How to wear clothes without killing everyone

“Clothes mean nothing until someone lives in them.” —Marc Jacobs

Day-to-day, we give a lot of thought to our clothes as a way to express ourselves to the world. Our sense of style, professionalism, fandom, and even economic class all go into carefully constructing our outfits before we leave the house. But what we don’t often give thought to is the environmental impact of each of those garments. The reality is that the clothing industry has some surprisingly large negative effects on the planet: from the amount of water needed to grow cotton, to the CO2 emitted when manufacturing polyester. But there are some perfectly reasonable ways to first identify and then minimize these impacts within your own closet. And you can still walk out looking like [literally Googles “fashionable teenagers”] Maddie Ziegler of Sia music video fame! Hello, fellow kids!

How the clothing industry hurts the environment

The world’s population has been growing at an exponential rate since the 1950’s. This is in large part due to objectively good things such as fewer World Wars being fought and advances in medical care. Along with that population growth, more and more countries are industrializing and lifting their citizens out of poverty. However with this growth in both numbers and quality-of-life comes some burdens on our natural resources. For one, all of these people are going to want [checks notes] swag.

And my perfect record of being able to appeal to a younger audience continues

And it’s not just the increase in population that is causing an increase in the clothing industry’s output; we’re also wanting more clothes to keep up with the constant change in fashion trends. According to Mckinsey & Company:

“..clothing production doubled from 2000 to 2014, and the number of garments purchased each year by the average consumer increased by 60 percent.”

https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/sustainability/our-insights/style-thats-sustainable-a-new-fast-fashion-formula

All of that equals more clothes and more materials needed to make those clothes. The most common non-synthetic textile used in clothes is cotton, a notoriously thirsty plant. According to the World Wildlife Fund it can take 2,700 liters of water to grow the cotton needed for one T-shirt. Water scarcity is a growing concern and the need to use more water to grow more cotton to make more clothes isn’t going to help that problem get any better.

Then there is the synthetic textile industry. It is estimated that 65% of all fibres used in the fashion industry are made from a synthetic material – mainly polyester, but also nylon, acrylic, polypropylene and elastane. And all of those synthetics are manufactured using fossil fuels.

Regardless of what material your clothes are made out of, it’s quite likely that they weren’t made in the U.S. They very likely came from Asian countries such as China and Sri Lanka, or Mexico, where labor is cheaper but still skilled enough to make good quality clothing. So on top of the environmental cost of manufacturing, there is also the environmental cost of shipping your [Googles latest fashion trends] adult onesies across the Pacific Ocean.

Hold up….. really?

All told, the fashion industry is currently responsible for approximately 10% of greenhouse emissions and 20% of the world’s wastewater. And with demand increasing each year, the problem is only going to get worse unless we find ways to curtail the production of new clothing.

First: limit the amount of new clothes you’re buying

Our first step to cutting down on our impact is to limit the new clothes we are buying. Obviously, that firstly means don’t buy any clothes that you don’t need. An easy solution for some, but for those who express themselves through fashion this could be tricky. This is where creativity comes into play. There are plenty of ways to repair and/or modify existing clothes to make them last longer and to be a little more exciting.

My wife has these tailoring tools that I’m not even going to pretend to know the name of or understand how they work. But It’s basically a flat, square board and what looks like a pizza cutter for shirts.

Apparently it’s called a “rotary cutter”… I think they missed an opportunity with “pizza-cutter-for-shirts”

Regardless of what it’s called, once she’s done she will have transformed a normal T-shirt into something like this:

And the scraps can be used to make things like headbands. The Internet is a wealth of creative ideas for turning old or outdated clothing into something fun and fashionable. Here are 350 ideas for modifying clothes that I found on one quick Pintrest search. If you, like me, aren’t tailor-ly inclined, you probably have someone close to you that is that may do modifications for you or even show you how. Or you could support a small business and have a professional tailor use their pizza–cutter-for-shirts on your threads. No matter how you go about it, the endgame is to extend the life of your clothes and still look [checks notes] swaggarific… Who wrote these notes?

Second: buy stuff secondhand

Okay, so say you really need a new outfit for that hoppin’ shindig a week from next Tuesday…. Hello again, fellow kids! Nothing in your closet, even the clothes you’ve modified, are going to do. Your former best friend is going to be at this party and you’ve got to outshine them but you know they just took a trip to Spain and came back looking PHENOMENAL and no this isn’t actually based on true events, Dennis! How dare you try to one-up me!

