The Barest of things...
When it comes to environmental issues, there is no shortage of things for us to be outraged about. This week, it was Donald Trump’s alleged castration of the solar industry, mostly because orange people hate anything relating to the sun. Last year we were all mad that the US government was trying to finish off the Native Americans once and for all by means of a giant pipe so everybody checked in to a different place on Facebook to express their anger. These days everybody is back to checking in to bars and restaurants so I guess that whole thing worked out.
Fortunately we have environmental warriors like Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio flying around the world in private jets to let everyone know that nice things like private jets are bad for the environment. Fun fact: did you know that every time Leo bangs a model half his age, a fuel efficient tree gets its wings? Don’t ask me what that means because I don’t know and you wouldn’t understand anyway because you are not Leonardo DiCaprio.
For my part, I have decided to direct my anger and rage on a new front in the war to save our planets. Join me and let us band together to unleash our fury on grocery store chains and their unholy war on every paper producing tree on the planet. If you have ever been to Bi-Lo or Ingles and purchased one single item, you know exactly what I am talking about: Receipts that are longer than the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Seriously, what marketing department decided that consumers were so enamored by their receipts as reading material that they would make great advertising tools? In addition to listing the only relevant information – the actual items purchased – they include information about store promotions I do not care about, the bonus points I earned on that purchase, analytics about how many points I have earned in the last year, what I might be able to do once I earn more points, a request for me to fill out a survey about my experience, what I can win once I fill out this survey, and the phone number for the store manager just in case I want to call her up and talk about my feelings.
The result of all this is a nearly two foot long receipt for a single purchase and an environmental impact of nightmarish proportions.
The other day I stopped at Ingles for some Boars Head roast beef so I could make a sandwich. When I got home, I realized I was out of cheese and, because the thought of a cheese-less roast beef sandwich is absurd, I ran up to Bi-Lo to replenish my supply. In total, I spent less than $10 on two items at two stores and am probably responsible for the waste of at least 13 trees that never did anything to harm anybody. To make matters worse, I did not look at my points, engage in either of the store’s promotions, or make a mental note of the managers’ names and numbers before I deposited the 37 pounds of receipt paper in my recycling bin.
As much as I would like to remedy this issue by doing all my shopping at Swamp Rabbit Café & Grocery where I can just push the button that says “no receipt” at the end of my transaction, it is hardly convenient or cost effective, especially on a freelance writer’s budget. Instead, I have an alternative solution…
Starting today, every time l am forced to make a purchase that results in an unnecessarily long receipt, I am going to plant a tree. My own yard has enough trees, though, so I will be planting them in my friends and neighbors’ yards. Sure, it might not be the kind of tree they want or where they want it, but they will know that it is necessary because I was out of shampoo or, ironically, paper towels.
Join me on this mission and together we can counteract the damage done by the evil, tree hating grocers of America. Their war on greenery will prove to be futile and we can march forward together in a happier, healthier tree loving world. Fête it be.