So, one of my major character flaws is that I have an extremely low tolerance for behaviors that negatively impact our environment. And for my more environmentally-conscious friends, I should clarify why this is such a major character flaw.
Because even when I’ve just learned about an issue or my awareness has just been raised about an issue, I am immediately indignant when I see someone else engaging in said issue.
As an example, several months ago, I was in line at McDonald’s (an entirely separate issue that I hate to even admit to here) scrolling through the Facebooks as I waited for a coffee and Egg McMuffin (I know. Seriously. I’m working on it.) when I came across a meme highlighting the significantly negative impact of straws on our environment. I IMMEDIATELY looked at the person standing next to me sipping their soda through a straw and gave them a look of complete disgust. Nevermind that only moments before I was planning to grab a straw for my coffee (because I like to drink my coffee through a straw. Again. I know. A whole notha issue.)
It’s like, I’m totally forgiving of myself for being unaware of the impact of straws, but I offer no such consideration to the world, at large.
I blame my parents. This is only child named Sunshine syndrome. If I’m aware, the world must be aware. Because the world revolves around me… (And again. I KNOW. I’m seriously working on these issues.)
So, this is my attempt to raise awareness (supported by research) and offer some solutions on a few key issues that are currently triggers for my judgement and side eye.
Let’s go ahead and start with straws. Now, I have a wild distrust for memes of any sort these days. So, I did some research to see if my straw indignation was justified.
Rather than go into all of the statistics here, I’m going to post this pic and link it back to an article that will run you through all of the research yourself. Just click on the picture and take a look.
So, here are some reasons why you might use a straw and my perfectly logical solutions to them.
Protects your teeth from acid erosion from all the soda you drink. – Solution, stop drinking that crap. If you’re worried about it eroding your teeth, what the hell do you think it’s doing to your stomach and the rest of your internal organs??? Seriously. I’m pretty sure there are videos out there showing how that stuff is used to clean block engines. (I don’t actually know if the term block engine is a thing. But I think you get my point.)
Keeps you from getting the mouth herpes in restaurants that you don’t trust to wash their glasses thoroughly. – Why are you eating in these restaurants? If you don’t trust them to wash a glass, what in the hell is leading you to trust them to wash a fork or not sneeze in your food or to wash their hands after going to the bathroom? If this is a for real, legit concern of yours, then you might oughta rethink the whole eating out idea altogether. (Plus, I don’t think the herps survive that long outside of the body. But, again, I’m not sure. I refuse to research that one. I got suckered into Googling the term blue waffle one time. Just. Just don’t do it.)
It keeps you from spilling your sweet tea all over yourself while you’re trying to text and drive. How can anyone expect you to do all three without a straw? – First of all, if one more of you encroaches into my lane because you’re doing anything other than trying to avoid hitting a small child or animal, I’m just going to assume that you’re initiating a fun game of bumper cars and I’m gonna speed up and maintain course. I’ll be braced for the impact. You won’t. But back on topic, invest in a reusable straw. No, really. These are a thing. You can even get them in funky designs if you need more motivation than to stop killing Baby Shamu.
Plastic Water Bottles
As a runner, I’ve been guilty of this one on multiple occasions. Many races still offer plastic bottles of water at the finish line. And when you’ve just run 13.1 miles through the thirteen rings of hell, you’re desperate. But desperation does not excuse the behavior. I’m giving myself the side eye on this one, too.
I’m not even going into reasons for this one. They’re easy, convenient, and we think the water tastes better. Plus, Flint. I’m giving those folks a pass.
But there are so many solutions if we’ll just stop being so freakin lazy. A little bit of effort and we could eliminate that crap entirely.
- Learn how to drink tap water. Honestly, do you really think those 99 cent bottles of water are really filled with purified spring water? Get over yourself. Drink the tap water. (Again, Flint, y’all get such a huge pass on this one.)
- If you’re a runner, start opting to sign up for those races that are going cup-free. My Mountain Junkies are an excellent local option. We’re running this weekend. And I’m getting another pair of socks if dude and Race Director Gina can handle the stress of choosing which pair for me. Ragnar requires you to bring your own cup to races. They’ll provide the water, but you better have something to put it in, otherwise you’re risking serious injury trying to back bend low enough to get your mouth under the stream and that’s hard to do after you’ve put in 6 miles in the blazing heat. Not that I’d know. I probably haven’t ever tried it because I forgot to bring my cup with me.
- And if the tap water is really that bad, buy a filter. Save up the $30 and buy yourself a water filter, fill it up every morning, and voila! Plus, you get the added bonus of monitoring your water intake, which is something you should probably doing anyway so you can stop drinking all of that damn soda. (I’ve made it easy for you. Just click on the picture of the water filter pitcher and buy it now. Or shop around. Just don’t get distracted by the ads for books and cat videos and then forget what you were doing. Because I know that’s not just a me issue.)
Ok. This one’s harder because it has become a thing to release a bunch of balloons into the air to honor a loved one that has passed. I’m not going to rage on those people. I will simply request that when I die, if any of you are so moved to honor my life (and I know at least two of you damn well better be so moved), then do something helpful. Plant trees. Walk some pound dogs and cuddle some pound cats. Coordinate a clean up effort. And round out the day with a kick ass dance contest, complete with cardboard and someone in the back yelling, “NOOICE!”
I will, however, rage against those people still using balloons at birthday parties and events and celebrations of any kind. Because here is the end result of these celebrations. (And if you click on the montage of horror, you can read more about it.)
But you know what doesn’t result in seal asphyxiation and is also way more kick ass than balloons? Ribbon dancers!
Oh, I’m definitely coming to your party if you have some ribbon dancing options going on. I feel like I could really excel at this. How does one not look AWESOME doing this?
Honestly. Give these a purchase and I will entertain the hell out of your next party.
I have more, but I think I might just end on that note and hope that someone invites me to a party involving ribbon dancing…