It's so hard being surrounded by Green people. You'll undoubtedly find people greener than yourself. This is good, of course. No one is perfect. I'll be the first to admit I have a long way to go. But wow, did I get taken to task for my little shameful habit...
Should I chew peppermint leaves instead? Mints? Drops?
Have you ever heard of tetracycline stains on teeth? A certain age range of you out there will know what I am talking about. I had them. I obsessed over and hated my teeth for decades. I was finally able to fix them at great expense (it's considered cosmetic so no insurance would help.) ALL of my teeth are coated, topped, capped, crowned or veneered in porcelain. I love them. I smile big for camera. The downside of a lot of dental work is that no matter how much I brush or use some kind of mouthwash (I do not use mouthwash anymore; chemicals and/or plastic bottles) or use my Water Pik (MIRACLE machine), I frequently have a super-nasty taste in my mouth. Baking soda and water works nicely but it's not something I carry in my purse. Mints, I am tempted to chew them and that is bad for my dental work and besides it takes of lot of them to conquer what one piece of gum does. Sprays? Drops? Nah. I just don't know anything that helps like poppin' a piece of gum.
So, back to the place where I got chastised. I was going to be speaking on stage, so I needed to rid myself of my gum. It was one of those events where they put out bins for everything, and you disposed of whatever accordingly. Facing all these bins, I realized my little gum could only go in the one marked "Landfill". It was a sinking feeling. Someone standing nearby definitely felt it necessary to make sure I felt the proper amount of shame for my little piece of gum. (I'll not criticize them for the supposed "Compostable" bin where people were putting plates that had CHEESE on them that is probably not great in there... but that's deflecting. I digress.)
I try to buy gum that comes in the least amount of packaging and plastic. I split sticks in half so it lasts twice as long. I do what I can. But I have not been able to give up the gum. I don't chew it obnoxiously, I don't crack it, I don't pop it, I just let it make my mouth taste better and my breath not offend.
I swear I'll try something else that would be more eco-friendly. I just haven't fully investigated it. So, in the meantime...