Lucky for you (and unluckily for Dennis) this Saturday is half-off-day at Goodwill. Most Goodwill locations will have a half-off-day sale routinely where you can get secondhand clothes ridiculously cheap. But honestly, any day is fine to hit up a Goodwill and get some killer deals. You’ll be getting clothes at way cheaper than when buying new and you’ll be surprised at how good the quality and fashionability some of the finds can be.

Goodwill not quite your style? No problem. Consignment stores can offer a higher standard of secondhand merch at a slightly higher price. Or there’s bound to be plenty of other thrift stores in your area. Shop around and find the store that best matches the style you’re going for.

I refuse to put a picture of Macklemore on my blog, so here’s a picture of Alex Mack instead

Thrift shopping isn’t the only way to get your clothes secondhand. Don’t be afraid to hit up those garage- and yard sales when they pop up in your neighborhood. And make sure your friends and family know that you’d love to take a look of any clothes they are getting rid of before they donate them or throw them away. Once you’ve explored all of your options, you’ll be amazed at how much you can pad your closet with secondhand options, and how freaking jealous Dennis is going to be at how good you look!

Last resort: when you absolutely have to buy something new

So occasionally we all do need to have new new clothes, especially when it comes to things that I wouldn’t recommend getting from a thrift store, such as socks and underwear. Or maybe there’s a specific look you’re looking for and coming up empty in every thrift store within a 40 mile radius.

I can’t believe none of the Goodwills in my area had this in stock. Ugh!

There are two things you should keep in mind when buying brand new clothes: where they were made, and what they were made from. The material clothes were made from are likely going to compose the greatest portion of the environmental impact as we’ve covered above. But you should also be aware of how far an article of clothing had to travel to get to you, and the emissions associated with that travel. If you can get something that was made locally, that’s always a good start.

As far as materials, there are a few options. Probably the best is using recycled plastic. There are plenty of fashion companies now making clothes using recycled plastic to give that plastic a second life. Now, there is a drawback to this: washing machines. When you wash an article of clothing made from plastic, the micro-plastics will run off and into the water supply and eventually the ocean, adding to the mounting problem of plastic in our waters. However, the same is true when you wash clothes made from polyester, so you’re not really adding to the problem that already exists. You’re just… not fixing it. So balance the give-and-take here before you decide if recycled plastic clothes are right for you.

Then again not washing clothes is probably fashionable now so maybe just do that?

A big option for making textiles is hemp. Now, hemp has had a negative connotation and even has been banned for really stupid reasons, and is still banned in the U.S. for stupid reasons, but we’re quickly and sort of quietly putting that all behind us. Hemp is way friendlier to the environment than cotton, or even wool, since it is easy to grow and is a versatile plant. Patagonia is a company that makes and sells hemp clothing. They also donate some of their profits to environmental causes and are aware of their own impacts such as the the energy used for lighting their business offices, and seek to counterbalance those impacts in other ways. They are not the only clothing company using hemp to make clothes, and it’s likely more will join the market as we move forward.

There are some other plant-based materials that are being used to make clothes such as “banana sylk” and “pineapple leather”. Finding these clothes won’t be too difficult as the companies that make them are going to want to advertise that they used these materials, partially for the green initiative value, but also because it’s a unique way to stand out in the market.

At the bottom of the list we have cotton and wool. While these are still better than synthetics, they carry a rather heavy environmental cost as well. We know cotton leads to water waste, as well as pesticides that could be harmful to insect populations. Wool, on the other hand, comes from sheep. Sheep eat food and then, well… methane. I’ve talked before about how livestock is harmful to the environment, and sheep are no exception. So buy clothes made with wool or cotton with caution.

But above else try to avoid polyester and other synthetic materials entirely.

Bonus: make your own clothes!

If you’re of the rare talent (Hi Jess!) where you can go to a Michael’s, grab some sheets of material or some yarn, and turn that into a hat, I applaud you. And I definitely recommend you put this talent to use when you can. You’re helping lessen environmental impact in a few ways. You’re cutting down on emissions due to transportation of goods, and you’re in complete control of what your clothes are made out of.

