”


  1. 1 pcale 16 January 2008 at 2:25 pm

    I couldn’t agree more! We reuse and reuse and reuse ribbon so much that right after Christmas, we iron it so that it’s not crumpled or wrinkled for next year – and it looks just like new!! And, I reuse tissue paper, boxes and gift bags – sometimes for 4 or 5 years until they get grungy looking. It’s not about being “cheap” – it’s about being smart and responsible. It’s very simple if people just took the time and effort – and it’s not even noticable.

    Great job on your blog, Scott! (Now, I’ve got to get back to work)…

    Ciao


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Horst Engineering

Thread Rolling Inc.

Sterling Machine

Horst Spikes

Instagram

Not a bad way to cap the weekend. @patriots #nepatriots #patsgame #patriots 🏈 Two days of #crawfordnotch views sandwiched with @appalachianmountainclub meeting. Cycling on Rt. 302, #trailrunning on the Crawford Path, and Mount Willard. #newhampshire 🚴🏽🏃🏻⛰ Sites and sounds from Day 2 @gpgloucester #gpgloucester The fog was burning off by the end of the Cub Juniors 9-14 year old race.

#horstspikes #cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross #horstengineering #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #madeinconnecticut #madeinnewengland #madeinusa 🇺🇸 It was great to see so many friends at today’s Western #Massachusetts Athletic Club Monroe (Dunbar Brook) Trail Race. We all ran the 2-Miler. We couldn’t stay long after the finish, but we did see Kelsey Allen win overall in the 10.5 Mile main event. Hooray! #trailrunning 🏃🏻 Before and after the Western #Massachusetts Athletic Club’s Monroe (Dunbar Brook) Trail Race in the #Berkshires I rode (very wet) over from Savoy Mountain State Forest where we camped last night. On the ride along the #DeerfieldRiver I checked out #ZoarGap and then we walked down to the river to see the Tooth. Sadly, the kayakers had already passed through. The foliage turned overnight. #trailrunning #cycling 🚴🏽🏃🏻⛰ #Cyclocross racing in the morning and downhill #mountainbiking @thundermountainbikepark in the afternoon. We got in two late afternoon runs on rental bikes and are pumped to return for more fun in the future. #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #thundermountainbikepark #berkshireeast 🚵‍♀️⛰ 30 kids in the 9-12 year old Race at the #mansfieldhollow #Cyclocross That’s just awesome! @the_ccap #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #crossspikes #crossisboss This image was from pregame, but approaching halftime @uconnfootball there aren’t many more fans than you see here. 35 (Memphis ) to 21 (UCONN) is a lot of points in 30 minutes of #football #uconn This morning I got to hear Warren Rustand, inspirational entrepreneur and fellow @ypoglobal member, speak at a #ypo Connecticut River Valley Chapter meeting. It was fitting that the event was @riverfrontrecapture and literally ON the #connecticutriver I walked from @horsteng via my favorite train bridge. The 10 minute trip back to the plant was ample time to reflect on the #leadership lessons that he shared with our group. @garyrome and I decided that we should memorialize our time with this dedicated athlete, by requesting that he join our photo. #horstengineering #business

Follow me on Twitter

Categories

Archives

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 284 other followers


%d bloggers like this: