Friday, July 1, 2016

Glass Houses

Dear Friends,

The Hard Taco song for July is called, "All Manner of Lovely Things." Do me a favor, and imagine that this second sentence increases your interest in listening to it by about 20%.

You can always tell which Ann Arbor residents exist in harmony with themselves and their environment, because they wear Eastern textiles. I was in Berkeley California last weekend, and I saw folks wearing textiles from even farther east. Clearly, they understand progressivism and self-awareness at a deep level.  I was under the misconception that my hometown was a socially-enlightened nerve center, but compared to Berkeley, Ann Arbor is nothing more than a polluted relic, marinating in narrow-minded orthodoxy.

In Ann Arbor, we're still preoccupied with the Farm-to-Table Movement. In Berkeley, they recognize that lifting food three feet off the ground to place it on a table wastes energy and transplants these vegetables to a biologically artificial environment. Why would anyone willfully participate in biodeviance? They solve that problem in Berkeley by skipping the harvesting step, and composting their vegetables directly in their garden beds.

More than anything, my trip to Berkeley showed me positive role models for sustainable, ecosystematically-responsible living. I know I have a long journey ahead of me, but I’m through being part of the problem. It’s time for me to be part of the solution!

Actually, I fully intend to be all of the solution, but on my first pass, I’ll settle for part.

Let’s start by chastising the glass beer bottle sitting next to me on the table. Bottle, you are part of the problem. Glass can take over 50,000 years to decompose.  Here are some strategies I plan to employ to reduce my glass footprint.

  • Whenever possible, I will use cardboard milk cartons for my Molotov cocktails and colored construction paper instead of stained glass windows. 
  • Drinking draft beer is no better than drinking bottled beer, because it requires the use of glass cups. I will help change this culture of waste by putting my mouth directly on the tap. 
  • Not all renewable energy sources are equal. While using a glass magnifying lens to incinerate ants utilizes solar power, it also wastes glass. I will switch to pulverizing ants in a windmill.
  • I will throw all of my glass bottles into the ocean so people stranded on islands can use them for distress messages. Obviously, I will need to throw lots of pens and paper into the ocean, as well. 
  • Glass is mostly made out of sand. A practical way to reuse old glass bottles is to smash them into tiny shards and spread them around the sandbox at a local playground.
  • Wine bottles can be repurposed as candleholders. Unfortunately, candles are not an energy-efficient source of light, so this should never ever be done.
  • Using only the finest imported fossil fuels, I will heat my oven to 2800 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the temperature necessary to melt down my 16-ounce bottle so that I can mold it into the desired shape of a new 16 ounce bottle.
  • Unlike the glass used for beverages, window glass is not recyclable.  I will therefore attack my adversary with a smashed beer bottle rather than hurling him through the window of the saloon.
  • Separating green glass from clear glass is required in some cities, but separating Ira Glass from Frederick Douglass is just racist. 
With warmest regards,