Thursday, August 23, 2012

It's Time For Tim's...To Clean Up Their Mess

most consumers are idiots. in fact, most people in general are quite ignorant and apathetic about issues that are critically important to the preservation of a healthy environment and the well-being of everyone. hence the problem with democracy and why we get the kind of political representation we have. "garbage in, garbage out," as the late comedian george carlin famously observed regarding our electoral process. when for example 79% of albertans do not believe humans play a role in climate change, or when people believe the best way to deal with summertime mosquitoes is to spray toxic chemicals into our environment, how is that going to translate when they go into the voting booth to cast their ballots?

when people choose to turn a blind eye to scientific facts and not find out the truth for themselves, or when they just outright deny evidence because it would run counter to the way they already think, the decisions they make will be uniformed and imbecilic at best, or dangerous and deadly at worst.

these prevailing attitudes of gullibility and stupidity seem to guide many people's actions in their day to day lives as consumers. if there is something to use, they will use it without thinking twice about what went into its production, or where it goes after they are finished using it. and in many cases the thing is only meant for a single one-time use.

take for instance a tim hortons disposable cup. canadians flock like flies to shit to get their daily fix of tim hortons coffee in a throw away cup. often a person will place his cup of coffee into another cup, so he doesn't burn his delicate little fingers when he raises the beverage to his ravenous maw. what ever happened to people putting their coffee in a reusable thermos? when did we get so addicted to these one-use containers? and what's so shit hot about tim hortons coffee anyway? what, are they putting heroin in it or something? it's all part of the culture of consumerism, to keep people hopped up on caffeine and alert so they move, move, move and work, work, work to stimulate the precious economy until it blows its destructive load all over the face of the earth. everybody just needs to take a step back, consider what they're doing, and calm the fuck down!

canadians use 1.6 billion disposable coffee cups every year or nearly 4.5 million each day. think about that. if the average height of a cup is 12 cm (about the size of a can of pop), 1.6 billion stacked end to end would reach halfway to the moon! that's fucked up. if i were lloyd braun from seinfeld i might ask, "am i crazy, or is that a lot of cups?" to which any sane person would respond, "it's a lot of cups!"

but like i say, most people are idiots. if something is available for use, they will use it and assume that it's okay because it's in the marketplace and advertised on billboards, on tv, and everywhere else you look - and advertising wouldn't lie to you now, would it? companies know this, and they externalize the costs of doing business onto the environment in the form of disposable packaging. then they will put the anus on us and tell us not to litter. yet tim hortons has the audacity to litterally encourage people to continue using their disposable cups because of their roll up the fucking rim to win bullshit. people love to win shit, don't they? it's the canadian dream.

when is tim hortons going to take responsibility for the garbage that they are creating and peddling in the first place? sure, the junkie has a problem, but goddamn the pusher man. in annie leonard's book the story of stuff, she writes,
In 1991, the German government adopted a packaging ordinance, the foundation of which is the belief that the companies that design, produce, use, and profit from packaging should be held financially responsible for it—an idea known as extended producer responsibility.
hear that tim hortons? this is your garbage. you made it. it has your name on it. it belongs to you. stop making stuff that is designed to be thrown away. whether it's here or there, on the street or in a garbage can makes little difference. it's more waste that's being added into a world already overflowing with trash. or perhaps they view their cups and bags lying around not as garbage at all, but as mini billboards scattered hither and yon advertising their business. maybe if the financial burden was placed squarely onto the shoulders of tim hortons to deal with all of their disposable property, they would create less waste and encourage people to use their own reusable cups instead.

yes, people need to take responsibility for what they buy and what they throw away. but certainly companies need to take equal, or in my opinion greater responsibility for the disposable packaging they hand out to customers on a daily basis. and the only way that companies will change and stop with their dispensing of disposables is not voluntarily, but when people demand it through boycotts and through government regulation and enforcement with strong penalties for those who do not comply.

1.6 billion disposable cups every year in canada is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the amount of waste generated in this country. we have all got to reconsider and question the economic capitalist monster we have manufactured that allows for such rampant disregard of our environment and the well-being of our communities. we are being smothered by garbage created by irresponsible companies like tim hortons, who continue to ignore the real costs of getting rid of and storing their trash, while they are laughing all the way to the bailed out banks.

enough is enough. so sing along with the jingle, "it's time for tim' clean up their mess!"

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