Tag Archives: Environmental Cause

Thank you, Ms Matai, the earth will miss you

Wangari Maathai

Tireless, awesome, determined, visionary, gift to the whole world–Wangari Maathai is leaving us way too soon.

A beautiful article in The Guardian by Joseph Kabiru pays loving tribute to Maathai who passed away this weekend at 71.  She could see the impact of rural communities on the overall ecosystem of East Africa and began her work in 1977.

She lived to see the devastation caused by unsustainable farming practices be addressed and changed; she received wide recognition including the Nobel Peace Prize for her tireless efforts and vision; she lives on as an inspiration to so many.

Amidst the silly, short term, wildly selfish me-first bottom line nonsense that fills the “news” and defines much of our conversation, the work of one woman who could see a path to sanity stands as a benchmark of our times.  May her spirit live on and keep an eye on things for just a little longer.

Unsubscribing from catalogs: tis the season where this questions becomes obvious

Post-script on this issue: My pal Diana sent me a head’s up that there is an opt-in green initiative for customers to request that companies no longer send catalogs. It’s called Catalog Choice and is a Green Certified site. I went there, signed up on their secure page, and was able to request that Dell no longer send me catalogs.

It will take 12 weeks to process, but hey. It’s notable that Dell has opted in to participate in this program. Other companies, such as Land’s End, have not. So you’re at the mercy of the company’s own sense of marketing fairness or internal processes, whichever.

Thanks Di–much appreciated, since the Dell (bless their hearts!) catalogs were really the nagging irritation!


I do not blame companies for trying to make a profit. That’s what they’re there for. I do get irritated, and especially so this time of year, when I get dozens and dozens of catalogs that don’t even make the cut to a save-for-later pile–they go straight into the recycle bin, unopened, and certainly unappreciated. Dell is a big one that comes to mind: we are a mac household. It’s ridiculous for them to send all these catalogs.

And how many trees gave their lives for this instant recycle fodder? Is the catalog industry involved in recycling and is the production of catalogs therefore job security? You gotta wonder.

Lifehacker posts an article today on the questionable practice of sending catalogs to anyone who has ever lived or used a product. The excellent query: why can’t we easily unsubscribe from catalogs? We should be able to–not only because the constant irritation of receiving these things actually does nothing good for their brand but also because they involve us in unenvironmental behavior that for some of us is pretty disturbing.

I say: do the right thing. Make it easy for us to opt out–put a link on your site that allows us to go there and opt out. We’ll remember you kindly in the future.