Anyone with a couple thousand bucks can have a solar or wind energy system installed on the roof to help with energy costs. Likewise, trips to the recycling center and acting to reduce waste seem like ingrained practices that are as much a part of our weekly routine as watching Flava of Love re-runs and doing Windsor pilates.
Sure baby steps are needed in the grandiose struggle of man vs. manmade natural problems but what if someone asked you to do something so unconventional and out of your element that it forced a change in the way you think about everything. Well this happened to me the other day…at TacoBell. For the record, I do not condone the fast food lifestyle because I don’t believe the convenience of hastily prepared, overly processed fare outweighs the astronomical calorie counts. However, two or three times a year, Taco Bell releases a little number called the Cheesy Gordita Crunch (CGC) which has somehow gotten its gooey, melty, cheesy, crunchy shell wrapped around my heart. When this item gets added back to the menu, I make a hurried run for the border. (Note* There was an unsuccessful online petition started last year to get this item added to the menu permanently)
After placing my order of two CGC’s and a large Iced Tea, I made my way to the hot sauce, napkin and utensil station to gather the appropriate accouterments for my meal. As I departed the station, I was approached by a woman names Inez who was only slightly larger than my gordita and sporting a Taco Bell logo’d shirt. Inez asked me, “You want spork?” Knowing that my CGC was manufactured for direct hand-to-mouth consumption, I kindly replied, “No thanks, napkins and hot sauce are all I need.” Looking someone dejected, Inez shook her head and sighed.
While I didn’t realize it immediately, Inez’s singular question had started a butterfly effect as her statement echoed in my mind. If all restaurants switched to sporks instead of fork and spoon combos, they would save money on dishwashing and ordering extra utensils. Likewise, if everyone carried around their own non-disposable spork and treated it much the same as a toothbrush, we could greatly reduce the amount of plastic cutlery that is filling up our landfills.
Obviously the spork is not the answer to all of our environmental concerns, but it does provide a model of ingenuity that we can learn from and hopefully apply to be more conscientious tenants of this planet. So just remember one thing when you’re sitting down to enjoy your dinner, whether it’s Hamburger Helper, Foie Gras and truffles or just another Cheesy Gordita Crunch, “YOU WANT SPORK!”