I’ve been thinking about this Blog Action Day for the environment and I am leaning towards writing a post about why and how we should use less paper. For example, I read the LA Times most days but really from day to day the news isn’t that new, and some days I just scan the sections before I move to the comic section which I always read. But we have here in Encinitas, five newspapers plus several weeklies that really are just vehicles for ads. I want to think about this more and I do know what a momentous thing this would be so I am going to look at transitional ways to ease into this.I guess I really started thinking about this when I was reviewing “Deep Economy” and wondering about what happens to the recycled plastic bags and how do we form a habit of bringing a reusable bag or two with us when we go shopping. I have a theory about habits and learning. Instead of trying to break old habits, I usually try to establish new ones and let the old ones fall by the wayside with disuse.Anyway, I have to do some research on this idea. And at the same time, I’m wondering about the advisability of this whole idea in the light of how the politicians play.
Yesterday, while reading GRS I came upon this post which fits in with my current ruminations about letting go of the newspapers in our lives. I know it is a hard idea to get your mind around, especially when the banks are all clamoring for us to go “paperless” and the utilities, credit card companies, and anyone else who can have already started using an electronic debting system even though we wrote them a check. It is really difficult to trust these changes. For one, who trusts the companies who are fostering them? And who trusts completely the electronic storage systems that we all have seen break down or delete info or simply mis-file it?I like the fact that several comments about this recommend a paper backup system of essential docs. That means that we can reduce the paper in our cluttered lives without losing complete control of our own information. And it seems to me that those individuals who recommend this system are more likely to listen to the idea of giving up the actual newspaper for its online version. In fact they are probably already doing it.The great unwashed is the target here. We may all be computer connected one way or another but there are no doubt millions of people who aren’t and may never be. So how do I address this problem and build trust into the possibility that we could live in a future that has learned how to use its resources responsibly? First some research: You know the Google kind, pages of hits on the subject, newspapers, and some interesting options to the process of reading a newspaper. For one thing if you are really interested in finding out what the world newspapers think about a specific topic then starting online is a much better way to go. Besides, the economics of the situation may take the decision out of our hands. We may not be able to support our habit. I have to use that word habit advisedly. My wife never read the newspaper until we met. Our son, a 22 year old, only uses computers to find out what is going on. So maybe the habit will be a generational thing and just as fewer people read books so will fewer read papers. Of course, this doesn’t rule out the possibility that the political arena will always need analysis from the underground.Still, the idea I am trying to espouse is the necessity that we face as we try to harness our remaining resources and learn to live within our means not just as an individuals but as world wide society. Maybe that’s what this Blog Action Day will presage?