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Further Evidence I Didn’t Need That The Green Movement Is Pretentious and Annoying

Further Evidence I Didn’t Need That The Green Movement Is Pretentious and Annoying


I’m going to start a movement called Purple, and it will be all about using shit one time and then throwing it away.

We will champion the cause of the common man/woman who has a simple goal of putting his unwanted crap in a landfill. And we will reward him for doing it by building a park on top of that landfill for future generations to enjoy. We will charge you more for new furniture than for furniture made from “reclaimed” materials, because of course things that are new should cost more than things that are already used. We will force people to use disposable diapers because cloth diapers are nasty and why are you putting a pin–safety or otherwise–so close to your baby’s private parts when you don’t have to? We also will encourage people to remember that white is white, and not a brown dingy off-white color, and that things like laundry detergent are 1) supposed to be purchased in stores; and 2) smell good, like a fresh summer breeze in a chemical plant, so that you don’t have to actually smell the world around you. Because the world around you stinks.

And to make sure this movement really catches on, I’m going to recruit John McCain–because this will be a bipartisan movement, of course–I will get John McCain to make a video of himself pontificating on the fact that recycling is lame and mostly a waste of time. The video, “The Most Convenient of Truisms,” will feature John McCain reading a script that I’ve written for him where he talks about how most of the shit you do to recycle uses up more resources than it saves, and that we mostly just do this crap to make ourselves feel better, and that every couple of years there’s some new thing that tells you to switch whatever you were doing to a different way and then start all over again. And that every time you do this, this leads to even more wasted resources, and it’s all a bunch of trendy hullabaloo anyway.

Like this stupid display I saw at Starbucks yesterday. First of all, plastic swizzle sticks, Starbucks? You do know that we’ve heard of these before, right? Because you can call them “splash sticks” all you want, and put a little wave of coffee aroma on the top, but isn’t that just like putting lipstick on a plastic swizzle stick? You know who else has plastic swizzle sticks, Starbucks? Who has had them since I was–I don’t know–two years old, sitting on my grandmother’s knee while she chainsmoked? McDonald’s. That’s right: McDonald’s has plastic swizzle sticks. So congratulations. You’ve now copied McDonald’s and blamed it on us.

And this “feature” that these sticks are reusable? Yeah. I get that, but now you expect me to carry around a plastic swizzle stick for the whole rest of the day? Which the chance of me doing? Is less than zero. In fact, you know what I’m going to do, Starbucks? I’m going to take one of your splash sticks, use it, and then ceremoniously throw it away. Right in front of you. What are you doing to do about it? Call the green police on me? Do you honestly think that I’m any less likely to throw away this “splash stick” than I was the wooden stick you used to have? Guess again.

Comments (15)

  1. Sep 4, 2009

    One thing that pisses me off in the I’m-about-to-go-crazy way is the practice credit card/utility companies have adopted trying to guilt you out of paper statements. “Please, stupid average American, would you please save some trees and critters and stuffs by switching to electronic billing? Your paper statement is just so unwieldy and clumsy and foul for the environment! Don’t be a meanie, okay?” I’m sure they think consumers are that stupid and sentimental, but there are a vocal lot of us that are keenly aware of wacky things like ‘a profit margin’ and ‘keeping overhead low’.

    I just want them to come out and say it: “Hello, gentle consumer! We give not a fuck about the state of this planet, we merely want to line our pockets with the former costs of postage and paper and those nifty little window envelopes! Fuck you, and if you don’t do things like we’d prefer, we’ll start tacking on a buck-fifty to your bill every month!” Okay, and? Another way for me not to receive a paper statement is to cut your card up, jagoffs.

    /end screed

  2. Sep 4, 2009

    That’s the stupidest thing I’ve seen in weeks. The wooden stirrers will break down in a landfill fairly quickly. The plastic stirrers won’t. And there’s absolutely zero chance I’d walk around with my own stirrer…and I’m a treehugger.

    Starbucks has done quite a few things lately that make me think they’re off their rocker.

  3. Sep 4, 2009

    I think they’ve enjoyed easy market dominance for so long, the recession hits them and they start to panic. First they copied McDonalds with the value meals, now with these stupid stirrers.

  4. Sep 4, 2009

    I prefer the online statements because I’d much rather not file stuff, but you’re right–packaging it as environmental consciousness is just patronizing bullshit. I think that’s what annoys me most about this Green thing. I don’t object to the save the world attitude, I’m just sick of all the lying and BS that goes along with it.

  5. Sep 5, 2009


    I was about to say the same thing. Yea, the wooden ones come from trees, but weed is far more friendly to the environment sitting in a landfill than a plastic stick. And who is really going to keep these? If anything, they should sell these splash sticks, make them out of recycled aluminum or something more permanent than plastic, and have a lanyard attached to them to tie to your iphone. They could call them iSuck coffee sticks and I bet more people would keep them. Giving away products for free creates a lack of value with them, therefore people are going to throw them away.

    Is this campaign what they are doing with all the savings they created by laying off 60% of their employees and closing down just as many stores?

  6. Sep 5, 2009

    BAH-HA! iSuck! iLove it.

  7. Rohan
    Sep 14, 2009

    They’re called splash sticks because you can put them into the opening on the lid of your drink and it keeps it from splashing.

  8. Sep 14, 2009

    Rohan is right, although that in no way diminishes the awesomeness of this post. They’re not meant for stirring–and they’re too short for that anyway. They fit tightly in the mouth hole of the Starbucks lid so your drink doesn’t splash out. Which is an excellent idea, but a piece of scotch tape does equally well.

    Except that’s not RESUSABLE, goddammit!

  9. Rohan
    Sep 14, 2009

    Yeah, the “reusable” bit is definitely a stretch. Usually when I walk around with a hot drink I manage to splash it all over my shirt. I used one the other day and it completely cured that problem. But I lost it about 10 seconds after I started drinking my drink.

  10. […] by green alternatives to the things we have always used. Some examples of this are the new Starbucks splash sticks, green cleaning solutions and cloth grocery […]

  11. Oct 19, 2009

    Oh come on. You don’t think re-usable toilet paper or the menstrual cup (http://www.divacup.com/) are ideas whose time has come?

  12. Oct 25, 2009

    Anna, I think I love you.

    Related, why haven’t I found you before? Well, I have, actually, but somehow missed all of your awesomeness until tonight. (Yes, I’m the freak that’s been on your stat counter for about 2 hours.)

    I’ll be back, in a non-freaky, non-stalkerish kind of way.

  13. Oct 27, 2009

    Hi Headless Mom, and thanks! sorry I took so long to respond to this — I got caught up somehow. Glad to have you as a reader. You’re not a fan of placenta teddy bears, I take it? 🙂

  14. Oct 27, 2009

    No, not so much.

    We’ve danced around each other in other’s comments for a couple of years I think but for some reason on Sunday I found a couple of posts of yours that I found my self completely engrossed in. Good work! I’m sure we’ll see each other around more often now.

  15. Aug 1, 2010

    Reusing plastic swizzle sticks is not going to save the environment. If Starbucks stopped using paper cups and only served people in reusable mugs or travel mugs maybe they would be on the right path. I’ve been to Starbucks where there was no recycling to be seen anywhere, so people were throwing out paper cups and the plastic lids. This issue is like the pop tab issue. People collect pop tabs to recycle and then use the money to build wheel chairs. So much money is lost transporting pop tabs around, when people are throwing away WHOLE aluminum CANS. It makes no sense.

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