Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Watch out kittens; you'll be next.

Lately I've been on the warpath about organizations and non-profits sending me letters seeking a donation...along with address labels, calendars, greeting cards, and window clings. They stuff those envelopes full of crap and mail it off like money grows on trees!
Hey guys? You're a
non-profit. You'd probably have more money if you stopped making presents for all your potential donors!
Don't get me wrong, I think saving animals and wetlands and American veterans and children and whatever else are all great causes. Good for you.
But oh, how I hate paperwork. Just today I spoke to my students about being ecologically responsible. Not to mention that it just clutters up my life and usually those address labels are ugly. (Seriously. I'm 45 years and 6 cats away from appreciating some of that clip art.)
I've been emailing every group to request that they remove me from their mailing list. It's liberating. I'm not sure how helpful it'll be in the long run, but it's liberating, dammit.
However, I decided to donate to the Arbor Day Foundation because hey, I love trees! We stand for the same principles! I'm
all about saving the trees. And so I wrote my check.

THEY SEND ME SO MUCH PAPER. Articles and letters and catalogs and SO MUCH PAPER. It's hardly the point of the organization, don't you think? Hey Arbor Day, shoot me an email. I'll have a look.

This week was the last straw. Mere months after my membership check, I received a stuffed envelope seeking a renewal of my membership. And address labels. And greeting cards. With envelopes, of course. And a letter. And a return envelope. All made of trees, Arbor Day Foundation. You MUST have spent my $10 by now. What about the trees we were going to preserve together?? How much money did they get?
I went to their website, intent on sending a scathing email, like the evil harpy that I am. "Dear Nature Hippies, Please cease and desist." I mean, really? Who feels good writing that kind of email? (Me.) But it was time. I filled out the website's form, edited my carefully crafted note. I asked how many trees we were possibly saving, what with all the paper stuffed in my mailbox. I pointed out my appreciation for trees and my enthusiasm for their preservation. Then I said to remove my name from their mailing list. Send.

THE WEBSITE DIDN'T WORK. There was some sort of "error." I tried again today, to no avail. Arbor Day Foundation, you left me no choice.

Fishing through my bag of paper to be recycled, I pulled out one of my brand new ADF greeting cards and envelopes. I affixed my favorite leafy address label, along with a snappy little tree sticker for good measure. I hand-wrote my email on that card, and am sending it along in the morning. We'll do this your way, Arbor Day Foundation. That's just fine by me.

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