This wasn’t the work of ghosts, but it sure looked like it. I snapped on the kitchen lights at 3:00 a.m. to find one of the counters dripping with slime. It looked like the basement of the New York Public Library. As I grabbed a damp rag and a roll of paper towels, I thought about Ghostbusters and fresh produce. The slime, you see, came from a burst freezer pack. During the pandemic we’ve been using Misfits, a service that delivers fresh fruits and vegetables to your door. Early on, back in March and April, it looked like various shortages, apart from toilet paper, were here to stay. Every couple of weeks we’d get a Misfits box, so we’d at least have that.
Since fruits and vegetables are perishable, and since there is a time lag involved, they are packed with freezer bags. These cold-pack bags are reusable and we began sticking them in our ice-box. We have no free-standing freezer, so the unit atop our fridge was getting full. The last week’s pack had begun to leak in transit, and, being too busy, I’d set it aside until I could figure out how to dispose of it in the most environmentally friendly way. We don’t generate a huge amount of trash. We compost our food scraps, and being vegan we don’t have smelly animal byproducts to toss. And we recycle all that we can. I guess just “throwing it out” has become a kind of last resort. In the dark, the freezer bag made the decision for me and so I found myself mopping in the middle of the night.
It’s a small price to pay, really, to try to help save the environment. The past four years have contributed unconscionably to global warming. We tend not to care because those who’ll bear the brunt of it in the short-term are the poor. Industrialists can afford vacation homes in the mountains. Our lifestyles have an impact everywhere. We need to learn to think differently about things. Of course, that leaky freezer pack did cause quite a mess. The gooey slime was everywhere, but it was everywhere with a conscience. I have to wonder what happens to the world when leaders lack conscience. Unfortunately I don’t have to wonder long since I have the headlines to read. No, this wasn’t the work of ghosts, but unless we change our ways it could well be. And when those treating you like enemies are your leaders, who you gonna call?