Posted by: JDM..... | October 11, 2012

Save a tree…..

Pffft…! I’ve been nice to trees ever since I murdered that one with my father’s Buick back in ‘64…..

I seem to spend a lot of time lately unsubscribing from e-mails to which I never subscribed in the first place. Among the perennial and sundry Amazing Widgets That Will Change My Life, But Wait, If I Call Right Now….. come-ons, I’ve been on a mission to get rid of the smarmy invitations from various utilities and credit accounts to grant unknown persons in unknown locations around the globe open ended permission to slither into my bank account once a month to paw around and remove what they deem appropriate for their needs.

I’ve never understood that whole concept. Even my lawyer can’t get into my bank account until after I die, and the local police would need to sell their case for a warrant before they could do so. Yet apparently, a whole lot of people think it’s a great idea and have bought into the pitch that they’ll be saving trees or some such pap. No fool, I.

According to one Googled source of opinion parading around as fact, which nevertheless looked as though it had been determined through some actual thought, one cannot really put a figure to the question of how many items of any kind can be made from one tree. There are too many variable to consider, such as species and size of tree, and variable characteristics of the items themselves. Be that as it may, the site proposed some consistency in how many of various items could be made from a cord of lumber or pulpwood, and some standard for the number of cords that an acre of forest land could be expected to yield. It went on to say that 10-15 cords might be harvested from an acre of mature growth trees. Thus, one might estimate that 61,370 standard (#10) “business” envelopes could be made from a cord of pulpwood. Wow, I could get nearly a quarter of a million number ten envelopes out of my tiny yard if it was a mini-forest! But, it’s not, so I couldn’t.

I haven’t lived in a town with at least 61,370 people in over thirty years. In fact, the “big” city near my village of 148 families has a population of about 17,000. Considering that, my garage covers more ground than would be required to produce the envelopes used for a years worth of quarterly bills sent out by the water company.

On the other hand, while I’m not left jaw-dropping awed by the contribution I could make to the future of the planet by saving three fifths of a tree during my lifetime, I am rather impressed by how much money various enterprises might realize by getting free passes to their customers’ bank accounts and not having to pay for paper and postage.

During a previous socioeconomic incarnation in a faraway place some forty years ago, I made my living selling such things as number ten envelopes and printed forms designed for billing purposes. While the advent of computers and digital technology long ago sent my former profession the way of the buggy whip, with most businesses now designing and printing their own stuff, they still need the raw materials and somebody makes a living selling those items. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that Joe’s Water Company and Used Auto Parts can save a bundle by talking customers into letting Joe have the keys to the strongbox.

I have no objection to that. Business is business, and I’m all in favor of free enterprise. Along those lines, however, and considering how my getting a merit badge or a bag of cookies from the local garden club for allegedly saving some shrub doesn’t mean Diddly-squat compared to my contribution to some CEO’s Bentley payment, simply by granting some gum snapping clerk permission to raid my piggy bank on a monthly basis, it didn’t take me long to decide that I don’t want to play.

Now, on the other hand, if they sweetened the pot to include a Bentley for me, too, or some comparable perk, I might reconsider, since the value of what I would gain would certainly outweigh the value of what I would be offering in trade, vis a vis my bank account.

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