Embarrassing embarrassment

May 19, 2011 at 3:54 pm Leave a comment

by Chelsea Corbin

I kind of cheated on the Challenge today. One of my friends asked if I wanted to go to Jamba Juice for happy hour. I knew I should say “NO! THAT’S WASTEFUL!” but I could already taste that sweet strawberry smoothie and consented. Refusing to accept three whole points for the trip (cup, lid, straw), I decided to ask for an original (happy hour, remember!) strawberry surf rider without the lid and straw. As the man behind the counter swiped my Wildcard, he peered at me out of the corner of his eye. “You want it without a lid?” I felt warmth rush to my cheeks and offered a nervous giggle. I mustered, “Yes, I’m trying to cut down my consumption of disposable items.” Another giggle, cheeks bright red. He said something along the lines of, “You’re crazy. Admirable, but crazy.”

As I walked away, wondering how I was going to approach drinking the beverage, I was ashamed of myself. Why had I gone sheepish and embarrassed when questioned about my choice? Reducing environmental detriments is my everyday goal, and is something I should display proudly. The No Impact Challenge has taught me that, more than for convenience, I sometimes make environmentally detrimental choices for the sake of not challenging the status quo. The Challenge has given me the push I needed to really say no to single-use products, even if it sets me apart from the standard. Indeed, isn’t that the main goal? Create change by showing others change is possible? And if that makes me “crazy,” well, Gnarls Barkley seems like good company anyway.

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