Now, yarn can be made out of lots of materials, but is most commonly made of cotton, which we know has a pretty aggressive environmental impact. But there are other options including silk, tencel, and our good buddy hemp! Here are some companies that sell environmentally friendly yarns.

As far as swaths of fabric go, it’s hard to beat silk as far as friendly to the environment. The biggest drawback there is going to be the price. Outside of that, any plant-based material is going to be the best bet. As long as you’re avoiding synthetics, you’re in a good place overall.

So, in summary….

  1. Keep the clothes you have as long as possible
  2. Buy clothes secondhand
  3. Pay attention to what your clothes are made of an avoid synthetics
  4. Pay attention to where your clothes come from and buy locally
  5. Make your own clothes if you can
  6. Show Dennis what’s what!

How to buy and eat food without killing everyone (In 5 steps)

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” -J.R.R. Tolkien

Prediction: this will not be my last post about food. This probably isn’t even in the bottom 10 of my sequential posts about food. I love food so much! I love meal-planning, shopping for ingredients, cooking it, eating it. I love getting better at all of these things and putting in research on how to get better.

So I wanted to start high-level and look at the biggest ways to make a positive impact on the way one shops for, prepares, and eats their food, both for the environment and for themselves.

1. Don’t Be Wasteful

According to a 2013 report by the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), approximately one-third of the world’s food is lost or wasted. This amounts to around 1.3 GTonnes… that’s 1.3 gigatonnes! That’s equal to approximatly 3 TILLION pounds of food.

Let’s put that in context. It’s estimated that 550 million Big Macs are sold every year in the U.S. At about half a pound, that’s 225 million pounds of food annually. It would take McDonald’s nearly 13,000 years for the pile of Big Macs sold to equal the pile of global food lost in one year.

Or maybe less than that if sports teams ever accept an invitation to the White House again

Now, not all of this waste is food that was simply thrown away. A good portion of it is food that was grown and deemed unsuitable to eat for one reason or another, such as a diseased crop. And another portion of the loss happens before food is available for purchase; corporations and businesses factor some loss into their budget, referred to as “shrink”. When I was in college, I worked stocking shelves for a grocery store. Before cartons of eggs were able to be put on the shelf, we needed to check every carton for broken eggs. If even one egg was broken, the entire carton would be considered contaminated and would be unceremoniously thrown away. Seriously, me and my fellow twenty-something coworkers would take out our boredom and frustration from being young and working in a grocery store by taking turns fast pitching eggs one at a time into the industrial sized trash compactor in the backroom. This was before the age of iPhones, kids. We took our fun where we could.

The original fruit ninja was actually eggs

Now, this blog is all about changes that we, as individuals, can make. So let’s set aside all of the pre-consumer loss that happens and focus on what goes on in our own houses. It’s estimated that we throw out as much as 40% of the food we buy. When we put food into our trash cans, we are not only directly contributing to greenhouse gas emissions by adding volume to a landfill, we are indirectly contributing as well by having wasted all of the resources that when into making that food appear in your house. Growing and transporting food is an enormous part of global emissions.

So the simplest and most direct solution here is to simply not waste food. Easier said than done, yes, but there are steps one can take to help in this arena. Meal planning and targeted grocery shopping are very big first steps. If you know exactly what you need to buy at the grocery store for the next week, and only get those things, you’re less likely to end up with wasted food. And try to schedule a “leftover” day once a week and pull all of the week’s leftovers out and let the family fight to the death over the best ones. Also research the best way to store different types of food so that they last longer.

Finally, if you’re not composting yet, you really should be. Composting not only is better for the environment by keeping waste out of landfills, it can also save you money by giving you your own enriched soil you can use to grow your own food. And you’ll be amazed at the amount of things you can compost! Did you know human hair and fingernail clippings can go in a compost pile? I didn’t until I started collecting compostables myself. If you don’t feel you have the time, energy, or know-how to compost on your own (like me), there may be a service you can use that will do the dirty work for you. I use Recycled City. They drop off a bin each week. I fill it up with my food scraps, coffee filters and tea bags, and other compostables, and then leave it out front one week later for them to pick up and exchange for a new bin. Couldn’t be easier! And every 3 months I can request to receive soil from them.

