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Posts Tagged ‘environment’

As regular readers of this blog know, I have been a trash picker for most of my life.   The need to litter the environment one is making use of is something I simply cannot comprehend.

One of my favorite Facebook pals is a gentleman who refers to himself as All Washed Up (it is well worth visiting his page) who creates some fabulous sculptural art using trash he collects while beach combing.  I am not nearly so inspired with my collection, generally I just bring it home and recycle it.

A few days ago while Ruby and I were making our customary rounds at the Conservation Area where we get our daily exercise, I came across yet one more piece of trash to haul home.  It really spiked on the Irony-meter.

It was a plastic bottle that used to contain Sunkist® Lemonade.DSCF2911

The first irony that strikes me whenever I come across an empty bottle alongside a walking path is this.  You, the consumer of said drink, have NO problem carrying the bottle while it is full of liquid.   However, the instant you have drained it of its contents, when it is at its lightest, it becomes an impossible task to carry it one step further.  So you drop it.   I simply cannot  wrap my head around this.

The second irony is that the consumer has paid money for what amounts to water mixed with high fructose corn syrup and “natural” flavoring.  I’m pretty sure that it would be considerably less expensive to mix up sugar and water than what the drink cost at the store where it was procured.  Judging by what I have read about high fructose corn syrup, it would probably be better for you too.

The third irony is something that comes out when you read the fine print of the list of  ingredients and nutrition facts.

DSCF2912

Note that this Lemonade CONTAINS NO JUICE.   This fact is so important that it is stated on the label TWICE.  Is it not ironic that something sold as lemonade has no actual lemon juice in it?  And is it not even more ironic that a beverage that specifically states it contains no juice has pictures of actual fruit on the label?

Note that this beverage is bottled under the joint authority of Dr.Pepper/SevenUp Inc and Sunkist Growers Inc.   Why are the Sunkist Growers putting their name on something that contains no juice?   Is this not ironic?  I suppose that it is a heck of a lot easier to mix up the chemical soup listed above than it is to actually grow lemons for lemon juice and then make it into lemonade, but it seems very odd to me.

It also seems ironic that this is described as a “natural lemon flavored drink with other natural flavors” and yet when you read the ingredients there are actually no truly natural flavors listed.   It does say natural flavors, but these are actually simply mixtures of alcohols, esters, and other chemicals that the FDA have decided (in their infinite wisdom) to allow manufacturers to refer to as “natural.”   And I’m not sure why one needs to add preservatives to a mixture of water and sugar, but I suppose that one needs to preserve the integrity of the yellow dye #5 and acacia gum and prevent the mixture from accidentally turning into artificially flavored wine.

I don’t know.   I never buy the stuff.   Isn’t it ironic that the containers for these kinds of products wind up in my recycling bin on a daily basis?

 

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I have an acquaintance.   I struggle with whether to define this gentleman as a friend because even though I have known him for 17 years and I adore his wife, his politics and religion are so vastly different from mine that I have a hard time feeling that he is “my friend.”

Anyway, the catastrophe that is on-going in the Gulf of Mexico brought to mind a conversation we had a year and a half ago when we crossed swords paths at a party we both attended.   He was going on about how global warming was a big hoax, and so was the concept of Peak Oil.   We shouldn’t be afraid, he orated (in the midst of a company of environmentalists and conservationists, all appalled), to use the resources that God provided for us.   We should be Drilling, baby, drilling; and using the results without any concern for such an idiotic concept as global climate change.   “Peak oil?”  he scoffed.   “There is no oil shortage!   We have oceans of oil, just waiting for us to discover them.”

How ironic that his words have proved to be so true.   We do have an ocean full of oil, getting more full of it every second of every day that that well spewing petroleum is not capped.   The ultimate results are yet to be proven.

And then I saw a thing this morning that really sort of put me over the top.   A link to a blog that is amused by a gadget that you can attach to your pet and this will allow it to “Tweet” to you all day long.   Apparently, we humans have an inexhaustible appetite for resources and power, and I wonder if I am the only person in the world who sees a connection between this sort of frivolity and the market process that empowers the corporations that are despoiling the Gulf of Mexico.   If you demand it, they will supply it.

Yes, this is a small thing, a harmless thing, not important in the big scheme of things.  And really, what is the point?  Why does your cat need to Tweet, why do you need to receive Tweets from your cat?    Anyway, all these infinitesimal small things add up to a huge quantity of resources.   Someone had to manufacture, distribute and provide power for this funny and amusing gadget.  Where will it all end?

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