“Mom, they listened to me!”: Writing Makes a Difference

Today, my son received a letter from IHOP responding to his first summer writing assignment, a business letter complaining about their use of Styrofoam cups. You may recall that he was upset when they served him his juice in one of those atrocious cups, so I suggested he try to do something about it by writing to the company. He did NOT receive an automated form letter but instead a letter clearly written specifically to him to address his particular concerns. The writer had investigated the issue and came up with a response. My son’s reaction was elation. Seriously. He was so excited, he just kept jumping around. “Mom, they listened to me! They ACTUALLY listened.”

Yup. Writing can make a difference.

Their answer, by the way, was that sometimes Styrofoam is used if all the plastic cups are being washed or used at the time. They don’t want you to have to wait for your drink. That said, my son’s concerns were being forwarded to the appropriate department and he was assured that IHOP cares about the environment. He took all of this to mean that they will change their policy. I think the writer left IHOP a tad more wiggle room than that, but who’s to say that his letter might not just push IHOP over the edge to ban Strofoam altogether. Let’s think positively.

Hey, come to think of it, if any of you are IHOP customers, too, maybe you can drop them a line and encourage them to stop using Styrofoam (since that substance can’t be recycled and becomes pure garbage.) Certainly if they hear from enough folks, then they really will change their policy. Here’s where to go on their site to contact them. Now wouldn’t that be lovely if they really did make a change? Writing can make a difference.

I heard recently that for us to cut back our CO2 emissions to the needed 80% reduction by 2050 (or something like that) that we really only need to keep cutting back emissions 3% each year. That is SO do-able. Less garbage to burn = less CO2 released. If IHOP stops using Styrofoam, that helps us get there. If we all switch to CF light bulbs, we go down by even more than 3% (and save a lot on energy costs, too). If we stop idling the car in the parking lot while waiting for the kid to finish school, or soccer, or dance class, or whatever…well, we reduce our emissions as well. Addressing climate change is not as overwhelmingly difficult as one might think.

Just 3% a year. Can we make a difference? Yes. My son thinks so.

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3 Responses

  1. Wow! 2 letters and 2 wins! No wonder he’s ecstatic. Now that you have him writing, is he going to do a blog while you’re gone to let you know what they’re doing? That seems like a neat idea that he may want to keep up even after you’re back. Teaches about journaling too. Just an idea (like you need any help) LOL

  2. I’ve tried before to get him interested in that, but he’s not good about sticking with something unless there’s parental reminders. I am hoping for a couple of emails at least, but when I went to Peru, I got nothin!

  3. I know someone that works at IHOP, and they STILL use TONS of styrofoam and other excessive packaging. They are CLUELESS when it comes to the environment I’m afriad… or they just don’t care! Sad…

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