2. Stop Eating Red Meat

Humans have been eating meat for around 2.5 million years. The main benefit of meat is that it provides a plethora of nutrients all at once and is therefore more efficient to get calories than a diet consisting of only non-meat foods. This was very advantageous to our ancestors, especially before the agricultural revolution, when food was more scarce.

But the thing is, food isn’t as scarce anymore. As we just learned, we’re throwing away about a third of all of the food we make. Now, that isn’t to say that there aren’t food shortages happening around the world, but that is mostly a political problem and an issue with distribution and logistics. In most of the modern world, food is no longer a scarce resource.

So it is now possible, and actually not at all difficult, to eliminate red meat from one’s diet and still maintain nutritional needs. In fact, a diet that is lower in red meat and higher in vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains is likely better for your overall health.

Disclosure: I’m on the Mediterranean Diet right now and I love it and I won’t shut up about it ever

But here’s the hangup for most people: red meat is fucking delicious. And it’s easy to make. Throw a steak on pretty much any heated surface for three or five minutes per side and you’re dining like a King. Pop over to just about any fast food restaurant and you’ll be chowing on a burger without even having to leave your car. And because of red meat’s high efficiency in nutrients, it’s often cheaper than getting those nutrients from a more diverse diet. So aside from the health benefits, there’s not a lot of motivation to change.

Unless, of course, you’re motivated to not die. Aside from the adverse health effects, red meat, and specifically cows, make up a good amount of greenhouse emissions. Methane (yup, we’re talkin’ cow farts) are up to 30 times as potent as CO2 as a greenhouse gas. Some reports even go as far as to speculate that eliminating red meat would have a bigger effect on climate-change-causing greenhouse gases than eliminating cars would, although I’m skeptical of going that far as cars and other transportation vehicles make up a much larger portion of greenhouse gases entering our atmosphere than livestock does. But having fewer cows definitely will make a significant impact no matter how you slice it. According to the Washington Post, “If you trade in steak for beans once a week for a year, you will keep the equivalent of 331 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere.” That’s enough for me.

3. Look for the RSPO Label

Palm oil is bad. Really bad. It’s responsible for wiping out 25% of the rainforest lands in Indonesia only. And when those lands are cleared for palm oil plantations, they are burned, which releases a tremendous amount of carbon into the air. Not to mention, we now have fewer trees to reabsorb that carbon.

Palm oil is also in just about everything we buy. Breads and pastas. Butters and cheeses. Soaps and shampoos. Some parts of the world even use palm oil as a biofuel, ironically trying to reduce the carbon output while unwittingly adding to it.

This is because palm oil is versatile and efficient. It grows fast and is harvested easily. Therefore, even if we could find alternatives to palm oil, they likely wouldn’t provide a net benefit to carbon output. The energy required to grow, harvest, and transport another type of oil, or oils, to replace palm oil would be counterproductive.

Now, as of yet, there’s no perfect solution to this problem. But steps are being made, and one of them is the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil certification. In short, the RSPO seeks to regulate the palm oil farming industry so that the global demand is satiated without contributing to further deforestation. The Roundtable is large (their site purports over 4,000 members) so changes are slow and often fall short of ultimate goals. But it’s progressing in the right direction. And the best way to help the RSPO move faster toward its goals is by supporting sustainable palm oil production. And they’ve made it relatively easy.

This label indicates that a product is ROSP certified and thereby supports sustainable palm oil farming. The more products that are bought using this label, the higher the demand will be for sustainable palm oil and the more companies will make the effort to get the label on their products. Since I’m on the Mediterranean diet (see, I told you!) I already look for the Whole Grain stamp on my breads, pastas, and cereals to make sure I’m getting plenty of that whole grainy goodness! It’s not too much effort to add this step into your shopping and soon it becomes second nature to look and be sure your stuff is all RSPO certified.

And speaking of adding steps to your shopping habits…

4. Pay Attention to Packaging

In my first blog post here I talked a bit about how what you put into your shopping bags has a bigger impact on if you use plastic, paper, or reusable shopping bags. This is true not only if you’re putting layers of red meat in your bag; what your food is packaged in can have a huge impact as well.

A lot of food is packaged in one-time use plastic. Or is wrapped or sealed in some sort of thin plastic wrap that is unable to be recycled and instead goes to a landfill (or the ocean). Think of cereal boxes which use both cardboard and plastic bags in their packaging. Are both really needed? Maybe just get the cereal that’s in plastic bags only (which are usually cheaper BTW).

