Sunday, October 12, 2008

plastic free radical

The thought came to my mind over the weekend that I am a bit of a plastic free radical. I kind of like this thought :) It came to me as I was smugly eating my lunch with my own knife and fork off a real (chinaware) plate, while everyone else around me was eating off and with plastic! I found myself in this position at a conference on Saturday which had catered breakfast and lunch buffets. I passed up plastic with gusto, but I did not pass up food! Why is it that where there is food there is also plastic? I am used to using a napkin as a plate for pastries and other small breakfast food type things, but then along came lunch. A napkin would not serve me well as a plate to hold salad, pasta salad, a sandwich and soup! Okay, I can handle this I thought. I have my water bottle, I have my silverware, I need a plate. So, I asked one of the caterer people standing by the door to the kitchen...I think what I said was "Do you have any real plates, I don't use plastic and was hoping you could let me have another plate." To my surprise the guy said yes, walked over to a cabinet and gave me a plate and then said "Just don't tell anyone where you got it or they will all want one." Hum? Yes, let us no let it get out to the masses that there is an option other than plastic (okay I get that this means more work for the caterer-washing plates and all) but common. I felt like making a Marie Antoinette like proclamation "Let them eat with plates!" Let us liberate the masses. If there are other plates available-which there were where I was-it is time to not just think about the short term costs (less money if you don't have to pay caterers to wash plates) and think more of the long term costs (the growing plastic wastelands in our oceans and health consequences from plastic).
"Let them eat from plates!"


plasticfreenyc said...

did i tell you about the party we threw for 500 people at work last week? I planned the party with 2 like-minded souls and we used real glasses instead of plastic! it was SOOOOOOO much more work, as we were the catering crew, but worth it. we were very proud of ourselves for not taking the easy/cheapest way out.

there was still some other plastic (forks.. ick), but we're doing another party next month so i'm hoping to use even less plastic next time around. yay.

oh another silly plastic situation-- we had soup for lunch yesterday and ran out of real spoons so people used plastic spoons. i used my fork :)

Mazhar Hussain Shah said...

Great work.