You guys. I done be savin' the world up in here!
Because yesterday I finally put my foot down for the environment. And America. And righteousness. Hashtag 'merica.
There's this place at the food court in the building in which I work that has great food. I frequent this place because it's convenient and relatively healthy. But every time I go there, I feel a stabbing pain in the center of my tree-hugging soul. This is because they hand you your order in a completely and totally unnecessary plastic bag.
It drives me crazy. They wrap my tiny sandwich in paper and then place it in this ridiculous plastic bag so I can carry it for 20 seconds and discard it. So I always tell them I don't actually need the bag. They give me a confused look, pull the sandwich out of it, and then sometimes throw the bag away anyway.
I feel like I'm living a version of that Dr. Seuss book where they chop down all the trees to make an elevator button. Or however that story went. (I'm too lazy to verify on the googles).
And what's worse, it's not just me that is forced into having a plastic bag. Every single "to go" meal purchased at this very popular place is also placed in a completely unnecessary plastic bag that then goes and sits in a landfill FOR TIME AND ALL ETERNITY.
And the bag doesn't even make carrying the lunch more convenient. It is absolutely no easier to hold the bag than it is to just hold the sandwich, which is wrapped in paper anyway. If anything, the bag is more inconvenient because I have an extra thing of which to dispose.
So finally, I had had enough. I was exactly like J-Lo in that movie. I even took a martial arts class for like a year because of how upset I was about this. As it turned out, the martial arts class wasn't really helpful for dealing with this problem. But it taught me how to scream at a higher pitch, which will come in handy when Jolyn Metro inflicts whatever act of horror she has up her sleeve next April Fool's Day.
I decided to contact the business about this. I found their Facebook Page and sent a message through that forum.
I have a hard time criticizing small businesses. I get this from Cathie. When we stayed in Tahoe for the Ironman, we were all at a very rundown and gross hotel. Cathie and Nic bonded over complaining about this while Bob and I rolled our eyes. Then when we got back to Salt Lake City, Cathie informed me that she had written a "scathing review" on Yelp about this hotel. Wondering what a "scathing review" from Cathie might look like, I went onto the Internet that very night and found it:
We stayed at this hotel for a few days while visiting Tahoe for the Ironman. The hotel staff was so nice and lovely! We appreciated all of the hard work they put into making our stay as comfortable as possible! The cute lady at the front desk was a gem and we just loved her beautiful smile and welcoming nature. She should get a raise! :) One small suggestion I would consider is to try to update the rooms a little bit and fix the window problem. It got a little drafty. I know these are big tasks for a small business and I don't mean to criticize because I love to see small businesses thrive, but it's something that could help you be even better than you already are! Cathie.
You guys. The Tahoe City Inn is SHAKING IN ITS BOOTS right now.
So with that, I wrote a message of my own to the plastic-bag-wasters downstairs, telling them that I love their establishment but that I think they ought to get rid of the bags. Or at the very least start asking people whether they need a bag before assuming that every person wants one. Because I'm guessing that the vast majority of people would decline it. I even offered to promote their business on Stranger if they were willing to make a change.
They immediately responded, politely thanking me for the suggestion and telling me that they would discuss it in their next meeting. And so now we wait.
But this all has me thinking, if they really do make a change based off of this one little message I sent, that could save thousands and thousands of plastic bags from going the landfill in the future. And I have to wonder how much good we could all do if everyone would encourage simple changes to the businesses around us or otherwise help further stigmatize unnecessary waste.
Hang on. I'm going to go outside and chain myself to a tree.
~It Just Gets Stranger