Plus, think of all the fart jokes you can enjoy at the breakfast table!

Now, it’s likely not going to be possible to avoid any and all packaging when grocery shopping unless you’re shopping exclusively at farmer’s markets. But there are many things you can do to limit the amount of packaging you’ll need to throw away at home.

The biggest impact can actually come in the produce section. Try to buy the fruits and veggies that are on display without packaging–for example buying a full head of lettuce instead of the pre-shredded lettuce that comes in a plastic bag. Or pre-bagged apples or avocados. Avoiding putting your items in those plastic tear-away bags if you can; you can always clean your items when you get home. Or, if your worried about bacteria and germs in the shopping cart, bring some paper towels with you to wrap your fruits and veggies in until you get to the checkout. Your paper towels can be added to your compost bin when you get home!

Another big thing to look for is plastic bottles. They’re great because they don’t break when dropped. But they’re terrible because they’re, well, plastic. Try to purchase items in glass bottles and jars instead. If you are buying meat, try going up to the counter instead of getting the pre-wrapped meats that are often packaged in plastic and Styrofoam. Often the butcher will wrap your meat in brown or wax paper (not perfect but still leagues better than plastic & Styrofoam).

Buying in bulk will also have an impact. Buying 70 vegetarian burger patties in a single cardboard box is going to mean less waste than if you bought 7 individual packages of 10 veggie burgers. Just be wary of multi-level packaging where, for instance, 5 individual packages of 10 rolls of toilet paper are wrapped up into a big package of 50 rolls. You’ll have a layer of plastic over the whole thing, and then another layer for each package within.

NOTE: this is different than multi-level marketing which is just as bad… but at least the toilet paper doesn’t message you on Facebook pretending to be your friend after eight years of silence, KAREN!

Overall, as you are buying groceries, be thinking about how much of each product has elements that will end up in the trash or recycle bins. Do not think that just because a plastic bottle can go into the recycling bin that it doesn’t have an environmental impact. Often items that go off to recycling centers get rejected and still end up in a landfill. It’s best to limit the amount of stuff going into either the trash or recycling bin altogether. Most cardboard and other paper wrappings and compostable, and while glass does go in the recycling bin, it has a better chance of being successfully recycled, or can be reused in the house.

5. Limit Driving to and from the Store

The only thing, globally, that has a bigger impact to climate-change-causing emissions than food production is energy consumption, although there is definitely some overlap since food itself it a large contributor to the manufacturing and shipping industries. But high on the list of top contributors are the very cars we’re driving around in every day. It’s a near necessity to modern life and it has been designed that way.

While it’s definitely possible to use public or other modes of transport to get to and from the store, I fully understand that this is not at all realistic for everyone, myself included. I have a household of six people (3 adults, 3 kids) and shopping for everyone in anything besides my own vehicle would be a nightmare trying to carry all of our groceries home with us. Luckily, the nearest grocery store is very close to the house so it’s a short trip to and from. Therefore, the biggest impact that someone like me can make is to limit the number of times that trip needs to be taken.

This is where meal planning and shopping lists become huge. In our house, Thursday night is meal-planning night, after the mandatory fight-to-the-death-for-leftovers has commenced (see #1 in this entry). We plan out the next week’s meals and then create our shopping list. The grocery shopping for the next 7 days will get completed before dinner Friday night and then the cycle starts again. This means I only take one trip to the grocery store a week, and I usually am able to do it on my way home from work, so not adding any additional miles to my driving.

The best solution would be not to drive at all, of course. Walk, take a bus, hop on one of those trendy scooters that are lying around everywhere, whatever works best. But if you must drive to the store, try to do it as few times as possible. And try to do it while you’re out and about anyway. And try to limit the number of places you need to visit, unless your extra stop is a farmer’s market, which I’ll always Stan for.

At the time of this writing, us white folks have just barely begun making “Stan” a defunct term… I’m sorry to have contributed

Food is an obvious huge part of everyone’s life. And it can and should be enjoyed and celebrated. There’s plenty of fantastic ways to continue to have food be that joyous, cultural aspect of life while also positively impacting the planet. Limit the amount of emissions it takes to get the food from the farm to you, limit the amount of plastic and red meat in your shopping cart, research and support sustainable products, and compost everything that you can.

