It’s the time of year again, elections are nearing, or just ending and your town has been littered with plastic/cardboard signs for the possible new town and state officials. These signs have been getting larger and larger in my neck of the woods. Yes, there are still the signs staked into the ground in front of homes, on the sides of streets, and on the sides of highways, but recently i have noticed larger signs, the sign of a small car, posted in high traffic areas. Where do all of these signs go after the elections are over, and who exactly puts them all there?
It seems funny that before these signs are posted many local residents have not even heard of the candidates. What might catch people attention is to run a “Green Campaign”. Not only do these signs cause an eyesore to the environment, but they are tossed into the garbage when they are done using them. Recently I saw a pile of at least 20 signs sitting next to a dumpster. Not to mention all the ink, paper, plastic, metal, and petroleum power used to make them. The candidates fight for certain issues and the environment is one of them, yet their campaign trail leaves a nasty skid mark in its wake put there but their teams of flowering devotees in the early morning, or dark hours of the night. Its rare to actually see any of these signs going up.
The mailing the candidates send out are just as bad. Junk mail increases and most people just toss it in the trash. I even got one that stated “Important tax information enclosed, do not discard.” I was so mad to find it was yet another mailing for a want to me town official.
In order to run a green election campaign here are some things that the candidates can do to give the people what they really want….less junk mail, and fewer eyesores in their local towns.
1. Get out and meet the people that will be voting for you – Visit local fairs, supermarkets, libraries, universities, and restaurants. There is no better way to hear what people want in a candidate then to listen to them face to face.
2. Use an online campaign – Less paper and less waste. The Internet has changed the world so much, yet the campaign trail seems to be stuck in the 80’s. The most recent presidential campaign utilized the Internet for debates, candidate facts, and opinions. Yet local town and state elections focus little on using the Internet as a resourceful tool.
3. Recycle – If signs have to be used they should be 100% recyclable and made of post consumer waste.
4. Make a name for yourself – Election time shouldn’t be the only time you hear about the candidates. If the want to me official does good throughout the year, and makes a name for himself or herself, then the election will be much more of a landslide and less campaigning will be needed overall. They will be seen as the right person for the job, no matter how many signs are put up.
When it comes down to it the opposing candidates find any way to mud sling each other and the amount of cardboard signs they put up is just ridiculous. Do your job right and do the right thing and the people will vote for you.