Green Dimes: Clean out your mailbox and heal the environment


For some reason, I've always taken a kind of ironic comfort in the famous quotation "Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." Although I recently learned that it's a paraphrase of a famous quote from Herodotus, I always thought that it came from Shakespeare, and I used to imagine a dedicated Elizabethan mailman, clad in breeches, stiff collar, and cloak, riding a horse in a rainstorm to get the mail through.

This, of course, stood in opposition to my mailman in Virginia, who wouldn't bother to drop off the mail if there was snow near my mailbox or if it was too muddy outside. When I moved to New York, mail service got even worse; my mail carrier canceled many of my magazines because he didn't like carting them around. In fact, I had to get a post office box just to ensure that I received my most important mail.