‘What’s this?’ I hear you say. ‘Have a moan? Seriously? I thought this was supposed to be a happy blog, the chirpy alter-ego to Sour Wee B******d?’ Well quite, you have a point. Except in order to make things happen, you sometimes have to be a little bit annoying.
Change won’t come about unless you make a bit of a fuss. I’m trying to thank people more when they provide good service and say, give you money off when you bring your own cup, or if they happily let you bring your own tupper-ware for your purchases. (How the staff at the cheese counter at our local Sainsbury’s love me). However, should you notice something irksome, it’s valuable to let the company know, and hopefully they will attempt to rectify it. One of the quickest ways to do this is to Tweet about it. It’s amazing how quickly the big supermarkets get back to you when you do this.
There is a local soft play area near us which uses disposable cups for coffee, even though they have a sizeable kitchen for washing up. This frustrates the life clean out of me. I try to remember my own drinking vessel, but I imagine the other few hundred people crossing their doors each week may not. So I wrote them a very nice e-mail telling them what I liked about their facility, but what I thought could be improved. They replied almost immediately and said they were VERY conscious about their carbon footprint, (this was not immediately apparent, but anyway) and said yes, they would look in to it. What needs to happen now is for 20 other people to send a similar e-mail suggesting the same thing. That would speed the process along nicely.
On a recent trip to a hotel I filled in the comment card, again remarking on what was excellent but suggesting more eco-friendly options, such as doing away with all the small plastic bottles in the bathroom and replacing them with wall-mounted dispensers in the shower instead. If all hotels did this it would dramatically reduce their use of single-use products.
When I was a teenager and in my evangelical Christian phase (I know there can be come lovely evangelical Christians, but trust me when I say I was a bit of a dick), I once wrote a letter to the ‘Sunday Express.’ I was perplexed and offended that Coronation Street had become a bit smutty, and that my grandmother, who had few pleasures in life, since she was housebound and had emphysema, could no longer enjoy her favourite soap. ‘Sex may sell,’ I concluded my missive, ‘But I’m no longer buying.’ One could say that as a 15 year old, I was old before my time. (You can read more of my rantings about mad religious people here.)
I’m not suggesting that you spend all your free time writing letters, but a quick e-mail or a tweet can be very effective, and it doesn’t take long. So if you’re out and about this weekend, see what you notice and get Tweeting! Happy Saturday everyone.