Dear Trashy — Don’t Mock the Ziploc

Dear Trashy,

People make fun of me for washing used Ziploc bags and hanging them to dry and reuse. I’m talking about the big, gallon size bags, not just little sandwich or snack size. What should I tell these naysayers??

Sheila


Dear Sheila,

I have one piece of advice: get new friends. I’m usually against throwing things away, but I would recommend discarding any garbage friends who nonchalantly discard plastic and encourage you to do the same.

Now imagine for a moment that each piece of plastic thrown away becomes a Compsognathus, you know those tiny dinosaurs from Jurassic Park. Now individually, they seem harmless. What’s one plastic bag thrown away here and there? You’re not a monster who litters. You are just behaving like most human beings on this planet.

However, plastic never goes away. Unlike dinosaurs, they do not go extinct. It’s out there for the rest of your life, the rest of your children’s life, the rest of their children’s life, and so on and so forth until humans figure out how to deal with all their waste. So imagine there is a room where each sandwich bag you’ve ever thrown away in your life becomes a Compsognathus. Do you think your friends would like to be put in a room alone with all of those tiny dinosaurs. No, we’ve all seen Lost World.

While this might seem like an exaggeration, each piece of plastic your friends throw away can be as dangerous to our environment and the other animals you share the planet with as a small dinosaur can be to a hapless visitor to Jurassic Park. It’s not like the moment they throw that bag in the garbage it magically disappears. Perhaps if more people had to live with their waste, they might understand that.

I’m not supporting releasing dinosaurs into your friends’ homes to teach them a lesson. Mainly because dinosaurs are very hard to obtain these days. What I am suggesting is reminding your friends that you are a hero. You are taking the first step in the journey to eliminating plastic waste, which is reusing instead of disposing. You could take it a step further and buy some reusable bags, but already you are doing more than those monsters making fun of you.

You are precisely the kind of person this planet needs more of. So partner, I am deputizing you. Next time people make fun of you, lay down some cold hard truth with your sharp-shooting wit. Remind them that a plastic bag is used on average for 12 minutes, yet is here on this earth for a lifetime. You’re combating our single use lifestyle. If we truly want to curb the tidal wave of trash that I see every day it’s going to take people like you, not just trash wheels like me. I need deputies like you to explain to your friends why plastic needs to be stopped and model the way to a zero waste future.

Saddle up, Deputy Shelia. We’ve got a lot of work to do if we want to clean up this town and I’m counting on people like you to help me do it.

Sincerely,

Do you need advice from Mr. Trash Wheel? Comment below and your question might be the subject of the next Dear Trashy.

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