A few weeks ago I hiked in to visit Devin in the California Conservation Corp camp in Yosemite. Here is my report for reference.
When Devin went out in April, he basically mothballed his truck, closed his apartment, and as part of that had all his mail forwarded to me.
I scanned his mail for urgent stuff, paid any bills that might need taking care of, and collected all the letters in one file. When I hiked out, I brought all his mail with me. It was a small bundle of maybe 20 letters or so. It probably weighed half a pound, and as a backpacker who counts every ounce, it was substantial.
We sat around the campfire when he opened the various letters, saved those that needed saving, crumpled up those that could be burned and threw them into the fire pit.
I noticed that he kept tearing off the windows of the envelopes, where the addresses show, and stacked them on the log next to him. Then he burned the rest of the envelopes.
After he’d accumulated about 10 of those, I became puzzled and asked why he was doing that.
He said that one of their rules was not to burn plastic, and these envelope windows were plastic. So rather than throwing them into the fire, he separated them from the envelopes, collected them and put them in with all the other plastic trash to be packed out by mule train every Tuesday.
Now mind you, we’re 8,500 feet up in the mountains of Yosemite. The next hiker may be several miles away. The next road is four miles down the mountain. But the conservationist didn’t burn the little envelope windows in order to keep our air clean.
That’s mail call with a conservationist!