Okay, so now I have done it. It's official. I have come out of my shell. I have outed myself. Up until Wednesday my poor family have been the only souls, well besides you all, that have been subjected to my eco-madness. Wednesday I attended a picnic sponsored by the Coulee Partners for Sustainability. I was so thrilled to connect with kindred spirits that I signed on for a sustainability study circle starting the very next night. My county and neighboring city are working to become eco-municipalities using The Natural Step Framework. Yea!
Upon returning home last night all charged up from the study circle, my Freshman son says he needs a foam egg carton for Tech Ed class on Friday or the whole class will have to take a quiz. Hmm, what? Come again? I don't think I heard you right. You did not seriously just ask me for a foam egg carton, did you?! Bad timing kid. After a lengthy lecture on the detriments of polystyrene and a sleepless night, I awoke early to draft a letter to his teacher.
Dear Mr. Liethen,
I writing regarding today's assignment for the Freshman Tech Ed class. From what I understand the students were instructed to bring in a foam egg carton. I am asking you to please excuse ******* ****** from this assignment.
I try very hard not to do things that could cause harm to my children and the world they live in. Foam egg cartons are made from polystyrene. Styrene, the basic building block of polystyrene, is classified as a possible human carcinogen by the EPA and by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). A 1986 EPA report on solid waste named the polystyrene manufacturing process as the 5th largest creator of hazardous waste. Polystyrene is not recycled by our municipality, therefore being sent to Xcel Energy's incinerator for burning. The National Bureau of Standards Center for Fire Research identified 57 chemical byproducts released during the combustion of polystyrene foam. Toxic chemicals leach out of these products into the food that they contain (especially when heated in a microwave). These chemicals threaten human health and reproductive systems. Foam products are made with petroleum, a non-sustainable and heavily polluting resource.
For these reasons and many more we do not buy eggs in foam cartons. ****** is concerned that if he does not comply with the assignment the class will have to take a quiz. It is hard enough to teach our children to voluntarily live simple and have respect for the world they live in when all of their peers are not. I do not want him to be ridiculed by the class for causing a quiz. Please respect my stance on this issue and excuse him from this assignment. If you should ever assign a project using cardboard egg cartons I would be happy to supply the entire class.
*Names removed to protect the innocent.
I do not know what will come of it. Wishfully, the teacher will dig his head out of his ass and no one will notice my son did not bring a foam egg carton because his wicked step-mother is an eco-nazi. Practically, I will be labeled a whacked eco-nazi, the teacher will continue to enjoy the smell of shit, the class will have to take a quiz, and my poor son will swear off environmentalism forever after being ridiculed by the class for my beliefs.
Alas, what's done is done. I have broke free from my shell, but I am not sure coming out is all it is cracked up to be.