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“A Cup of Blah To Go, Please.”

I was in Starbucks yesterday and over heard a man talking about a book he’s writing. His subject? How we all view things in different perspectives. I was immediately interested, not just because I like hearing about fellow writers and their material, but because he seemed so confident about his subject. I wondered what he meant by it.

He went on to explain, to the woman listening, that “For example, you may look at your cup and see it as a nice drink, or whatever. But, when I look at it, I think of all the resources required to make it, and how it has negatively impacted our environment, etc.” You get the idea.

I wanted to dump my drink onto his head and ask, “Aren't you grateful for anything?”

Normally, these things don’t bother me. I respect people’s opinion -- even if I don’t agree with it. This is what freedom is all about. But, what he was “trying” to explain -- or even defend -- wasn’t rational.

Here he was in a peaceful establishment, one filled with people so blessed --including himself-- that they could go in and buy a days’ worth of groceries for a family of three on ONE cup of coffee, plug his laptop into an outlet that sucked gobs of electricity, all the while sniffing that the very place he was in and enjoying was bent on putting our earth in the dump.

Really? Besides, doesn’t Starbucks use recycled materials for their paper cups already? How “green” does one have to be to be considered green?

And if he was so concerned about Starbuck’s adding emissions to the air, and waste into the earth, what was he doing there anyway? He should be at home, in the dark and the cold (because he isn’t using heat or electricity) writing by hand (no PC to plug in) and by candlelight, using a ceramic mug he can wash over and over. And then maybe I’d believe his words.

What’s worse? His subject wasn’t a new concept. Any editor would roll their eyes and say “Been there done that. Pass” We have enough literature and propaganda about keeping the earth green. I have enough commercials, paper advertisements, reusable bags and recycling cans to remind me constantly to keep the earth green. I keep my thermostat at 67 in the winter (or lower) recycle every glass or plastic item I use in the house, turn off electricity, and still … someone else wants to write about how my paper cup is ruining the world?

I’m not buying it. His words or the book. Until green people truly insist on being green--not just through driving a Prius or using recyclable shopping bags -- then I just DON’T BUY their unsubstantiated words. I do my part, but I am also grateful for everything I have right now: the freedom to drink at a café without wondering if a suicide bomber will come in, to peruse the internet without restriction, to write what I feel without being thrown in jail, and drink my coffee with thanksgiving and joy… before the price of coffee goes up again.

Remember these three things: 1. Actions always speak louder than words. 2. Real writers don't "write" in Starbucks. And 3. most writers know to write something more original ... like "How Our Over-greening the World Made Us Wish We'd Never Listened to Al Gore."

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