writing to know, knowing thru being, being for writing... this is me, writing about the one thing i know, which is myself... and even that is sometimes a mystery...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

continuing with the airplane theme...

so, one of the things i noticed on one of my many long flights this summer was that airlines don't recycle. which really bothers me, because environmental stewardship is an issue really dear to my heart (i read (most of) the future of life last year in school and it really changed the way i thought about environmental issues).
i mean, i am so sick of people not taking responsibility for the earth and for being too lazy to do anything to change. recycling is an easy step that can do so much, so it perplexes me that some people are still ignorant about it. (did i mention that i went to work the other day to find a trashcan full of bottles and cans? i had to sort it all out myself and then set up a recycling center in the office because "no one else had thought about it")
so, finally, i just got so frustrated thinking about all those planes, with their in-flight beverage service, and all those empty beverage bottles and cans being thrown away, that i wrote american airlines a letter... and an email. i know it's not much, but i'd really like to think it will do something. because i just can't sit around with an intellectual frown on my face, only thinking, and not doing anything about it. had i known when i was actually in the dallas ft. worth, tx airport that the am. airlines customer service headquarters were actually in walking distance, i would have physically gone there myself and given them a piece of my mind. i just can't believe it never occured to me before that airlines weren't recycling all that stuff.

so, here's the letter i wrote to aa. feedback, anyone?

To Whom It May Concern:

Recently, I flew from Dallas Fort Worth, TX (which I understand to be your customer relations headquarters) to Lexington, KY on an American Eagle flight, when I discovered that the cans and bottles from beverages served in-flight were not being disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.

When I asked a flight attendant about your company’s disposal procedures, she remarked that all trash collected during flight would be thrown away later. Judging by the indiscriminating manner in which she was combining trash with recyclable items, I surmised that this particular flight did not have a strict recycling program. This instant suggests a larger problem, which leads to my greater concern for your company’s procedures.

As an environmentally conscious citizen, I am disappointed to find that a company of your size and prestige is not doing its part to reduce waste and garbage. As a customer and patron, I was disappointed to find that my needs were not met during flight. I personally do my part every day to ensure that I am disposing of my garbage in eco-friendly ways, and I expect, and indeed, demand that this need be met in-flight. As a person, a member of a global community, a child, and a future mother, I do my part each day so that the earth may be protected from what I do to it, and improved and preserved for the benefit, enjoyment, and health of my future children, and all future citizens of the world.

I hope you will understand the reason for my concern and endeavor to consider the immediacy and urgency in remedying this problem. Hundreds of thousands of pounds of recyclable materials are needlessly thrown away each day. It takes thousands of years for one plastic water bottle to decay naturally in a landfill. Imagine the compounding piles of garbage that could otherwise be recycled filling the backyards of future children and families, as we rapidly run out of disposal zones. This is a problem that can easily be solved and even made obsolete, but it requires immediate attention and action on everyone’s part.

Thus, I implore you to consider your role in this process. I ask you, as a consumer and a citizen of the world, to please serve as a responsible example in your industry and contribute your share to reducing global waste.

Thank you,
Stephanie Lee, 19
Student at Miami University in Oxford, OH


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