ISSUE 97

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 You’ve got trash! You have three options: compost, recycle, or condemned to hell, i.e. landfill. No longer can you slide everything into one bin and say to hell with the consequences. This is not an achievable dream, except in Thornton.
 Remember you are responsible for the death of sea turtles should you choose wrong. With a straw up its nose like a middle schooler without friends, the turtle will judge you from its watery grave. Blub, blub, blub, the turtle says with a condemning look. When translated, this means, Asshole.
 Step One. Look at the chart on the bin and immediately give up. It is designed by overeager earth friends, who came up with a shortened health bill. And it has all you need: photos, arrows, shame, a diagram on how to do sit-ups, and a tax on the croissants you ate, you unhealthy bastard.
 Step Two. Decide against giving up and spend twenty to thirty minutes trying to understand the chart. If you need to be somewhere, call and cancel. Tell them you have to return a cup to the Earth’s consciousness or that a napkin has lost its way and needs to be guided to enlightenment, i.e. crammed into the ground and left to rot away into nothing. They should congratulate you for being better than them.
 Step Three. Pull out your personal statement to the Earth. You should have it on you at all times, the one that apologizes for not picking up that Snickers wrapper and promises things only a very guilty person would promise. And according to this chart, this personal statement is going to be… recyclable. Maybe.   
 Step Four. Think about throwing everything in the landfill bin anyways, including the ceramic coffee mug, the metal silverware, and all your credit cards—because screw it. But after dithering, you know you can’t. The baby turtles are watching you.  
 Step Five. Peer nonchalantly in each of the bins and see if anything matches what you want to throw away. And NOTHING WILL because you are trusting people who watch CNN and drive like brainless sacks of meat.  
 Step Six. Use the dead squirrel test. If a squirrel were to eat this item, would that animal immediately die? If not, the item probably goes in the compost—unless it is a food item that happens to be non-organic, in which case the squirrel will die of cancer twenty to thirty years from now. Though to be fair, it will be extraordinarily long-lived for something that routinely chews through electrical lines.
 Step Seven. Hopefully, you have rid yourself of any compostable items. Or so you would think. In actuality, you are nowhere near done with the compost bin. As a result of polar bears writing progressively dismal letters, many things are now compostable that used to be dumped in the ocean: utensils, napkins, straws, cups, and plastic bags, if you cut up the bag into really small pieces and throw them up on a windy day.
 To get past this step, drink.  
 Step Eight. Move on to the recycling bin. Luckily, recyclable items should have a triangle on the bottom. Unfortunately, it will usually have a number from one to seven, which designate chemicals that could cause babies to have three eyes and furry butts. If it has a five or a three in the middle, it may not be accepted by the recycling center, which is exactly like not being recyclable.   
 Step Nine. Trash the rest and feel invigorated. As you look around, you see the world in a new light—upbeat, optimistic, drenched in smiley-face stickers. Working together, we can bring peace to this Earth and reverse the environmental destruction to create a new tomorrow. And all because you took the time to care.     
 Step Ten. Reconsider everything when someone with dreadlocks carefully places everything in different bins than you did. Become depressed and decide to move to the moon as soon as possible.
   
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