How to get started in not killing everyone

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.

– Albert Einstein

The idea to start a new blog (you can see my first clumsy attempt here) has been stuck in my mind, unshakable, for several months now. Originally I was thinking about a how-to-everything site where I would research the best way to do everything, from folding a T-shirt to running for political office. But that project proved too big, too lofty. I needed to hone in on something more specific.

I have been an environmentalist for many years now and have sought to make changes in my own life to lessen my impact to climate change and the Earth’s delicate ecosystem. But I rarely make changes without doing a bunch of research–likely a holdover from my days writing research papers. And I realized two things:

  1. There’s a lot of misinformation out there leading people to make choices that are counter-productive, and
  2. The best environmental choices are rarely intuitive or without complexity.

For example, take grocery bags. We all know plastic grocery bags are bad, right? So we should use reusable bags, like a tote bag! Not so fast there, bucco. What you’ll find when you search for whether tote bags are better than plastic bags is a bunch of different sources saying there’s not a real clear-cut answer, but… no, tote bags aren’t the fix-all solution.

The problem is that tote bags are mostly made of cotton, which is a very thirsty plant. Cotton is hard to grow and uses a lot of resources, and then there’s the issue of transporting the heavier tote bags to whatever store they’re being sold in. Add all this up and it equals a fuckton more CO2 emissions than a plastic bag, to the tune of needing one thousand plastic bags to equal the emissions of one tote.

This fucking bag wants to kill you AND your whole family

All that being said, cotton tote bags at least don’t add to the plastic pollution problem in our oceans; they’re biodegradable. So… yay? Or maybe we should use paper bags instead. Oops, nope, they’re also worse than plastic.

So… should we all just resign ourselves to death by starvation because there’s literally no way to carry our groceries home in bags? Yes, but only because we’re mostly all Millennials or Gen-Z’ers and we have depression. But aside from that, no. Really, the bags aren’t as big a deal as we think.

I image searched “sad bag” and wasn’t dissappointed

See, here’s the thing. What bag we put our groceries in actually matters a lot less than, say, the groceries themselves. Did you buy red meat? Are there a lot of plastic packages? How much local stuff did you buy?

Also, the way you got to the store matters, too. Did you drive a car? What are the car’s emissions? Is the store within walking distance, or is there the possibility of taking public transit? (We’re going to do a blog post about transportation so hold your breath for that!)

I’m also planning on doing a full blog post on plastic bags in the future that will seek to answer the question of what bag is best. But as a teaser, here’s something you’re going to see a LOT of in this blog and elsewhere as you research being more green: reuse. Don’t replace something you already own that is still usable. If you already have tote bags, keep using them until they have worn completely away. And try and reuse plastic bags, both at the store and around your house. And when THEY become unusable, recycle them.

And that’s really the over-arching theme. Just try not to buy new shit. Use what you have until it has gotten to the point of impracticality, and then try and either repurpose it or recycle it. And when you do buy stuff, try and buy it used. I’m going to advocate hard for thrift stores here.

If you’ve made it this far with me without having rolled your eyes, then I assume you’re on board with going with me on this journey to discover ways we can do our part. Perhaps you’re already on your own green journey or maybe you’re ready to just get started. Either way, there’s something I want to make sure you fully understand first.

We HAVE to stay optimistic. Because here’s the thing. It’s probably going to get worse before/if it gets better. As of this writing it’s clear we don’t have the support of the majority of those in positions of power. Not yet, at least. That is probably changing but it’s not going to change fast enough. And while we shouldn’t be solely responsible because we didn’t solely create this fucking mess (looking at you, ExxonMobil) there are things we can do without a terrible amount of effort to lessen the impact that we are directly causing and I do think we owe it to the planet and our future generation to do them.

So keep that hope. Futility will gain us nothing. The news will be full of apocalyptic, dire warnings, and some of it will be accurate. But the fight goes on. If you find your hope slipping… if you find yourself saying “what’s the point”… I have a cure. Watch Sam’s speech from the end of The Two Towers.

If Sean Astin can’t help you, then I certainly can’t

Watch that. Then watch it again. Then again. As many times as it takes for you to believe it. Then take all of that positive energy, run through a brick wall, and tell this fucking stupid world that your’e coming to save it!