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Tree Hugger

I’ve been called a lot of names during my life. “Tree Hugger” is one of them. I’ve always wondered why that has such a negative connotation. I care about this planet, therefore I am supposed to be some sort of “wacko hippie” type who goes and squats in the woods somewhere? It’s actually the other way around in my case, I rarely go outside. But luckily for us, people are allowed to say what they want to say, and if they want to call me names, so be it. But what I want to know is why our school doesn’t have a meaningful recycling program. Given, we’ve all seen the big dumpsters out behind many schools that are for the recycling of paper, but how many of us actually use these? I mean, I’ve never seen a recycling bin anywhere in the school before. We had those recycling receptacles (big word for trash cans) for bottles (or were they cans?) last year, but they’re gone now.

Now we have no choice but to throw away otherwise recyclable goods. Lord knows how many cans and plastic bottles of coke the school goes through in a day, but I’m sure it’s dwarfed by the amount of paper we throw away.

I suppose the logical argument is that the school district doesn’t have the resources available to implement some sort of meaningful recycling program, where recycling bins are strategically placed around the school.
Here’s what gets me, though. The other day I saw a “Don’t Mess With Texas” commercial, featuring a score of famous people, in a pathetic attempt to cut down on littering. Now, I’m going to go out on a limb here, and guess that they probably paid those famous people in the commercial, and even if they didn’t, they probably shelled out some money to actually make the commercial.

Like abstinence to teen age pregnancy, telling people just “not to do it” doesn’t seem to have that much of an effect. Here’s a brilliant idea: instead of shelling money out for commercials, why don’t we actually buy some recycling bins and pay people to take care of the recyclables?

I dare say, though, that another plausible reason the school got rid of the last year’s “recycling” program was because people were putting trash in the recycling bins! And people wonder why Americans are considered “stupid” overseas. I’m going to go out on another limb here and guess that if these house-broken apes can make it into high school and stumble their way into the bathroom where they will inevitably forget to flush, I think they can designate something as either “recyclable” or “non-recyclable.” They don’t do it because they just don’t care.

People (and apes) breathe clean air because “tree huggers” “whined” about air pollution. They also drink clean water and eat (relatively) clean food for the same reasons. We have national parks because somebody thought it would be a good idea to try to preserve some of our natural resources, so that they may be enjoyed by future generations. These people are, of course, met with titles like “tree hugger” and “hippie.”

I suppose that’s what is to be expected from people who want to foot the bill to their children. It may be their mess, but they refuse to take responsibility and clean it up. Whether it’s the lunchroom tables or the ecosystem as a whole, they care only enough to insult those who point out their follies. I suppose it’s just like Einstein said, “Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds... and housebroken apes.

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