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March 07, 2008

Cloth versus Plastic

Do you ever get the feeling as you're standing in your up scale grocery store with food so perfect that you're afraid to buy it because it looks like it has been prepared by a food stylist and you've forgotten your little cloth bag for the 100th time that it's all just a conspiracy aimed at the wrong people: Us. Individuals. What if you have a family of five? How many cloth bags do you need then and how falsely smug can you feel as the guy behind you says, Plastic. I'll have plastic. So shoot me.

Now, I'm not saying that individuals - you, me and the baby - can't make a difference. I'm all for reduce, reuse, recycle. But, every time I hear something aimed at you and me, the individual, all I can see are corporate logos, the military industrial complex that still exists and lineups at the chocolate buffet on all those cruiseships. What happens to all that left over food on those floating palaces of gluttony anyway?

All I can hear is how much profit the banks made this year even though their earnings were down in the fourth quarter. All I can imagine are what the president's offices look like in all those head offices of all those oil companies in Calgary and Dubai and Saudi Arabia.

All I can see are planes taking off full of tourists and plastic cutlery, thousands of pieces, floating in space and how much we, whenever we get on a plane, end up consuming prior to our little vacation so we'll have the right stuff when we get to our destination. But, hey, we buy our groceries in cloth bags and we recycle and clean out the cans and shop at second hand stores and we ride our bike so like, we're even right? We're okay?

And, all I can see is beyond the packaging that's going into making so called green products, look green. Here's a tip: Baking soda. Vinegar. Borax. That's green. You don't need to buy anything that somebody else made and packaged in a way that fools you into believing that theirs is the purest, the cleanest, most environmentally friendly in the name of profit. And, then again, ever tried to clean your oven without using the most toxic shit on the planet because it seems to work? Fast! Yes, you could run out and buy ammonia and put some in a little glass and leave it in your oven overnight (but then you'd have ammonia in your house), and then use good old fashioned elbow grease to scrape away the blackened droppings but ammonia?

So, what's the ecological footprint of let's say Chevron compared to yours? Look down. You're wearing a pair of cute little Robeez booties and they're wearing Size "killing the planet and don't give a shit" shi shi $500 designer sneakers. What's Walmart's ecological footprint? They don't sell cheap sandals Made in China big enough for their ecological footprint. How about IKEA? Every time I ever go to IKEA, I look around and I start to get queasy and I wonder, how many times do you need to buy new dishes, again, anyway? Who are all these people that are just setting up house for the first time anyway? But, then I'm there too. Just lookin mind you!

Forgive me for being born I think as I tip toe around hoping my footprint isn't making too big an indentation, anywhere, because I'm trying to shrink into oblivion especially now that China is just coming into capitalism.

I was watching Oprah the other day and what about Oprah? What about that show she has where she gives away all that product? I digress. So, I saw, on Oprah, these people who are calling themselves "freegans". They go dumpster diving in New York city behind major restaurants or food stores and end up getting enough tossed food in perfectly good condition to feed a small village in Africa.

I don't know about you but I'm still trying to aim for just two days without buying nothing. And, I'm not even a major consumer type. I'm not exactly a high maintenance, high end, pick up the drycleaning and don't forget to drop by the doggy daycare after my manicure once I'm done with my personal coaching session and my personal trainer in my Mercedes kind a gal.

A few links:
Are you a closet Freegan?
Get Local
Cleaning Toxic free
Eat the Seasons
Carbon Neutral

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