Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Are These Cool? Is It Me?

It was bad enough with those little plastic thingies with the tiny little piece of floss strung across them. I see those in the stores in packs of hundreds, and they make me despondent. I would see them tossed, discarded on the ground... so so gross. How is it OK to toss those? Of course, even in *real* garbage, they just end up out and about eventually. So needless. So unnecessary.

Apparently, those weren't enough, or stopped selling well enough, because G*U*M came out with a new one.

"For healthy gums and a great-looking smile, you’ve certainly come to the right place. GUM® Soft-Picks® are the convenient way to effectively dislodge food, remove plaque and massage gums." Whew! Good, I needed something convenient.

One-month supply?
It's important to get the crap out from between your teeth. We've all had the experience when something was STUCK-stuck between our teeth and drove us crazy til we could get it out. But, surely, this is not the answer. Not more plastic. These little things are even more insidious because they ARE so small and would be thought of as harmless, what could they possibly do? Think about it: if just half a million people can't live without this product - and that's a really low number, considering the populations of, say, Los Angeles alone - and they use 1 or two a day, not every day but even 4 days a week... OK, wow. My calculator on my phone blew up. Start over. if half a million people use even just 2 of these a week (unlikely to be that low), then that's 1 million little plastic sticks used. Multiply that by 52 weeks in a year, and just picture 52 million of these lined up end to end. Let's get even more mathematical... there are 63,360 inches in a mile (thank you, Google!). These are more than an inch long, I think, but for ease of calculation, we'll go with an inch. Divide 52 million by 63,360 and you get 820. Ugh, algebra. I think I did it right. To figure how many miles that would take is... yeah. OK. I do math good. I THINK, feel free to correct me, that this would be 820 miles. Taking my home state as example, it is only 300 or so miles from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, all the way across the state. So, in one year, with an screamingly conservative estimate, you would cross the state over 2 and a half times. With plastic. And that ends up in the oceans, being ingested by innocent mammals and fish. Because we can't possibly use a less convenient way to get crap from between our teeth.

I had braces and MAN OH MAN do I know you need little stuff to get crap out from under them. It's almost hellish, stuff stuck under your braces. Whoo. I did use the little metal version of these. Wasn't great, but at least I know that tiny little blip of metal belongs on the Earth way more than this plastic.

Why, why why.