Dan Rattiner's Stories

East Hampton’s Straw Ban and More Ways to Fight Global Warming

What about ketchup packets, toilet paper and towels?

East Hampton is considering passing a law that would require restaurants to only give people straws for their drinks if they ask for them. Straws, particularly plastic ones, it turns out, are a major cause of global warming. Each straw drunk from and thrown away adds one degree of global warming every 700,000 years.

Maybe they could accomplish the same thing—a compromise—by passing a law that requires that you still get a straw but, after you use it, you wipe it clean and give it back to the waiter. Recycling is the wave of the future, after all.

I am embarking on a further effort to stop global warming. I’m forming a group to deal with those little packets of ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise you pick up at a deli counter when you buy a sandwich. You never know if you need one, two or even three packets, so you get three and then after you’ve left the deli and eaten your sandwich needing only one, you throw away the other two unused ones with the trash.

When you realize how many people eat sandwiches every day, you can see the magnitude of this problem. I want it so you just take one packet and then if you eat halfway through and need more, go back and get another. How can I get this to go viral?

I’d like to talk to the people who started the “Save the Planet” campaign for towels in hotels. It’s been hugely successful. The campaign has resulted in a sign in almost every hotel bathroom in America. “A towel hanging up means I will use again, a towel on the floor means please exchange.”

It’s been estimated that the water saved in not washing towels will extend the planet’s life in the universe almost six days before it falls into the sun. It CAN be done!

And what about when you grab a whole hunk of napkins in the deli and then they never get used?

Another campaign I want to get underway is dishwasher use. Most people wait to wash their dishes until the dishwasher is full. These people are exhibiting good energy-saving behavior. But there are some who wash their dishes at the end of every day. This bad behavior has been happening since the invention of automatic dishwashers 50 years ago. It is a huge problem. I will get to it.

Are you aware that China has cameras in public bathroom stalls that take pictures of men or women who pull off a fourth toilet paper square? They pay a fine.

This has to be brought to America.

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