We read in this morning's WashPost of Conspicuous Organic Consumpion. "Anna Sova Luxury Organics Turkish towels, 900 grams per square meter, $58 apiece. The eco-friendly 600-thread-count bed sheets, milled in Switzerland with U.S. cotton, $570 for queen-size.... [We buy a] 2008 LS 600 hybrid for $104,000 (it actually gets fewer miles per gallon than some traditional makes, but, see, it is a hybrid). Accessorize the interior with an organic Sherpa car seat cover for only $119.99...."
Pretty sharp stuff, for the petroleum-based rapacious destroyer of forests that is a newspaper.
We here chez Jingo are trying to be good green citizens. As they burn out, we've been replacing our incandescent lightbulbs with those newfangled windy-twisty jobbers. I used up the last one just now, and was preparing to throw the package away when a whacking huge observation smacked me like the hot kiss at the end of a wet fist. (Twelve points for ref.) I wrestled the thing to the floor and photographed it immediately:
Do you see what I saw?
The package is huge! It's twice the size it needs to be! The space used for branding the fucking thing is the same size as the thing itself! And of course, what is all that wasted space made of? A little cardboard and a ho-ho-whoooole lot of thick plastic. This package isn't meant to Save the World; it's meant to Sell Lightbulbs. And I, sucker of suckers, thinking I was Saving the World, Bought Lightbulbs. Probably killed about eight acres of rainforest doing it.
Well. The first thing to do, I suppose, is to fish the damned thing out of the trash and put it with the recycling. (There will be a sign on the recycling dumpster: "Bottles and Cans Only!" Screw it. It goes in.)
Now, those little windy-twisty lightbulbs are fragile. Really fragile. You can't wrap them in jute or switchgrass or something. They need a shell to protect them. Maybe the recycled cardboard they make egg cartons out of might do the trick. But with examples like the above, where the need to brand a product supersedes the need to actually be environmentally responsible, we're probably consuming ourselves into extinction.
(Free tip from the Jingmeister: In the few weeks we have before the Collapse of Civilization As We Know it, there's a bloody fortune to be made in the invention of a device that lets you change those lightbulbs on the ceiling while standing on the floor. The thing I use now, the one designed for rounded, incandescent bulbs, has so far broken three of the new ones.)