Mr. Pollution

I tried to teach my students about the importance of using reusable and recyclable products, but all it got me was the nickname Mr. Pollution.

I drink my coffee out of a styrofoam cup a couple times and all of a sudden I’m Mr. Pollution.

Granted, the kid who calls me that seems to live for the sole purpose of sleeping in my class, talking while I’m trying to teach, and calling me Mr. Pollution with a grating giggle at least once a day. I’m not sure he even understands what pollution is, because he calls me that even when I drink my coffee out of an eco-friendly reusable mug.

“Hey, Mister Pollution! Hahaha.”

“You know this cup is actually not… whatever.”

The moniker isn’t actually that far off considering our school makes it literally impossible to recycle anything. Yes, there are a significant number of blue bins with cute little recycling logos on the side scattered around the building. But they’re nothing more than glorified garbage pits, miniature landfills, virtual chain-saws, steaming plastic bowls of shark fin soup, Giant Panda assassins… You get the picture. In short, there ain’t no recycling going on. Not even a pretense of it.

So instead of killing a tiger by throwing my oldplastic bottles in the fake recycling bins at school, I decided to return them to the store where I bought them, since they will take them back and even pay you a deposit. So there’s a little financial incentive as well. That’s the future of the green movement anyway though, right?

“Hey how do you do these deposits?” The store clerk asked another clerk.

“Count the bottles and it’s five cents a bottle.”

The guy took a disturbingly long time to count the bottles. He had to start over several times.

“And then what do I do with them?”

“Throw ’em in the garbage,” the other clerk said matter of factly.

And so he did.

Yours truly,
Mr. Pollution

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