Monday, March 29, 2010

Save the World, Green Thursday: Save our trees, Save paper

Do you notice any difference with these letter boxes compared with other boxes? Is it the residents in these apartments are more meticulous with clearing their mail and junk mail? If you walk around your neighbourhood, is this the scenario or is it more likely that junk mail is shrewed around the ground surrounding the letter boxes. This was a pain when I was living in a high class environment in Singapore. Some residents emptied their mail boxes, took their mail and threw the junk on the floor. Others left them sticking out of the slots. This caused a lot of unhappiness among the residents. Eventually, the management provided a big box for people to throw the junk paper into.

In Auckland, we can put a sign, "no circulars", and no commercial mailers or flyers are to be deposited in these boxes. If they do, a phone call to the company will mean the sacking of the person delivering the mailer and ignoring the signs.

Thus we get a clean environment, and trees are saved.

The down side of this is young boys and girls are deprived of earning some pocket money, Below is a post I did based on Sam's experience.

In New Zealand, the youngest age you can be a paper runner is eleven. Sam, my money minded son couldn't wait to turn eleven so he could join the ranks of hundreds of little children delivering newspapers.

His was a free newspaper which some household would consider as junk mail. The week he turned eleven, there was a vacancy for a paper runner for a loop for three roads couple of roads away. He was all excited and feeling like an entrepreneur, and emailed his application. The agent rang back to confirm his age and gave him his job.

On the first day, by seven am, three big stacks of paper arrived at the letter box. Each stack was too heavy for me to heave. But as a doting mum, I did it for him, I folded the paper into three folds so that they would fit into slots of the letter boxes. And looking at the pile, I told him, I would help him do his run by driving him there, and deliver the other side of the road for him.

Sam came home feeling excited about his first job. It was a cold wet winter afternoon. It took us more than one and half hour each to finish the run. We were shouted at by those who didn't want this free paper. There were signs at some letter boxes which say, "No circular", but the news paper agent told us that his news paper were not circulars. Some people who regarded the paper as junk shouted at us. We were barked at by dogs. At the end of the day, he got less than US$2.

I thought it was child exploitation. I told Sam, he had his go at business venture. That was the first and last time he was going to be a paper boy. He was very happy, he would rather play with his friends or at the computer.

These kids were considered contract workers, and not protected by the union. In another paper run, the company decided to use adult workers, depriving what little money the kids can earn.

1 comment:

Jama said...

We got so much junk mails in the letter box! nowadays the mails are sometimes delivered at the door step, to prevent people from throwing the mailers at near the letter box. We also have people giving out mailers at bus interchange, near malls....I know they are paid so little to clear the mailer, that's why I never refuse when given. But for those slotted in the mailbox, I usually just throw them away.