About two years ago I got stopped by a charismatic hippie outside of the grocery store. Since I wasn't working at the time, and my days typically consisted of working out, looking at the internet and waiting for Mr. Hastings (name has been changed to protect the privacy of my husband) to come home I stopped to hear him out. Immediately, he went off on something about whales or seals in the ocean, trash build up and the world coming to an end. As I began to say I'm sorry for not cutting the plastic that holds 6-packs together, he announced that I could end all these environmental mistakes by donating to Greenpeace. I had to admit, $30 sounded pretty good for a clean world and a clear conscious, so I signed up. Little did I know that this $30 donation was actually used to purchase large amounts of forests, that environmentalists could tear down in order to print, and send to me, about every failing in the world on glossy and pretty brochures, mailers and post cards. To this day, I receive about two mailers a week informing me about the destruction outside my door and how MY money can make it go all away.
However, as annoying as all my environmental mailers are, I have to admit signing up for Green Peace was one of my greatest decisions. No, it's not because I believe in what they are doing, or am I a closet tree hugger. Instead, I enjoy encountering some hippie, with a clip board in hand, creep into my path on the street, and while launching into their sad diatribe about the environment, cutting them off and saying, "Don't worry I'm already a member." And then comes the best part...Immediately, the hippies throw their clip boards in the air and high five me with all the excitement in the world. I then respond with a meek nod of the head and continue on my way.
I'm telling you paying that $30 was great. One, I can walk by any Starbucks, Barnes and Noble or American Apparel without even breaking stride. And two, I believe that that $30 actually purchased me a "Get out of Jail for Free" card for anything people are selling. For example, if someone asks: Would you like to donate to UNICEF? I say: Already a member! Would you like to become a member of the National Coalition for the Homeless? Already did! Would you please sign this petition to stop the spread of AIDS in cats? Did it yesterday!
Yes, these might seem like lies, but I'm telling you it just makes everyone happy. You get to continue walking and the superheroes of our environment get to feel like they aren't alone. Try it next time you encounter a hippie holding a clipboard. It's fantastic.