A Sticky Business

November 9, 2009
When I chew a piece of gum, I immediately think of the heaps of chewed rubber all over the world. I agree, this is not a typical reaction. Still, I can’t help but wonder.

About six months ago, I brought this up with my family and some friends. As I mentioned, this was six months ago. They are still making fun of me. You might find this strange, as they did, but please listen to what I have to say.

Let’s say, for interest’s sake, that I, the average person, chew a piece of gum once or twice a day, or, to simplify matters, about a pack of gum per week. This is very reasonable: many of my friends chew a pack of gum in a single day, and some, not at all. Now, there are fifty-two weeks in a year. Let’s suppose that I start chewing gum at the age of five, and continue for the remainder of my life. For this purpose, we’ll assume that I live to be eighty-five years old. That’s 4,160 packs of gum chewed, disposed of, and sitting in a landfill, in my lifetime. Depending upon how many pieces of gum are in a pack, that’s somewhere between 29,120 and 58,240 pieces of gum. Now multiply that by the billions of people across the world that chew gum on a daily basis. That’s a lot of chewed up rubber.

Although, this may be a strange idea, I’m not crazy. You are probably thinking that I’m wearing a “GO GREEN” shirt and protesting pollution on the weekends, that I’m one of those science nerds who research global warming—for fun. I’m not. Much as it concerns me, and I believe it my obligation as an inhabitant of Earth to stay as aware as possible, I’d never really thought about it before. Think of all the rubber heaping up in landfills.

Now, consider this: Gum, not surprisingly, is not one of the top dangers to earth and our environment. However, as I have shown here, it obviously has a large impact on our planet. If something as simple and seemingly harmless as chewing a piece of gum can have such an effect on the environment, then how much damage is mankind inflicting in our other daily endeavors? Gum may be a silly, ludicrous example, but it certainly serves a purpose.

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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

insanewriter23 said...
Jun. 28, 2010 at 7:22 am
I really enjoyed reading this and it gave me a new insight to how such little things can drastically change the Earth, i really loved reading this and it waas written wonderfully
lovehate29 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 30, 2009 at 2:18 pm
You have a valid point. This article is clever and ertertaining at the same time. I enjoyed reading it. Good job. Please check out my work if you have time. I would greatly appreciate comments and ratings.
firstsnowfalls This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 30, 2009 at 2:44 pm
thanks! :)
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