My mum told me something recently that really made my day. Basically, she had been having a conversation with an old friend over email about Polly Higgins and her attempts to make ecocide a crime. My mother’s friend was commenting on how Polly’s books are printed on FSC certified paper… Now I wouldn’t blame you for mentally being all like ‘’well that’s good’’ – but his point was that FSC is apparently a stamp of crumbling and now dubious standards and post-consumer waste recycled paper would be more appropriate. I wasn’t aware of this but he says FSC’s standards have slipped so much that they now allow lots of unsustainable forestry practices and might even allow new plantations on ground recently cleared of rainforest to be certified. I’m really not clear on this at all and need to do some proper research before I can comment more on the topic.
However, my mum sent an email to Polly querying this and suggesting she use recycled paper for her publishing – whilst letting her know how much she admires her work and how inspiring she finds it. Her friend was cynical about Polly not wanting to do anything about it, but this is what made me happy… Her secretary emailed back promptly, thanking my mum for ‘’flagging up the issue’’ and saying that they’ve sourced where to get recycled paper printing and will be using it in the future, starting with they’re next print-run! In my mind this openness to improvement in green standards really shows their true ethical colours. My respect for Polly, which was already big, has grown. Immensely encouraging.
So my message to you today it… It’s worth a try! You never know how open people will be if you bring something up with them in a respectful way and point to a viable alternative. Of course, Polly Higgins is somebody who spends her time working on her own portion of the green agenda so it’s not at all surprising my mum got a positive reaction. You probably won’t get such a good response from Tesco if you send them a letter asking them to change one of their hundreds of unsustainable policies, but hey… This has inspired me and filled up my hope meter in terms of people’s reasonableness. Especially with smaller establishments, who’s to say some nice talking couldn’t swing things around? Nice talking, though. If you’re rude or disrespectful you just get people’s back up and cause extra division. Be polite, treat people like they’re intelligent and decent equals that aren’t so different from you (even if they aren’t and are) and you’ll get a hell of a better reaction. So get sending those emails! It’s worth a try.