Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I am annoying

My new hobby is annoying companies about their environmental practices (or lack thereof). It's pretty fast and easy to send off an email to companies. So my first email was to Chick-fil-a. Believe it or not, I've never been to a Chick-fil-a before a couple weeks ago. I really liked their chicken, but they serve their drinks in styrofoam cups. So I wrote them an email about this. Here's what they said:

"We share your concerns regarding the environment. Although customer feedback reveals that the majority of our customers favor the type and style of packaging that we use, we are constantly looking for more economically and more ecologically sound alternatives. Our polystyrene containers (drink cups) have never been produced using chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and are, therefore, ozonesafe. Foam products are more easily recycled than plastic, coated, or treated paper products."

While foam products may be easier to recycle in theory, it's difficult to find places that will recycle them. I mean really, how many people do you see recycling a foam cup vs. throwing it away? I did a little researching on Chick-fil-a's claim about sytrofoam being more easily recycled. The earth911 website's information contradicts what Chick-fil-a said in their email to me:

"Polystyrene is not easily recycled because it is lightweight, has a low scrap value, and is not generally accepted as part of curbside recycling programs. However, recycling polystyrene is an emerging market; Los Angeles, the second largest city in the U.S., has implemented a curbside program for recycling clean polystyrene products."

What do you think about this contradiction?

In the meantime, I'm continuing to write my little emails. But they're not all annoying :) I wrote to Teva, when I purchased and LOVED their shoes made from recycled materials, and I wrote to Swan Creek Candles when I replaced my Yankee Candles with their fabulous soy candles.

I know my little emails don't really make much of a difference, but I figure maybe there are other people out there writing too and maybe all our voices added up will eventually make a difference.

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