Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Still trying to keep the plastic use down...

Not the actual beverage in question - Chowhound's version looked fine! 

Just copying an update from Facebook. There was a period in 2015 when I did a few reports on my efforts to achieve a "Zero Net Plastic" day - I did eventually manage one but it's not an easy thing to do! I don't write about these much but I came SO close yesterday without really trying, if I'd just thought to ask for no straws. Next time!  

Very annoyed with myself - could've had a Zero Net Plastic day yesterday if I'd just thought to request no straw in my cocktail when I went to the Slainte session last night. I usually have a pint (they have a fantastic rotating selection of draft beers there, and if I'm not feeling adventurous, they almost always have Fat Tire) but I went with Dark n' Stormies in honor of the weather.

"Zero Net Plastic Days" are a personal thing I like to try doing that date back to the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokule'a's visit to NYC during their Malama Honua worldwide voyage. In honor of her visit and the voyage, I started working harder on cutting down on plastic where I could - there were a few items where I knew I could do better if I was just a little more disciplined, like using my own containers instead of single-use clamshells, and carrying a bag for unplanned purchases of groceries and sundries (and not buying stuff if I didn't have a bag). As I got better with those things, I started looking for opportunities for "zero net plastic" days, where I was able to make it through a whole day without either acquiring or disposing of any plastic.

I don't really write about this much any more but I never stopped doing it, once I'd made the habit, I kept it. This is harder than you might think - there's always the Chinese food oyster pail that you thought was cardboard but turns out to be lined with plastic, or the decorative toothpick stuck in your sandwich, or the straw in your Dark n' Stormy.

I'll close with a link to an excellent article by Robert Haynes-Peterson, a Whitman College classmate of mine who has built himself a career writing about cocktails and bars - it's wild reading his Facebook page because he's always attending these spectacular events hosted by high-end distilleries and such. His friends from college would all be incredibly jealous if we didn't all know that he's a really good guy who worked his lemu off to get there - that being the case, I just thoroughly enjoy experiencing these things vicariously through his writing. He's been having some discussions about the no-straw movement in the hospitality industry with his friends in the business, and I shared his article in the comments on my post - I think it's really worth a read. Click here to read it


Diane Stenglein said...

We're getting better. Unfortunately, we do go through a lot of single serving snacks. I bought a set of reusable snack and sandwich bags, which are working out pretty well. The kids like to carry their own stuff now, and were complaining about using containers, since they get heavy. It was especially nice to have an empty baggy with me today, when Ben needed to do something with a half bagel. (We're also working on food insecurity and waste this summer.)

bonnie said...

Great mom-ing! It's so hard, plastic is everywhere precisely because it's so handy - so good that you're teaching your kids the lesson that it's worth a little extra bother to cut down on waste.