You know how when you have a problem, you’re the last one to admit or realize that you have a problem? By the time you are willing to say, “I have a problem” everyone in your life is ready to give a huge sigh of relief? Well, I’m wondering if I have a problem, or if We have a problem.
Human beings are essentially big bags of water. Our largest organ, the dermis, holds in the squishy rest of us that is ninety-some percent water. We cannot live without continuously replenishing our supply. Becoming a distance runner has reacquainted me with that reality. I drink a lot of water throughout my day, and may drink 64 or even 96 ounces of fluid on a long run in the heat. I’m like a sieve in that respect.
So it strikes me as being particularly wasteful to vote with my dollars to have someone pipe up petroleum, combine it with acetates (or whatever they do to get long strand polymers – I got a D in chemistry so who knows) to make plastic, so that my 8 ounces of water can be encased in a plastic bottle. I drink water at approximately 2 ounces a swallow, so the water sits in the bottle long enough for me to get around to making four glugs – all while my home, office, and favorite running spot are all less than five miles from a river that is over one half mile wide. Then the bottle goes to the landfill, the war on terror goes on, and I go on to drink another eight ounces in another hour or so, and the cycle repeats itself.
My personal response to this conundrum has been to avoid buying my fluids in personal serving containers where possibly convenient and when someone gives me fluid in a small bottle to reuse the container as many times as I can before I lose the lid. This has worked pretty well up until now, even though we give each other fluids all the time without thinking about it - the water guy who refills the office cooler nonchalantly leaves a 36 pack of bottles as a no-cost treat. I bet the last time someone came to your house or office, you offered them liquid refreshment of some sort.
This past weekend we had 17 runners and many more spectators and general potluck attendees at our house for the second annual Turtle Dash Half Marathon and four mile walk. It kicked ass. We ran. We drank Guinness, and ate a lot of really good food. Mike barbecued three salmon at one time… After it was all over, I washed out all the empty eight ounce bottles and added them to my collection. Now, if I filled them all up, I would have enough water to supply several families of Katrina victims for a week or drink as I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail end to end.
Should I just give up on the bottle washing? Just take them all to the recycling center? Should I not even bother?
Wow, I wish I could right this much with so little effort for one of my night school papers.
Freakishly Large Tack in her shoe is what I heard...
Originally uploaded by gene_poole.