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Is Physical Mail Really Needed?

Journal Entry 1: How impactful is mail to the continuing plight that is pollution?

By Mohammed DarasiPublished 2 months ago 4 min read
Is Physical Mail Really Needed?
Photo by Maxim Tolchinskiy on Unsplash

From today on, I will try to write a few journal pieces a week (hopefully daily) talking about some event that happened on the day and what kind of thought it triggered.

This will not only get me used to writing more often (improving my writing over time), but it will also help me hone my belief that anything can be interesting if you think about it a little bit. This belief is one I share with a friend of mine and was also the reason we started having deep and interesting conversations.

I hope that these “journal entries” spark a thought or an idea for me, and for anyone reading it. It is hard trying to imagine a way of thinking that isn’t our own, and that is why I believe this might spark something.

Today's big event is mail.

By Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

I start work later in the morning, so I was asleep when I heard the letterbox on my door flap. It doesn’t have a dampener of any kind, so when mail comes it works almost like a notification sound and doubles as an alarm, waking me up way too early.

Forget about the letter for now and think about the concept of mail: isn’t it interesting that physical mail is still a thing?

Most things in our lives are becoming “smart” or “eco-friendly” and that has been the trend for at least a decade if not more — in a substantial way I mean, as of course environmental awareness existed for many more years than that.

Just a couple of days ago I was watching a YouTube video about Formula-E (electric Formula racing) and in it, they mentioned that Europe passed a law that will ban the sale of new internal combustion cars in 2035. That law is quite significant because it will quickly change the way we all travel and, in a further decade, it might even make it so that the only non-electric cars in existence will be antiques and collector items. Cities around the UK, including Glasgow where I live, started introducing more low-emission and ultra-low emission zones (LEZ and ULEZ) opening up the doors for the electric vehicle takeover.

Just before the final voting was done on the EU law, Germany, along with a few other countries, wanted to add an exception for vehicles that use e-fuels (which is a CO-2 neutral fuel). This does still work towards lowering emissions, but is that an indication that we aren’t yet ready to go all-electric? Or is it just a middle ground we need to accommodate until we reach the final goal?

Screenshot of BBC News website

Governments and other interested parties are even meeting every year at the COP conference talking about climate change and ways to improve emissions and “reverse” the damage we did to the environment.

As a side note, COP26 in 2021 took place in Glasgow and I remember one of the most talked about things was that Leonardo DiCaprio attended. I mean, I like Leo, but should he be a headliner for the event? Then again, it did get people to look at COP26 who otherwise wouldn’t be the wiser, so I guess there’s always a silver lining if you look hard enough.

Anyways back to the main point.

One of the big ideas talked about when it comes to the workplace being more environmentally friendly is going paperless; using less paper means less waste and fewer trees being chopped down. Of course, it also saves companies money on buying paper and ink and the general operating costs of printers, so overall it’s a win-win situation.

The annoying thing about this is that despite going paperless being encouraged, having a physical letter is still essential sometimes. Many places, for example, ask for proof of address and specifically cite physical letters (utility bills etc.) as being what is accepted. Doesn't that undermine the whole “going paperless” endeavour?

This kind of shows that for us to affect the environment in a meaningful way, it needs to be a collective effort, because even this simple example I gave shows just how conflicting practices in industries can affect the overall objective of helping the environment.

Created by me on Canva

Improving industries will take time of course. Just look at the whole electric vehicle revolution planned for the next decade: governments will need to improve the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles to replace conventional vehicles and manufacturers will need to improve their batteries and milage while keeping the costs low enough for people to buy.

There's still a long way to go if we want to implement better practices for protecting the environment, but all I’m asking is... can we at least start with something basic like eliminating the need for mail?

I really hate being jolted awake by the sound of that mailbox.


About the Creator

Mohammed Darasi

I write fiction, poetry and occasional articles about interesting topics. I recently created a website (just because) which I will be posting my writing in (among other things). it would be great if you check it out.

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Comments (2)

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  • Mariann Carroll2 months ago

    Mail is essential for the Judicial system due to legalities. Credit companies still need to mail credit cards as well as banks. It also provide jobs for other people who like to walk and not be trap all day in an office building. You have been writing some engaging stories . Happy New Year. Nice writing new year resolution 🥳

  • PREACHHHH!!!! They can just send an email. It'll be so much easier. But then again, not many people would check their emails. So they should have an option where we can choose if we want physical mail or email, rather than sending physical mails to everyone.

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