In Search of Better Stories

Saving the Earth One Banana Peel At A Time

She tiptoes around the house quietly unplugging everything. At first, I don’t realize what is going on.

“What? Why is the toaster not working?”

Oh because it’s unplugged, why is it unplugged? Wait a minute why is everything unplugged?

Upon further investigation, I discover that the culprit is my 15-year-old daughter, Tikki.

“It’s a school project,” She says. “For how we can do our part to save the world.”

Over the next few days, I experience one earth-saving surprise after another. I learn that the clothes dryer is no friend of planet earth. It gets shut down in favour of a clothesline. Since we don’t have a yard I find myself stringing rope strategically around our apartment. The view from our balcony transforms from green trees and flowers to dad’s underwear. The new panorama lacks a certain charm.

At dinner time, I’m told there is a new 15-year-old chef taking on the mission of feeding us responsibly. Our menu will now only be earth-friendly fare. First up is cauliflower and banana peel curry because who would want to waste a banana peel right? The large amounts of leftovers will remain in the fridge, which mercifully has not yet been unplugged, until someone can discreetly deposit the banana peel concoction into the food scraps bin. On the second evening, we dine on tiny portions of vegetable pancakes and water. I’m happily surprised to find the food delicious but it’s hard to imagine my 195-pound self living on such tiny portions. I sneak back into the kitchen after dinner and being careful not to turn on any unnecessary lights, I quietly go foraging for more food.

Over the next few days, we learn that liquid soap in plastic bottles needs to be replaced with bar soap only. Showers must be shortened and a militant guard is to be set over all light switches. Is this family disruption a frustrating ordeal to be endured with grudging resentment? No, because our budding young activist is so darn sweet. When this vertically challenged little human locks her blue eyes with you, smiles ever so slightly, and explains in a calm reassuring way all her earth-saving initiatives, resistance becomes futile, compliance is the only real option. It’s a superpower Tikki has, I cannot escape her spell.

Please pass me another plate of banana peel curry.

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