Saturday, December 5, 2009

Greetings To All Of Our New Neighbours!!!!!!!

Just a few weeks ago, my wife and I (and family of crazy pets) moved into beautiful Byron! We are all Nature lovers, so finding a home surrounded by London’s largest park and the Thames River and being so close to recreational facilities like Boler Mountain and the Byron Optimist Park is a true delight for us!!!

Since we have been so busy moving in and unpacking I have not yet had a chance to put my ‘No Flyers’ sticker on my mailbox. I am completely shocked with the amount of flyers that I have received, to date.

In just one week I have had enough useless flyers delivered to my door, do decorate my kitchen floor… many times over. I was amazed – after I had weighed them – to learn that I am receiving almost three (3) pounds of flyers, every single week! It would be a very conservative estimate to calculate that residents of Byron alone (not including London) receive over 10 000 pounds of flyers, every week. Yes – that’s over half a million pounds of flyers every year!

Some of the flyers are finally now being created using post consumer recycled paper (which is a good thing), but most flyers are created using virgin timbers from forestlands such as the Temagami forest – located just north of North Bay.

Since these forestlands are so desperately clinging on for their own survival, I would ask you to help this situation by posting the attached ‘No Flyer’ sticker to your mailbox.

Let’s show the future that we care with this simple and positive action!
Let’s make Byron a “Flyer Free” zone.

This information sheet has been printed on tree-free hemp paper!
All printing has been paid for by…

Jim Kogelheide

Many people are searching for ways to help save the Earth but don’t really know what to do. Sometimes just a simple letter with a sticker attached could make significant changes in your own neighbourhood. The above is a letter I wrote, last week, and I am slowly distributing them throughout my neighbourhood.

Two days ago, I handed out about twenty of these letters and ‘No Flyers’ stickers to my neighbours as I was walking to my local market. I returned home, about one hour later and to my surprise one of my neighbours had already put his sticker on his mailbox! My goal is to get at least ten of these stickers placed onto mailboxes just on the street where I live.

As always – I also took this simple project to the next level!

I took more of these stickers with me when I went to pick up my students for their bus ride home. As we were leaving the school I asked them if they would like to help me save some trees from being chopped down. They thundered their response – YES!!!

I opened up a conversation about this topic and I was surprised when – instead of the usual activity that occurs on my bus – the students all moved to the front of the bus to listen and ask questions. I had peeked every student’s interest with this topic!

Some students asked questions and I was surprised – again – when sometimes other students would answer these questions for each other. At one point I was the one listening to them as I continued to drive in silence.

All the questions were very thoughtful and intelligent – these future world leaders are the smartest humans I’ve ever met!

A young boy in grade one asked two questions that I thought showed a great ability to understand the finest points of detail on this subject. His first question was, “Mr. Jim, aren’t you wasting trees when you print your letters and stickers?”

I first praised him for such an intelligent question. Then I asked him to visualize all flyers that my neighbours would receive if I did nothing about this issue. Then I asked him to visualize the amount of paper that I was using in an attempt to stop the creation of all of these flyers. He sat, thought, and then told me that it would be okay to chop down one tree to create my letters and stickers if the result was that hundreds and hundreds of trees would be saved.

A few minutes later he asked his second question and it made me pause and wonder at the depth of intelligence in this young mind. “Mr. Jim, haven’t the flyers already been made and the trees cut down to make them? The flyers might not get put into our mailboxes, so won’t the mailman throw out all the flyers that don’t get delivered? How is this actually saving the trees?”

I asked him – and everyone else – to visualize just one street with one hundred houses on it. I asked them to visualize all of the flyers being delivered, everyday, as they have been for the last fifty years. I asked them to visualize what would happen if suddenly just one person put a ‘No Flyers’ sticker on his mailbox. They agreed that just one sticker would not change this situation at all. I asked them to visualize what would happen if four more people also put stickers on their mailboxes. They agreed that – again – not much would change. Then I asked them to visualize what would happen if almost half of the houses had stickers on their mailboxes. They weren’t sure what to think at this point, so I helped them out with a possible answer.

I told them that the person delivering the mail would report to his boss that half of the people living on this street didn’t want to have flyers delivered anymore. His boss would then call the companies that were creating the flyers to tell them that fewer flyers were needed for this one neighbourhood and the companies would not print as many flyers – thus beginning the process of saving the trees. This made sense to the students.

They also understood that sometimes it takes a long time to see the results when doing something like this. I explained that just because it may take years and years to see positive results that we should not be discouraged into thinking that our actions are useless or a waste of time. Any time we take the initiative to raise our voice, to make a stand about something we believe in – we are never wasting our time!

I asked them to think about that one person who put the very first ‘No Flyer’ sticker on his mailbox. I said that because of this small action, the mailman became aware (or heard his voice) to realize that he doesn’t want any flyers delivered. When this person had his friends and family over to visit they might see his sticker and then they would know how this person feels about this issue. If any neighbours dropped by to visit then they would also see this one little sticker and they would know how this person feels about this issue. Maybe it was because of this one little sticker that one more of his neighbours decided to put another ‘No Flyer’ sticker on her mailbox, and so on and so on until the day when no more flyers would be delivered at all!!!!

I really start to feel a bright glow within me, during times like these. It is great to see the students so interested in understanding and finding new ways to make positive changes that will help to save the Earth. It is great to see that these students are gaining an appreciation to realize that one person, doing one small positive thing really can change the world.



alex said...

Hi MR.Jim its alex i couldnt put up my ''no fyers please'' sticker but i just wanted to say Hi :)

alex said...

peace out