Making A Difference Together
One of the oddest insults we’ve found out there is Tree Hugger. How could caring about the environment be a bad thing when the environment is quite literally the one thing we all depend on for survival? We can sort of see why shortsighted business owners (you now the ones who exploit the environment to make more money) would be angry about people trying to limit their access and therefore hurt their bottom line, because well, they’re ruthless. It’s the actions of the average citizens, those who have nothing to lose and everything to gain, that are concerning. And by average, we don’t mean typical. We know, and appreciate, that when it comes to the environment, the majority of us go through the motions by putting recyclables in blue bins, throwing garbage in the proper place, and buying bamboo toothbrushes (wink wink). We don’t expect everyone to be an eco-warrior, and respect people’s right to choose not to be part of the solution. But there are far too many people going out of their way to be part of the problem, and that is making us eco-worriers.
For example, one of our customers recently shared this experience with us:
“I love your products, and while I respect how upfront you are about the plastic packaging used to sell them, I’m hoping one day you’ll find a better solution. But until then, like you say, every little bit helps, right? But what do you say about this situation? My son and I were recently part of a river cleanup, an annual event where towns along the river team up to remove trash and debris. All the volunteers received bright yellow t-shirts and hats, then spent the better part of the day pulling out the garbage that was in and along the river. A local radio station did a remote broadcast, local businesses donated lunch and water, and the pubic works department provided transportation for the litter. It was a true community effort that resulted in truckloads of trash, which included dozens of rubber tires, several small refrigerators, a moped, and of all things, a giant wheel of cheese (which we later learned was worth close to a thousand dollars…presumably before it went in the river!), ending up at the city dump.
People hugged and high-fived as they left for the day, satisfied with a job well done…only to arrive home to find a video posted on social media from two fisherman who filmed themselves intentionally dumping their empty beer cans and food wrappers into the river. Apparently, they were upset that all the clean-up activity interfered with their fishing and thought this would be a good way to get revenge for not catching anything. How do I explain that to my son when I don’t even understand it myself? What drives people to do this? It’s..it’s…I don’t know what it is. Is there even a word to describe someone who gleefully destroys their own source of sport and sustenance?”
We can think of a few words, sure, but none that we’ll share…because, ya know, we’re all unconditionally loving and stuff. (wink)
What we can say is thankfully, people like that are the exception, not the rule. While it’s upsetting to hear how a few bad apples can spoil the work of the bunch, please know that such work is never wasted. It’s hard to fathom how those fishermen, who stood to directly benefit from a cleaner river, still chose to muck it up, but we hope their actions do not discourage you and your son from continuing your efforts to make the world a better place.
As for your son, if he still has questions, maybe a page from his science book will do the trick. Tell him about Sir Isaac Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion, which states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction…
KID: “Wait, so that means for every good guy, there’s a bad guy, like those fishermen? You’re saying it’s always gonna be a tie?”
Crud, that didn’t go the way we planned. Let’s look at Newton’s 1st Law of Motion instead, which states that “every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force.” And YOU, ALL of you out there, are that external force. Your actions can compel others to change their direction or state…
Take a step. Be the change. Make a difference.
We promise to keep doing our part, and hope you all continue to do yours. Together we can make a difference. And next time one of you feels compelled to throw a thousand dollars worth of cheese in the river, please send it our way 🙂