IWUZ at my local, Natural – and greener than thou – Foods store the other day to pick up some Chia seeds and high potency fish oil. I walked up to the check out, and the twenty-something young cashier chirped out: “Would you like a paper bag for 25 cents or a reusable bag for two dollars?”

I couldn’t resist. “Do you know they have to kill trees to make paper bags? No plastic bags?”

Twenty-something: “Paper bags biodegrade. Plastic bags don’t.”

Me: “So what? It’s a landfill.”

TS: Plastic bags could last for ten thousand years! That’s terrifying!

Me: “So what? It’s a landfill.”

TS: “That’s terrifying!”

Me: Why?”

TS: “That they would sit there for ten thousand years without biodegrading. That’s terrifying!”

Me: “It’s a land fill. Twenty five years ago I read an article in a science magazine about the Fresh Kills landfill in New York City. They dug down 30 feet and one of the things they found was a 15 year old ham sandwich, perfectly preserved. It hadn’t biodegraded at all.”

TS: “It must have been full of chemicals or something! That’s terrifying.”

Although the girl looked Caucasian; by this time I had the uneasy feeling I was dealing with a green operative who had been trained in North Korea.

Me: “No, lack of oxygen.”

TS: “That’s terrifying!”

I gave up. I suppose I might have marginally raised my status in TS’ eyes had I told her that we re-use plastic grocery bags to line the garbage and trash containers; rather than buy them separately at the store. And we have four rain barrels. But I didn’t. I paid my 25 cents, and walked out with TS looking at my back and thinking; “That’s terrifying.”

I walked to my car reflecting about brainwashed twenty-somethings who somehow are taught not to think, and thought: “That’s terrifying!”

True story.

Going back for our future


4 Comments on “THAT’S TERRIFYING!”

  1. Randall J Morrison August 1, 2012 at 11:42 AM #

    Big picture: the human race is a collection of slobs. Whether or not our global littering is causing climate change or not, we are very disrespectful to our planet. I think humankind missed a golden opportunity, when science eclipsed religion with explanations for life, to worship the earth: air, water and land. These truly are responsible for the ability to sustain life not some fairy tales, invented by the ancients. I prefer the “brainwashed” lass whose approach to life on the planet will help sustain the planet.

    • davewr2012 August 1, 2012 at 12:41 PM #

      I am in complete agreement that we need to clean up our act. I have 8 grand kids and I don’t want to bequeath them a dump. But the fact is that as countries industrialize and become wealthier, their air, water and soil do become cleaner. Environmentalism costs money.
      Insisting on paper bags which require trees, and re-usable bags which require washing with water and soap and electricity, rather than plastic, which can also be re-cycled, or re-used, as we do; seems to me to be more about style than substance.
      I’m all for green energy. But we have no remotely economical way to store wind or solar energy for when the wind doesn’t blow, or the sun doesn’t shine. Until storage technology improves enormously, we need to develop ways to burn fossil fuels ever more cleanly.
      Our Environmental Commitment at The Let’s Do It Ourselves Movement is: “Be Sensibly Green”.
      Incidentally, I drive a Ford Fiesta. I say that I have it for the prestige, because unless I’m upstaged by a Smart fortwo, I have the smallest car in the parking lot.
      Someday I’ll do a blog about religions and fairy tales. I know their are other atheists who read this blog and I’m happy to hear your positions, and to respectfully, offer mine.

  2. Randall J Morrison August 1, 2012 at 7:28 PM #

    I agree that we cannot stop our reliance on fossil fuels cold turkey and I agree that we must find a cleaner way to use these resources. Saskatchewan is one of the worst polluters in the country and that needs to change. In the meantime I would rather the young lady err on the side of the planet. Her “science” may not be accurate but I like her concern.

  3. Guy Plecash November 20, 2012 at 7:30 PM #

    Yep, concern is the indispensable starting point. If it leads to education and then action perhaps the young lady need not err at all.

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