It’s the middle of the night. I take my one water glass to the kitchen for a refill, and that’s when I hear it. “Ew, dude. When are you gonna wash that disgusting glass?” My roommate Sean has peeled himself away from his Criminal Minds marathon to pass judgment, but he’s out of his depth. Oh, you think it’s gross, Sean? Well, that’s the sacrifice I make to reduce my carbon footprint and save the planet!
The layer upon layer of caked-on chapstick around the rim and the fog of a thousand fingerprints stand as a reminder of all the soap and water I’ve saved over the last few months. Sure, at first I got a little lazy and kept it on my bedside table overnight, but I just got used to it there. It looked so right alongside my lamp and my phone. At some point, because I’d rather feel proud than disgusted, I commended myself for my environmental heroism and dug a little deeper.
I kept hearing about people reducing their carbon footprint to help combat climate change, and I thought, well shit, I already do a ton of that gross stuff. I only shower once every few days, and even then, I follow the new celebrity craze of not washing myself every shower. I’ve had the same pillow for like 20 years, feeding countless dust mites, while I bet Sean tosses that entire population in the trash for a new pillow every couple of years. By now, it’s half-pillow, half-me, so it’s like discarding my child. Too far? Maybe. But maybe that’s how far I’m willing to go.
So Sean can say, “No wonder you’re so sick and rashy all the time” all he wants, but he’s part of the problem. With his one, sometimes two showers a day, and his fresh, crystal clear glassware, he might as well keep a Hummer running all day at his cattle feedlot. Plus any day now, this glass will self-clean when the grime completely crusts over and cracks off like the shell of a hard-boiled egg. The circle of life.