I don't know about you, but I had to look pretty far back in the closet for the winter jacket... and I still haven't found where I put the long underwear last spring. I suspect my search will become more intense as the temps drop!
I always looked forward to the changing seasons as a kid growing up here in Northeast South Dakota. Winter was especially fun - not for the cold, but the eventual snowfall that seemed to give a new life to the same location. Where I grew up on my folks place we had lots of hills, so the snow was welcome for the sledding, snow fort building and snowmobiling... not so fun for the driveway that went uphill and curved slightly to the right. Just getting out some winter days was an adventure. I remember my sister and I sitting over the wheel wells of the two-wheel drive van we had, bouncing up and down while mom slowly tried to crawl up the driveway. I am not sure we were helping all that much... I think a sack of potatoes weighed more than I did as a kid! But, we always made it... one way or another.
The slippery, winter roads are going to be upon us so please be aware and drive accordingly. Remember... getting there is the point.
Question of the Week...
"How many trees did you kill putting out your paper this week?"
Well, last I checked timber is a sustainable natural resource. Properly managed timber harvest is good for the forest, good for industry and good for jobs. Forest management and removal of underbrush keeps the wildfire possibility lower and makes it easier for our brave firefighting men and women to save homes and lives. Nearly all the companies I looked into have a robust replanting program.... some of them plant two trees for each one harvested. Plus, we have many private organizations that work at planting and sustaining trees that help lessen erosion and emit oxygen... I am not sure about you, but I am kind of partial to oxygen - you know what they say - you can't live without it.
As I stated last week, our pickup rate for Tidbits is around 90%. This is an important number to us because we hate waste. Our own recycling we do in our home reduces our landfill contribution to an average of less than one bag of garbage per week.
So, Lynette and I encourage recycling of all kinds. Now, recycling this Tidbits paper doesn't mean just taking it to your local recycling center once you've read the articles, checked out our sponsors and advertisers, did a puzzle or two, laughed at a joke (or groaned!). You can recycle it by sharing it with others, repurposing it for painting projects, peel potatoes onto it or my favorite... make giant paper airplanes out of it and see who's flies the farthest before you send it to recycling.
I also wanted to tell you a bit about the ink used to put these words and pictures on the paper. It is soy-based ink created from... drum roll, please.. soy beans! I don't have to tell people in this part of the country where soy beans come from. We feel good that we are doing something to help support a market for a locally produced product. Soy based ink is also more easily recycled than petroleum-based inks, which, in turn saves energy and resources.
Another way we do our best to avoid waste with our paper is the way we distribute Tidbits. We are constantly working to bring our product
to as many business locations as possible to make it as convenient as we can for you to pick up during your weekly travels.
There are two main reasons for this. Number one is that we want to give people a reason to stop into our local, main street businesses. They need the foot traffic. It is no secret that our friends and neighbors that own and operate small businesses have it tough these days fighting the internet retail giants and the big corporate box stores.
The second reason we distribute Tidbits the way we do is this... it may come a shock, but some people are just not "readers". If we used the "shotgun" approach of tossing one in every yard or filling up every mailbox, and then tried to claim that "100%" of the people are reading Tidbits, we would not be telling the truth and smart people would know it. But, when our papers are picked up and taken into someone's home, we know they find value in what we are doing and they are reading our product.
We also have a set of readers... this includes our friends traveling through the area... that enjoy the paper while at local businesses. For them, they can read and enjoy our paper, without having to figure out where to recycle it or throw it away, because we have the respect to come back and pick up that 10% of our papers the next week.
Does our distribution system work? Well, if you are reading this right now... mission accomplished.
Now, for the die hard "greenies" out there that tell me you don't have any waste because you do everything digitally. Hmmm... did your device/computer/tablet grow right out of the ground? No, it was produced through an industrial process with plastics, metals and chemicals, most likely made in some foreign country. Here's a statistic for you...
In 2012, we generated 3.412 million tons of e-waste in the U.S. Of this amount, only 1 million tons or 29.2 % was recycled, according to the EPA (up from 25% in 2011). The rest was trashed – in landfills or incinerators.
Hopefully, the trend of recycling e-waste continues to climb in the future and I am going to do my best to do my part. We need to continue to increase the recycling of electronic devices, partially because of a thing called "Planned Obsolescence". What is that, you ask... here's the definition.
"Planned obsolescence or built-in obsolescence in industrial design is a policy of planning or designing a product with an artificially limited useful life, so it will become obsolete, that is, unfashionable or no longer functional after a certain period of time."
In a nutshell, that means creating something with a weak link so it fails and the consumer must repurchase that item. I have a fan in my garage that was made in the 70s that is still working fine... I have yet buy a new fan that lasts more than two years. Another personal example is a dehumidifier we had that worked perfectly until one day, it just stopped. I couldn't figure out why, so I started looking at the warranty paperwork... amazingly the warranty ran out 34 days prior... hmmm, just food for thought.
Now, I don't want to sound like a hypocrite... I am typing this on a computer that is sitting next a printer and I also have an iPhone in my pocket. We do encourage people to read Tidbits on our website (www.LakeAreaTidbits.com)... using their tablet, computer or smartphone. The current issue, and the last few papers, are always available 24/7 for your enjoyment - with no subscriptions or fees... plus extra jokes, events, clickable links from our advertisers and any other "Tidbits" that we find interesting.
The tools we have to communicate in this modern world are awesome... the quality of what we communicate is a whole different subject for another Publisher's Corner.
Please enjoy this issue, share it with your friends and neighbors... THEN RECYCLE IT!
Sean Athey, owner/publisher
sean@LakeAreaTidbits.com • www.LakeAreaTidbits.com