Electioneering waste

Millions of Australians voted in our Federal election today and like many Aussies, I’m very glad to see the end of the campaigning… and all the waste generated by it.

I opened my post office box the other day to find it crammed with glossy election related materials. 3 of the flyers were from one party.

In the material, all the parties claimed to be very concerned about the environment, but none of the flyers I saw indicated they were printed on recycled paper. Maybe this is just a little thing environmentally-speaking, but it’s the little things that add up.

Australia, like other countries, has rules and regulations about election-related advertising. I think it’s time that rules were introduced allowing each party to only have one shot at flyer drops- and for those flyers to have to be printed on non-glossy 100% recycled stock, with earth friendly inks. Make them all use the same format too so they’ll spend more time on the message rather than on the paper based bling which really means nothing.

Flyers were an important part of electioneering in decades gone by perhaps; particularly before the web. I guess there’s still some call for them now even though we’ve all been saturated over the past few weeks by TV, radio and online electioneering – I’m thinking mainly to reach older folks – but to send out tens of millions of these things in 2010? It’s an awful waste of resources and cash for that matter.

Nobody I’ve spoken to, regardless of their political leanings, took any notice of the flyers they received – they were just immediately tossed.

What are your thoughts on electioneering pamphlets?

Australian politics trivia: In a recent survey of 300 federal, state and local government politicians carried out by researchers at the University of Queensland, 40 per cent of politicians said they believed it would be safe for the planet to warm by 4 degrees Celsius.  The generally accepted “danger” level is 2 degrees or more.

Seems we still have a way to go to getting many politicians understanding the potential consequences of even a 2 degree rise.