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March 12, 2008

Eco-Footprints and the Taxman

-Ghost Ranch, Abiqui, New Mexico, June 2007

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about sustainability, plastic bags, recycling, sea lice and fish farms, how to clean my oven non-toxically, and wasabi. (That last one –is an inside joke which if you’ve been reading my blog faithfully you would get). Aren't you glad you're not me?

Then, today I got my tax refund back and that got me to thinking about squeezing every last dime I can back from the government and I thought, hey, wait a minute here; shouldn’t those of us who have not procreated our crazy little selves into miniature, crazy little consumer-gobbling aficionados get some sort of tax break?

Shouldn’t I get a tax break because I have not contributed to the world’s population? I haven’t created another consumer-in-training and in Huggies. One less Elder in the making. One less pair of Depends needing to be manufactured and disposed. One less piece of techno hardware to be purchased and plugged in and then shipped back to India for dismantling, chip by chip.

Where’s the recognition, monetarily that is, for being childless? Where’s the tax break for never having contributed to child labour by purchasing outfit upon outfit of cute little Baby Gap clothing? Doesn’t it just seem so wrong that the government gives money to people who have kids just because they did. For what reason exactly? This isn’t 1945 anymore. They had sex. As a result, they spawned a sticky little rug rat or maybe they even spawned two or three little baby Whos all in one big push and shove thanks to the pharmaceutical companies remedy to the infertility epidemic and now these people get money too? That’s just so wrong. It's like the single supplement on travel in which you're penalized for travelling alone. It's just so wrong! What is the rationale behind those two things at this point in the earth’s history?

I did a little test off a website that helps you to determine what your Ecological Footprint is. You might want to get a prescription for an antidepressant before you go there.

The unfortunate part is that a lot of the questions use metric so I think, not exactly being a math person, I guessed at a lot of my answers. And, as a result, I think I answered in ways that would make it seem that I drive way farther than I really do. It makes it seem that I pack away red meat like a ravenous tiger in a National Geographic special, (absolutely not true)and I shower, well, yes, I like long hot showers. I admit it.

But, there’s only one of me so I just don’t get how it’s possible that according to this little test that if everyone lived like I did we’d need three earths, not just one.

Just call me Baby Sasquatch. My footprint is gonna kill you, me and the baby! (That’s my favourite line from the movie The Fly that has never left my consciousness, ever).

My advice to you? Don’t be lying down in the garden for a little afternoon siesta when I’m out for a little stroll. My huge planet-sized footprint is going to squish your little head.

But seriously, isn’t it about time that we stopped paying people because they had sex and they had a baby and give a tax break to those of us who haven’t? Had a baby that is, not sex.

What about re-examining that policy at this point in time in honour of sustainability?

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