It’s Not Easy Being Green


Pepsi’s green bottle

Yesterday’s paper carried the news that PepsiCo has mastered the production of a bottle made entirely of materials from plants. This puts Pepsi squarely out front of Coca-Cola in their “green bottle wars” (I hadn’t been aware they’d declared war on each other in this arena). Currently, Coke’s similar bottle product contains only a third plant-based materials.

Today, not to be outdone, the Coca-Cola company finds itself on top of the actual soda pop product race, as its Diet Coke drink gains the No. 2 spot, behind their signature Coke drink, giving the company the No. 1 and No. 2 favored soft drinks among all others. As I drink very little soda of any kind, the news holds little interest for me.

However, that piece of news about Pepsi going green with bottle production? Yeah, that gets my attention. Made from natural materials like switch grass, pine bark, corn husks, potato scraps and other seemingly useless items, Pepsi says the bottles look and feel like their current bottles, which are made using petroleum products. And the new ones will cost about the same as their current counterparts, which the company will begin replacing next year.

We are all called to be stewards of this earth, and I love the fact that Pepsi has embraced that effort. But what really hits me is that the effort parallels the idea that we, as human beings, can sometimes be made to feel “useless” or passed over, rather than being a contributing part of something.

In the light of tragedy or sadness—and there’s been so much of it of late—we tend to look at ourselves as too small or insignificant to help during a time of so great a need. And we can easily fall into the pit of dark thinking with thoughts of “What can one person hope to offer? How can I be of use?” I am guilty of such thinking this week…Japan, the Clouse Family losses, and today an e-mail from a parishioner with the news that an 8-year-old boy was struck and killed last night leaving a school concert. It seems too much.

Prayer seems all I can do as I pick my way through scraps of my faith, trying to muster something better than this feeling of hopelessness. And that doesn’t seem enough. I’m sure there are other resources or materials I can be tapping into.

For now I’m left with the thought that if it’s not easy being green in today’s marketing wars, it’s certainly not easy, when faced with such heart-wrenching loss, to be filled with absolute surety of faith.
***********************************************************************What’s your way of coping when things seem unbearable? Post your comments to share with blog readers?


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