As someone who has considered himself an environmentalist for a long time, nothing makes me more happy than the increase in green awareness. I remember celebrating Earth Day my freshman year in college. That was back when only people wearing Phish shirts and Birkenstocks attended such things. But now, more than ever, I put a lot of thought into being green. My partner and I were just boasting to each other that we are happy that our recycling to garbage ratio is about 4:1. That is 4 bags of recycling for every bag of trash (and yes, I’m borderline OCD enough to count my trash).
However, I recently found myself in a bit of green dilemma. I was shooting a film in a house that the production company had rented. The director had told me that the occupants of the house were part of a green commune. Keep in mind that the last commune home I went to was for bi-curious, polyamorous, performance artists (it was just for a potluck).
During the shoot, I went to use the bathroom and as I was about to flush I noticed a hand-written sign, displayed prominently above the toilet handle that read, In order to reduce your carbon foot-print- if it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down. I immediately felt guilty and thought to myself, if this is what you’re supposed to do to reduce your carbon foot print, then I must be a carbon sasquatch. I couldn’t believe what a dilemma this was for me. I was just standing there frozen wanting to flush but every time I went for the handle I had visions of Al Gore berating me and the Sierra Club holding daily protests outside my house.
I was overcome with guilt and started having flashbacks of all the non-green decisions I had made. I refused to buy the recycled toilet paper because it was too ruff or the post-consumer resume paper because I thought it was too grey. I still refuse to buy earth-friendly deodorant because I don’t want to smell like b.o. A knock on the bathroom door pulled me from my literal guilt trip. I now only had a little bit of time to decide-to flush or not to flush? It took all my strength but I proceeded with washing my hands and ended up walking out of the bathroom, proud of my decision to “let it mellow.”
I was still standing near the bathroom, congratulating myself for letting go of my hygene hang-up, for the good of the planet, when I heard the person that followed in the bathroom gasp, “Oh gross. Who forgot to flush?”
Image Credit: Zanthia