She said: Avoid excessive Styrofoam waste
I am just itching to meet the godforsaken human being who thought Styrofoam was a good idea.
Google tells me he is the venerable and dearly departed Mister Otis Ray McIntire, but I'm not convinced. “Satan's minion” just feels like a far more accurate title — partially because it'll take the sulfurous and eternal fires of Hell to purge the world of all the disposable coffee cups and excessive stereo packaging we've produced.
Even though he's probably already cackling with delight at the slow deterioration of the world from his six-foot-under vantage point, I would still tell him all about the misery his cancerous, non-degradable product has caused me over the years.
I'd ask to be reimbursed for the countless, underpaid hours I spent in a Virginia Tech dining hall, slinging salads into brittle little boxes for my former sorority sisters and wrestlers trying to make weight.
“Do you know how ridiculous I looked, Otis?” I’d demand. “Carrying stacks of those pasty white boxes that were taller than I was while a herd of catty girls watched? It was mortifying.”
That would remind me of the crippling embarrassment of bringing a boy back to my dorm freshman year, only to open the door to the smell of rotting meat and the mountain of petroleum-produced containers my hermit roommate had stacked on every available surface of the room.
“That kid never called me back, Otis,” I’d say. “And I can tell you right now it’s not because I was a bad kisser.”
Then I'd try to explain how it's now easier to break into Fort Knox than it is to open a set of Costco-wrapped dishes, and how the sound of fingernails scraping across Styrofoam still haunts me in my dreams.
“I know you’ve never heard of Costco,” I’d tell him. “But it is actually physically impossible to resist buying things from there. That’s on you.”
But the worst, the absolute worst thing of all, is the crushing guilt. It's the weight of the 1.86 billion pounds of Styrofoam used in the U.S. each year, and the weight of knowing that I would still rather drink a cup of terrible coffee or avoid West End during dinner time than stop using to-go containers.
“Mister McIntire,” I’d say. “You are clearly the source of my laziness and apathy.”
“You and your cheap packaging,” I’d go on, “are the reason that a sustainability-driven university has still not shirked an overwhelmingly harmful product in favor of an environmentally friendly option, or even attempted to implement a program that could successfully recycle its vast amounts of waste. You are the shame of recycling centers, the bane of biodegradable manufacturers, the scapegoat of environmentalists everywhere, and you should be ashamed."
And then, for the first night in a long, long time, I’d rest easy knowing that I’d put in my fair share of effort towards saving the earth and strived to achieve a less harmful lifestyle. My job would be done.
He said: Devote more time to sustainable efforts