Buy a Thermos, Save the World?

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to create a culture shift away from the hyperindividualistic, away from the instant gratification of impulse buying.

If you could do something small for the environment that could lead to big changes, would you just buy a thermos?

Hot on the heels of Baudrillard‘s postmodern sociological assertion of the hyperreal — the inability of the consciousness to distinguish between reality and a simulation of reality, (especially in regards to the technologically advanced postmodern societies) comes the hyperindividualistic — the tendency for people to act highly individualistically.

The proliferation of technology is just one way in which many people have taken note that we are more closed off to our neighbors in favor of spending more time absorbed in our own interests and ideologies, in an era that some social researchers are referring to as New Tribalism — slick marketing coupled with the increasing appetite for peeks into the lives of celebrities is exacerbated by the sheer number of the population who believe that they, through social media, are/or are on their way to becoming celebrities themselves.

What the hell does any of this have to do with a thermos? We all know drinking bottled water is bad. We also know that Flint isn’t the only place with racism in the water. We also know that Nestlé Denies that Water is a Fundamental Human Right, that the company is actively trying to privatize more and more of Michigan’s water, that they pay next to nothing for, and thus have a vested interest in the failure of Michigan’s public water infrastructure.

But Detroit still has an incredible drinking water system that services much of the region. It is a system that needs to be nurtured and properly funded in order to be maintained as a public good. That means the bottled water has got to go.

It means we have to consciously turn away from the simulation of reality in which it is okay for us to produce bags of garbage with all the packaging materials from our conspicuous consumption.

I believe a thermos is a great way to begin this shift. First of all, it’s an incredible technology that can keep your coffee hot all day long, then rinse it out and fill it up with cold water, it’ll keep that cold all day too. Obviously, it is reusable. But it is, in my opinion, a better choice of reusable container than reusable travel mugs and water bottles. This is because it is better suited to carry the variety of beverages we like to consume throughout the day.

Additionally, a thermos helps users have some forethought and planning of their day. We all know meal planning is a great way to stick to a diet, outlines are a great way to structure your writing process, the thermos is a great way to stick to brewing your own coffee and keeping it nice and fresh throughout the day, drink enough water after you finish your coffee, and save money by not trying to instantly gratify yourself with overpriced latte’s and bottles of water that often require twice as much water just to produce the bottle and transport, than they will ever ultimately contain before being added to the pile in the landfill.

For some time my peers and I have made something of a joke about ‘adulting’. Buying a thermos is a good start.