Dear Miss Manners:
A conflict of values: I have always been committed to the practice of sending handwritten expressions of thanks for kindnesses in an appropriate and timely manner, and have valued receiving the same from others.
However, I am also committed to doing my small part to reduce the impact of greenhouse gases on our precious environment. I recycle, take canvas bags when I shop, receive and pay bills electronically, and send electronic greeting cards to friends. I have canceled all catalogues and magazine subscriptions, carefully managed the use of electricity and gas in my home, and am careful about fuel consumption in my auto.
I find myself feeling guilty when I write a thank-you note, as each note uses resources in the form of both the paper on which it is written and the fuel required to send it from place to place. I would like to replace these notes with similarly appropriate expressions of thanks via e-mail to those of my friends who I know use e-mail. I would value your thoughts on this dilemma.
Wow. Gaia forbid that a person use and transport a wee bit of paper!