Freaking Out Over a Juice Box

Leslie Garrett by Leslie Garrett | January 20th, 2012 | 4 Comments
topic: Green Living

A friend recently reported to me that she was taken to task by a green-leaning colleague for selecting a juice box to drink at a networking function. Juice boxes, the eco-narc proclaimed, were NOT recyclable in their municipality. My friend sheepishly sucked on her tiny plastic straw, convinced that all her attempts to live green — riding her bicycle to work, growing her own organic produce — were wiped out by this one transgression.

I know how my friend feels. Thanks to Al Gore and a few others bringing news of the planet’s peril to the masses, the noise around eco-living has become a cacophony.

I well recall the day I was lambasting my three children — aged 3, 5 and 8 at the time — because I had found a #2 plastic bottle (high-density polyethylene, an easily recycled plastic in our area) in the garbage bin.

“This!” I held up the offending item to my wide-eyed children, “Is! Recyclable! It! Does! Not! Belong! In! The! Garbage!” My eldest eyed the door, no doubt calculating her chances of escape. My husband walked into this bizarre scene and, after ushering my children out and assuring them that he would talk Mommy in off the ledge, sat me down and suggested that not only had I lost my perspective — I was in danger of losing my mind.

He was absolutely right. For someone like me who is forever banging the drum of personal responsibility and individual power, that’s tough to acknowledge. It’s so easy to become daunted by the task before us. So easy to think that a juice box makes the difference between whether or not our planet regains its equilibrium. But my friend’s story put it in perspective. Truth is, though she may not want to make disposable juice boxes a personal lifestyle choice, she can sip with occasional abandon.

Each day, every day, we’re faced with choices — large and small — that impact our communities and the larger world. Do your best to make the right choices. But remember: While anything disposable is rarely the best green choice, that juice box is not the straw that’s going to break the camel’s back.

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  1. I heard it from a friend at work for drinking from a bottle of water. I countered by saying it was already there and would be drunk any way. We must live perfectly or suffer the wrath of those trying to squeeze us into the group which does nothing green.

    gus | October 31st, 2008 | Comment Permalink
  2. How true. I try and do my part by living green-I have for years-but every now and then, I do forget and put something recyclable in the trash. My husband thinks I’m nuts but I figure if we do our part, then it’s helping. I refuse to feel guilty anymore, if I screw up.

    As for living perfectly, no one does that. We are humans and all humans are not perfect. IF we were, then our planet wouldn’t be in the mess it is now. I used to feel the same way you did Gus.

    Maggie | November 5th, 2008 | Comment Permalink
  3. How you think when the economic crisis will end? I wish to make statistics of independent opinions!

    ooopinionsss | December 2nd, 2008 | Comment Permalink
  4. [...] one day, after berating my preschooler for tossing a recyclable into the garbage, my husband looked me straight in the eye and told me I needed to get my perspective back. “None [...]

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