Subject: EPA: Recycling Eliminated More Than 50 Million Tons of Guilt in 1996
Date: Mar 30, 1997
From: McInfo volunteer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
from: The Onion (http://www.theonion.com/)
EPA: Recycling Eliminated More Than 50 Million Tons of Guilt in 1996
WASHINGTON, DC--According to an Environmental Protection
Agency report released Monday, nationwide recycling efforts
eliminated more than 50 million tons of guilt in 1996. The figure
represents the greatest reduction in consumption-related guilt among the
American populace in over a decade.
"Thanks to community-based recycling programs across
America, landfill waste was reduced by some 70,000 pounds--or
.00004 percent--last year," EPA administrator Carol Browner said.
"But even more important, Americans themselves experienced a whopping 47
percent drop in guilt."
Added Browner: "Just ask anyone who's ever thrown a Snapple bottle
into a special glass-only receptacle during their lunch break and felt
good about it the rest of the day--recycling works."
As recently as 1990, the U.S. consumed 88 percent of the world's
resources and felt 87 percent of its guilt. But by 1995, even though the
nation's share of the world's consumption actually rose to 90 percent,
through the institution of mandatory recycling programs, America's share
of global guilt plummeted to 41 percent.
"I used to feel terrible when I threw out perfectly good things,
like a working toaster or TV," said Francine Dahl of Lawrence, KS. "But now
that I recycle a little bit, I could throw out a whole couch and not feel
guilty at all."
According to leading environmental experts, recycling is not the
only thing Americans are doing to assuage their guilt.
"People are doing lots of things to make themselves feel better
about their fervent participation in our mass consumer culture," said
University of Texas environmental studies professor Arthur Boykin. "They're
supporting companies whose products have pictures of globes on them. They're
buying greeting cards printed on grayish, non-glossy paper that appears to be
recycled. They're wearing T-shirts with pictures of endangered species
on them. They're eating at rainforest-themed restaurants. The list goes on
Others are taking an even more active role. "We've printed and
distributed over four million pamphlets to raise awareness about the
importance of recycling," said Lori Herbst, founder of San Francisco's
RecycleUSA! "I can't believe how successful the pamphlets have been. The
city's drains are literally clogged with them."
According to EPA spokesperson Patrick Toomer, while most Americans
are "doing a tremendous job recycling," there remain many ways citizens can
reduce their guilt even further.
[Image] "A ceramic, reusable mug is the
most environmentally sound choice for
coffee drinkers," Toomer said. "But a
According to the EPA, curbside mug only makes you feel good once--at
recycling programs (above) have that moment when you first buy it. On
proven extremely effective in the other hand, using a new disposable
reducing Americans' guilt over cup made from recycled materials every
their role as a part of the most single day will make you feel like
materialistic culture in human you're doing your part to help the
history. environment every single day."
"You might also want to think about increasing your use of
substances that are devastating to the environment, such as freon, plutonium
and battery acid," Toomer continued. "That way, you can enjoy an enormous
feeling of social responsibility when you dispose of them properly in
special, brightly colored containment units that say 'Eco-Safe' on
Of course, with worldwide consumption of non-renewable resources
at an all-time high, the world will still undergo total environmental collapse
by 2065. "But with careful planning," Toomer said, "guilt levels should
remain low right up until then, long after the baby boomers are dead."
America's citizens are not the only ones working to reduce waste:
Corporate America is also doing its part. "People were concerned about
the paper boxes we serve our burgers in, especially since most people throw
them away right in the store within two minutes of use," McDonald's public
relations director Geoff Hanley said. "But now that we print up
pamphlets explaining our rainforest policy, people feel much better."
Such eco-sensitive thinking is not only good for the conscience;
it's good for business.
"Five years ago, my toilet-tissue products were suffering losses
in the millions," said Frank Costello, CEO of PulpCo, Inc. "But ever since
we put a tree on our package and a banner reading, 'Made From At Least Five
Percent Recycled Post-Consumer Waste,' our sales have gone through the
roof. We can barely cut down trees fast enough to meet the demand. I guess the
bottom line is, for me, recycling is all about green."
Copyright 1997 Onion, Inc. Reprinted with permission from The Onion
U.S. McLibel Support Campaign Email email@example.com
PO Box 62 Phone/Fax 802-586-9628
Craftsbury VT 05826-0062 http://www.mcspotlight.org/
To subscribe to the "mclibel" electronic mailing list, send email
Subject: <not needed>
Message: subscribe mclibel
To unsubscribe, change the message to: "unsubscribe mclibel"