The battle of conservation vs. consumerism
I’ve made some small changes lately concerning conservation. First and foremost are plastic water bottles. Yes, the kind we all use (usually just once and then throw away). As it turns out (like I needed someone to tell me), this is bad. Plastic doesn’t biodegrade back into the Earth. It sits around, ever so slowly deteriorating, and gets to watch us and nature either e- or de- volve, depending on your perspective. There’s a moral dilemma here, because if one takes a conservative route and decides to re-use these plastic bottles, they are essentially drinking water along with the plastic that makes up the bottle. Yes, the bottle’s construction and chemical makeup is slowly deteriorating after being open, so you’re doing the Earth a favor by re-using the bottle, but there’s not enough scientific evidence yet to decide what plastic intake can do to the human body. I’m assuming plastic intake can’t be good for the body, right? These one-time only use plastic bottles take up a lot of space in the world’s landfills, so if possible, it’s best to avoid them altogether.
The solution, or best bet so far that I’ve been told, is a high density plastic water bottle that can be re-used often, is constructed of recycled plastic and doesn’t chemically break down over time. Yeah, they’re a little pricey, but it’s a small price to pay for a plastic-free body, so I’ve been bringing one with me on excursions and drinking water whenever it feels right.
The first problem arose the other night when I ventured out to see a band at a club in Brooklyn. The door guy asked to search my bag, did so and asked me to remove my water bottle and dump out the contents in front of the club, stating that outside beverages are not allowed into the club. I told him that the outside beverage would not be drank inside the club, that I intended to drink beer inside his club and then went into my plastic bottle spiel. His reply was that if I drank out of my own water bottle inside the club, that I was in fact taking money away from the club, because usually, had I not had my own water bottle, I would purchase a one-time only use plastic bottle of water inside the club for $2.00. I stated that it wasn’t about the money, and though it sounds dumb, that it was about a small change I was trying to make for the better of myself and the Earth. The doorman stood in front of a dirty club in a gentrified section of Brooklyn, thanked me for the ethical argument and told me that if I in fact was caught drinking from my own water bottle inside the club, that I would be ejected and not allowed back in.
It was a lofty battle for a bottle of water, and it made me realize that the entire act of conservation is a moot point when there’s money to be made off of being wasteful, unless people can figure out ways to make money off of being conservative, which is how I got to this argument in the first place (by reading about the damage of plastic water bottles in a book I bought and purchasing a water bottle made of recycled plastic). Once again, either way you’re fucked…..
Quick Chek, Potato Chips and Close Calls with Toothpaste Fights
Last night, after riding my bike, I decided to stop at my local Quick Check and purchase a bag of Wise Lightly Salted Potato Chips. They’re two bags for $2.00, so I grabbed two bags, a poppy seed bagel and made my way to the counter. It was slightly after 11:30 PM at this point, and the man that works the graveyard shift is, well, not the happiest guy in the world. I usually empathize with his grumpy mood and try not to push his buttons too much and vice versa, but he had in fact already pissed off the person in front of me with his grumpiness, unwillingness to answer consumer questions and lack or cordiality. He had in fact refused to sell the person in front of me a pack of Dutch’s. (I think they’re cigars that most people hollow out and smoke weed with, but since I’m not the weed smoking type, I can’t really tell you.) You need to be 18 or over to purchase Dutch’s, and this man had no ID. An argument ensued, one that our Quick Chek friend had no interest in partaking in, so he simply stood there and ingested berated racial slurs from someone that wasn’t getting high anytime soon. This person was also purchasing a tube of toothpaste and a bottle of Sprite. He continually said over and over “Look, if you don’t like your job, get out of here!” which was followed by, “That’s all I got to say to you!”
The problem was, he said these two phrases in succession three times each. I started to smile, realizing the irony of it all. He turned around, saw me smirking and asked what was so funny, so I told him.
“You’ve ended your sentence with “That’s all I got to say to you!” and then you said it two more times. It’s slightly ironic, don’t you think?”
His reply was not. “I ought to slap you upside the head with this fucking toothpaste if you don’t shut up bitch!”
I shut up, he left, I paid for my items, went home, ate my chips and watched TV. When all that ended, I brushed my teeth and went to bed. The toothpaste made its way into my mouth and not, in fact, upside my head….