I sat around this afternoon and I thought about my newspapers. Were they really so evil? Do I have tree blood (sap?) on my hands now for being in possession of one? Jumping back and forth in my mind between crucifying myself for getting three weeks of newspapers and playing devil's advocate, a funny memory from my University years resurfaced. The star of this particular memory is one of my good friends to this day. She would be horrified that I even remember this moment so I won't mention her name. We were both members of our University LGTB Centre and during this time the centre had been talking a lot about how we could reduce our impact on the environment. My friend, who I had really only just met at this point because she had just began her undergrad, suggested that we deactivate the automatic entry door so that we could reduce electricity use. She meant no harm in this suggestion, of course. I am 100% positive the issue of accessibility had just not occurred to her, and honestly, why would it have? Oftentimes unless you know someone with an accessibility issue or have an accessibility issue yourself, it doesn't even occur to you that the world may not be as accessible to everyone as it is to you. In short, it's just outside most people's frame of reference. Of course, a few people chimed in and explained that we needed to have the automatic entry door in full working order for people who were in wheelchairs, etc. My friend was embarrassed and she immediately apologized and took back the suggestion.
|Aias plays with the newspaper. I'm sure he's wondering where the screen is.|
I don't want to get into a whole list of instances where accessibility is asked to take a backseat to the environment, because I feel like this entry could potentially get longer than anyone would be willing to read. However, I'd like to share a theory as to why I think this may happen in the first place. Accessibility is important and it's an issue that's not going away, but it's not really a profitable industry. Sure there are wheelchair companies and companies that make modifications to existing structures to make them more accessible, but compared to the amount of companies out there with the goal of selling "green" products to people, they are few and far between. Every time I open my computer (or my newspaper) there is someone trying to sell the idea of being "green" to me. Being "green" is an easy sell; providing accessibility is a lot less glamorous and self serving. Needless to say, very few are trying to sell accessibility. It may not mean much to your daily life, but to those who need it, it means the world.
I have to admit, Morgan's solution to addressing the issue of accessibility in the paper situation is a pretty good one. He believes that instead of continuing to kill trees and print documents, we should work as a society on making technology more accessible to those who can't currently access it. Surely it would cost society less money and less trees to simply get everyone up to the same level by allowing for progress and access to accessibility measures. I agree with this; at the same time, sometimes it's nice to sit on the toilet and hold a newspaper (the laptop balancing can be a bit much) and I also find doctor's offices insufferable without magazines, however, I digress. Now I realize I don't apply here, as I said above, I'm all over the Internet. I guess Morgan's initial horror with me is still valid. After my three weeks are up, I'll stop getting the newspaper. I'll make paper mache domes out of the papers we have and I'll recycle what we don't use. I'll keep fighting the good fight to be green, but at the same time, I'll try not leave anyone behind in the process.
By the way, Morgan thinks this whole post is a huge stretch, but I think it's interesting to think outside the box every once in a while so poo poo to him ;)
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