Okay. After watching a documentary called “Bag It” about how much plastic we use, which by the way is WAY too much, I’ve hopped on my high horse (named Nesbit) and decided to resent everything I find ridiculous. I’m going to start with the Oscar Meyer commercials I’ve seen lately. For instance, Carving Board Turkey- the catchy line being, “you don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving for the perfect Thanksgiving sandwich.”
YES. YOU DO HAVE TO WAIT. Thanksgiving comes once a year, in all of its turkey, cranberry, stuffing glory. You CANNOT have Thanksgiving turkey every day just because you want it. Nevermind that it totally undermines the anticipation of one of the greatest holidays ever. (Which I believe because I’m a fat kid who loves food, not because it celebrates the pilgrims showing up and totally ruining the Native Americans’ day/lives). But because we cannot keep going down the path of “I want it right now so I’m going to have it right now”. The internet is bad enough. Can we not preserve any of our traditions? I’m all for integrating new things into our lives, I’m not saying change is bad. We’ve always been a nation of multiple nationalities, the “melting pot”. Which is awesome. But trying to bring holiday favorites into our every day life is just absurd. Suck it up and wait for Thanksgiving. And maybe Christmas, as some people like a turkey dinner to celebrate Jesus. Whatever. But don’t be eating turkey sandwiches that taste like Thanksgiving in July! That is the month of hot dogs, burgers, and fireworks. I won’t EVEN get started on trying to eat locally, sustainable food, because I don’t think anyone is ready for that. Not to mention how hard it is to do without a LOT of people trying to do it together. I won’t lie, that kind of lifestyle is HARD. Especially if you’re straight college kid broke. But I do think it is an important part of conserving our planet. Along with reducing our waste. Which brings me to my next point.
Everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE should check out Bagitmovie.com. The Bag It documentary is all about how much CRAP we are putting into the environment, especially plastic bags. (in 2009 we used 102 BILLION plastic bags in the United States alone!) and how our actions in fact do have consequences. For instance, if you don’t use a reusable water bottle (I am addicted to my CamelBak, check it out if you’re looking for a place to start) and you’re buying bottled water all the time, you suck. The amount of oil (oh yeah, making plastic requires A LOT of oil! I had no idea!) and energy it takes to make/ship those bottles is absurd, and on top of that many of them aren’t really recyclable plastic. They get sent to China for women to work for absurdly low wages in terrible conditions to sort them from other trash and them melt them down in chemically dangerous ways. Plastic is cool, and does some great things. But we do not need to use SO MUCH of it. Our instant gratification in getting designer water, snacks, jerky, whatever is ridiculous.
“Think about it, why would you make something that you’re going to use for a few minutes out of a material that’s basically going to last forever, and you’re just going to throw it away. What’s up with that?”
– Jeb Berrier
And COFFEE! Jeeze people, buy a travel mug in a vibrant color or funky animal print and REFILL IT. The coffeegivers of the world are generally happy to do it, and in fact, some smaller coffee shops give you a discount for doing so! Not to mention a travel mug won’t burn your hands or require extra cardboard to be able to hold it. Which is one more thing to throw away. AND it’s not just cardboard. Those cups are actually LINED with plastic. PLASTIC. It’s everywhere! So put your java mocha half calf no whip extra foam blabbity blah blah in a REUSABLE mug and save the planet already!
Anyway, baby steps. I am in no way saying I am a champion at eating/living environmentally sustainably. But I do have both a water bottle and a travel mug I pretty much always keep on me. I also have a sickness where everything I drink must be on ice and consumed via straw, and I can’t very well cross contaminate my water bottle with soda and juice. BUT they sell these fun reusable BPA-free plastic cups that look like fountain soda cups. They even come with straws! And then you can fill-er-up at any soda fountain you want! Sometimes you get a refill discount! It’s a win-win people. My next goal is to start bringing my own plastic containers to the grocery store to collect veggies, nuts, fruits, meat, fish etc so I’m not using so many silly PLASTIC BAGS to take my apples and chicken breasts home in. Attempting to totally weed out plastic from your life is hard, and time consuming, as most everything must then be made from scratch. But next time you’re buying meat, take that old tupperware container with you and get your meat from the meatgiver (or seafoodgiver) behind the glass case. Easy access when you get home, and they don’t waste any paper/plastic wrapping up your stuff! Yes, it’s hard to remember, but if we all make the effort, we can make big changes! Every generation or so has their major challenge to overcome. War, Civil Rights, Economic Depression. I think it’s our turn to tackle this one- our population’s effects on the environment. As technology continues to make it possible to live life at a faster and faster pace, we’re consuming more things faster and faster. Which means throwing out things faster and faster. It’s gotta stop!
Alright. Nesbit is tired, and my proverbial butt is sore from our lengthy ride today. But don’t worry, I’ll be back in the saddle again soon.