Recycling and Best Buy

I hate recyling. Let me explain. While I like the part about keeping our stuff out of landfills, I hate everything that goes along with those “green” recyling companies. I hate the snobbishness, the “holier than thou” attitude. I hate how if it’s inconvenient, it’s supposed to be OK because it’s good for the planet. I hate the “for the price of a latte” advertising slogan. I hate the extra fees, which tempt me to throw the thing in the trash. I hate to have to go to a place that only does recyling. I don’t even like those green “eco-friendly” bags that look like they use natural dyes, even though they don’t.
I do like one location that does recyling all by itself, the Palo Alto Recycling Drop-off Center. I like it because it’s located in the Palo Alto Baylands. The place is pretty and I can go for a walk in the Baylands after I drop off my stuff.
Palo Alto Recycling Drop-off Center, June 2009

Palo Alto Recycling Drop-off Center, June 2009










What I  like – recyling done well by companies that sell you stuff, companies I might go to anyway. I just had a very positive experience at my local Best Buy. I was recyling a old desktop computer. The pleasant person at the front kiosk told me where to take my desktop and pointed me in the direction of the flatbed carts, conveniently located in the front of the store. I took a cart to my car (parking lot with plenty of parking, trees and flowers too), loaded the desktop on the cart, wheeled it back into the store and stopped at customer service, also located in the front of the store. The equally pleasant person at customer service asked me to fill out some minimal information and told me I could leave the cart right there – they’d take care of it. I had such a good experience that I did what Best Buy hoped I would do – I looked around the store. In the mobile electronics section I chatted with another pleasant, knowledgeable person about GPS. I might even come backlater to, you know, shop.

Best Buy, Ravenswood 101 Shopping Center, June 2009

Best Buy, Ravenswood 101 Shopping Center, June 2009










My current MBA program has a concentration in sustainability. Assuming that recyling is part of sustainability, I hope my school talks about recyling in a world where it’s simply recycling, something that’s convenient, something that we do. Best Buy is making it work by including recyling as part of what they do. I like that.

MBA – at the mall!

It’s a bit of a trend – business schools with their own campus, either on the main campus, or at another location.

The business building at my school was old and creaky, though the university campus was very nice.   In January 2007, we moved to a new space, at a downtown mall!  You can’t just wander into the school area, from the shops at the mall, though we are in the same huge building as the mall.  As you can see, there are some great views of the mall from the business school “campus”.

View of the shopping mall

View of the shopping mall



View of the shopping mall from one of the corridors of our new location, taken through a glass window.  The business school is in the same building as the mall.  Our space – classrooms, offices, breakout rooms – is very nice.







I think it’s funny.


amarez – mszv

Hi-tech company cafeteria – feels like home

It’s funny how the oddest things can “feel like home” – something you don’t expect.   

I now work in a building in a corporate office park – the prettiest office park you’ve ever seen.  I’ll post some pictures later.  Down the street from me there is a big hi-tech company.  The company has a corporate cafeteria.  It’s a Bon Appetit cafeteria – really good food, lots of variety, specials every day, local produce and a “green” environment, whenever they can manage it.  The food is tasty and very affordable.  Like most corporate cafeterias, this company must subsidize it, to keep the prices reasonable.

The really sweet thing is that this very nice hi-tech company lets people who don’t work there eat at the cafeteria.  The company isn’t stupid – there is a receptionist inside the entrance to the building, so you can’t wander into the offices, but you are free to go eat at the cafeteria.  Now that my group has moved to our new space in the prettiest office park, I eat there a lot.  

What I didn’t expect – the big hi-tech company cafeteria feels like home.  I walk in, and it’s familiar – how the people look, their ages, ethnicity, style of dress, gender mix, how they talk to each other and how they chat with me.  The food seems familiar – the pizza bar, the salad bar, the soups, the burrito bar, the daily Indian specials, the grill, and the daily Asian or Italian saute. 

The lobby feels like home too.  I pointed out the colorful attractive posters showing how (I’ll make this up) – “Big hi-tech company lets people easily book ski trips to Colorado!”  I made up that example, but you get the idea; all big hi-tech companies have those kinds of posters in their lobbies, showing the swell things that your products let your customers do. 

I don’t work for a big hi-tech company anymore, though I still do Businessy/IT-ish/Data-ish kinds of things.  Where I work now is the right place for me to be, right now.  It may change in the future, but for now, I’m where I need to be.   

I know that – but you know, that cafeteria feels like home.

amarez – mszv

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