Our local aquarium, where we are members, sends out an e-newsletter monthly. “Interviews” with the aquarium residents, news about the whale watching season, etc. The usual.
Today, however, I read a *fascinating* article about April, an aquarium employee who has seen what balloons do to sea turtles, which normally eat jellyfish. Occasionally, they also eat things that look like jellyfish, like plastic shopping bags and, apparently, popped balloons. These, as you might guess, are not good for the turtles.
April, being a concerned person, first petitioned Trader Joe’s to have a “Pop it and trash it” campaign. Happily for April and concerned environmentalists everywhere, Trader Joe’s, after multiple customer complaints, decided to just stop giving away balloons entirely. April described this as a “win-win” for the company and the animals.
Now, I’m a conservative, which means I try to apply logic before jumping in with both feet to “solve” problems. Did all the dead sea turtles’ stomachs contain only Trader Joe’s balloons? Do all loose Trader Joe’s balloons end up in the ocean? Do most of the balloons Trader Joe’s gives away get loose at all? I’m guessing the answers to all three questions are, “No.”
But we aren’t talking about logic, are we? If we were, she’d have gone after Party City, which sells hundreds of balloons in every store every weekend. But, no, she shops at Trader Joe’s, so that’s where the offense met her eyes as she contemplated the fair-trade carob chips or something… after she’d driven past hundred of other food stores to the only Trader Joe’s in our area, which is located 45.69 miles from the aquarium, where she works. (Found out today that there is a new Trader Joe’s, in the sort of upscale shopping area closer to the aquarium.) But, hey, if Al Gore can own multiple gigantic, energy munching mansions and jet around the world while lecturing us on our carbon footprints, then April’s cross-city trek to a specific food store is hardly an issue, right?
I’m guessing April isn’t a mom (kids cause carbon footprints, so, if she’s consistent, she won’t have kids, but the article didn’t say).
As a mom, let me point out that those balloons at the end of the shopping trip are a little bit of joy to small kids. Now, I know that April thinks I’m too stupid to know not to let the balloons go in the parking lot, but, seriously, we try not to lose those inflated pieces of latex because the tantrum ensuing from a lost balloon is something you want to avoid. Plus, it’s littering, and I tell my kids it’s at least very impolite to make someone else deal with your trash. But that’s not good enough, apparently.
Yet another greener-than-thou bit of killjoy. Yeah, great work, April.