Spring has sprung. It’s both a time of renewal and of cleaning and I am thinking about and looking forward to two upcoming events: Earth Day (Apr. 22nd) and Air Quality Awareness Week (Apr. 28th through May 2nd). I am also thinking about what my messages should be as it has to do with those two celebrations. They are both right around the corner and will be here before you know it.
As I sit here computer before me pondering what to write, I have absolutely no qualms in admitting I have given up the regular ritual of daily newspaper reading – you know, the kind of paper that, upon delivery, could be … well, just about anywhere, from amongst the shrubs in the flower bed partially or completely hidden from view and plunked down on the driveway to, with any luck, being propped against the front door – my preference instead being to read news stories of my choosing, picked from a multitude of available online sources.
When I think about it, I have to believe I’m helping the environment, even if in a small way only, by foregoing reading the traditional newspaper, you know, the one that has come to be known colloquially as “the paper.”
Broadly speaking, readers and subscribers of “the paper,” more than likely pay little, if any, mind regarding the ease with which a copy can be had, or about what all is involved in the production and distribution of such.
First, for those who are more inclined to want to know more, there is the paper stock procurement aspect and what that entails. Then there is the press run itself, followed by delivery of finished product to the consumer.
On the other hand, for that news which is available in electronic format via the Web, as to what is in print immediately above, well, steps on this order aren’t needed.
As it pertains to my situation, it wasn’t a conscious decision to get my news from online sources because I believed I was going to help the environment by following this course. The decision probably has more to do with the fact that I am more comfortable using my computer to peruse online news than with any other single factor. No doubt influencing that decision also is the wealth of different news sources available at one’s fingertips. And subordinate to that, I suppose, is with respect to accessing and viewing reader feedback. With newspapers of the hard-copy variety, if one is inclined to respond as in providing comment to, say, a particular item, consideration must be given to the separation in time between when comment is initiated and when such makes it into the public domain. Out in cyberspace, on the other hand, such is not typically an issue.
By no means am I suggesting to those satisfied in getting their news the old fashioned way to dump “the paper” and substitute in place of that the more newfangled way of accessing the news, that is, interactively online.
In getting back to the main talking point, the point of this whole discussion, in case you’re wondering, is the notion of environmental stewardship, believe it or not. Every improvement made in this regard helps.
So, with that and with sights set on Earth Day and Air Quality Awareness Week 2014, I indeed look forward to those with much anticipation.
Image above: NASA
– Alan Kandel