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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Environment vs. Unemployment

Kind of a deep thought for a Saturday morning, but after a friend posted something on Facebook earlier this week, I can't stop mulling it over.

This friend recently got a job working at the post office.  She posted about how she had no idea all the steps that went in to getting us our mail and she now has a greater appreciation for snail mail.

She went on to talk about how the post office is struggling and how if we continue to receive and pay our bills online, opt out of junk mail, opt in for paperless mailing, etc. people will lose their jobs and that's not right. 

Agreed, it stinks when people lose their jobs and if the post office has to close offices, a lot of people will be out of work.  Valid point.


But personally, I'm opting out of receiving a lot of things in the mail because I think it's a waste of paper and more efficient to do it the environmentally friendly way.  Not to mention less expensive and more resourceful.

So what's the right way? Jobs or environment? 

I know the environment has bigger problems than just junk mail and bills and when you compare paper to jobs the scale certainly weighs in favor of the jobs, but paperless is a step that is fairly easy for most people to take.  It may even be the first step for many to being more environmentally friendly.

I'm interested in hearing other people's thoughts on this.

8 comments:

  1. One of the reasons that the Post Office is in such financial trouble is that their retirement funds are using up all the money. If they would revamp it a lot of the money worries would be gone.

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    1. You're right. And I'm sure there are other things they could do as well. Our option to go paperless cannot be the only cause.

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  2. Once anyplace goes "paperless" - wouldn't they still require employees to monitor that database and produce the electronic mail? A Support or Contact Department would still be necessary. So, why not retrain those that are soon to lose their jobs due to the environmentally friendly switch? Instead of hiring new employees.
    make sense - win, win?

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    1. I agree! But this friend was talking about people at the post office losing their jobs because people were going paperless with their various bills so the post office wasn't processing them. But you do have a point about that!!

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  3. Canada Post is making some of the same claims. I always recycle but I need copies of my bills so I don't go paperless. With Puralator and UPS having a thriving business, I've never understood how the post office is struggling so much. Maybe time for these institutions to adapt?

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    1. I agree, I know at work I mail a TON of stuff. I'm sure other businesses do as well. Some of us just can't go paperless. So I do think there needs to be some kind of adaptation, you have to figure this was bound to happen eventually so adjustments need to be made!

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  4. I see paperless as a better choice for dozens of reasons. I keep files with the electronic copies of the things I do online, including our taxes. I make two extra copies on an extended hard drive and a flash drive for the important papers.

    I do a lot of shopping online and I know a lot of people do. If retail suffers from that, there will be a greater demand for customer service, so the jobs should just move with the same qualifications. (Just stay away from companies that outsource customer service outside of the country of the company's main offices!)

    It also opens up more local jobs in shipping, including offices and retail in that industry. That's a lateral move in qualifications for the post office workers.

    There are definitely ways to be good to the environment and not put more people out of work! I have thought for a long time that companies that outsource out of the country should be taxed for the part of the product that is "imported" just as you would any product that's made out of the country. Made in the USA, or any country, on a label should mean that all the parts from purchase to service should originate in that country.

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    1. Nani, awesome comment!! You are absolutely right that there are openings in other industries that are thriving that people can make a lateral move to.

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I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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