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Life’s Lessons – Feedback from Alexandria, VA

It’s always interesting to get local feedback after posting a story that spotlights a problematic issue. Take, this post that I wrote about 7-Eleven’s inability to keep its property clean at one of its Elmwood Avenue locations. It’s even more interesting when a post of that nature draws the attention of someone outside of Buffalo, who experiences similar issues.

An email came in from Lois G. who lives in Alexandria, VA. The email was in response to the aforementioned article, which I posted during the Buffalo Garden Walk. Lois chimed in that she was also perturbed about the corporation’s irresponsibility when it comes to maintaining its properties.

Lois gathers bushels full of garbage in her little red wagon, most of which is 7-Eleven packaging and water bottles

“I, too, feel that 7-Elevens, in general, are a visual drag on the community,” wrote Lois. “Not only are the actual locations a mess, but the litter gets strewn for blocks in all directions from the store.  The unfortunate part (in my neighborhood) is how hard the local franchise owner is trying. When I met him and walked him out to his parking lot to show him the dozen cigarette packs and ashtray-thick butts littering the corner of his lot, he then spent two hours himself, to clean it up.  I’ve talked to the local 7-11 business consultant, the next two higher ups, and sent letters to the corporate owners in Japan, to impress upon them the effect they have in the neighborhood.

“7-11s do serve a purpose (I guess–I refuse to purchase there) because they are always super busy. But I feel that it is their responsibility to educate the customers (from whom they make a profit) on how to be responsible citizens.  Every Big Bite in a customer’s hand is a billboard with which to educate that customer (or at least request that the customer not throw the box in the street on the way home!) I’m trying to get 7-Eleven Corporate involved with the trash problem, since the franchisee doesn’t have the resources to take care of the premises. The people who buy 7-11 products and dump the wrappers in the neighborhood need to be educated; and that is Corporate’s job, by way of packaging. I sent a letter and photos to three execs in Japan and 5 execs in Irving, TX (where 7-11 has a beautiful and clean corporate headquarters in the Cypress Water development.”

Thanks for writing to us Lois. I believe that the responsibility falls upon the franchisee, the corporation, and the consumer. First off, every business owner has an extra half hour a day to clean up his or her property, especially when the garbage comes directly from products that are sold at the store. It’s too bad that so many people look at our neighborhoods as giant garbage cans – I believe that this all stems from lack of education. When I was young, I was taught that littering was wrong. I never questioned it, because it made sense. I wonder if schools even teach these types of basic lessons anymore. I also believe that The City should post signs that warn people that they are subjected to fines for littering. I am not aware of any of these signs in Buffalo – how about Alexandria?

I must also mention that since posting that initial public shaming piece on 7-Eleven, the tree plot has been kept much cleaner, although there is still no tree. Hopefully, that will come next.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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