Some people go to extremes to stay true to their beliefs, like this ultra orthodox Jew flying in a plastic bag.
I have utmost respect for people who put their traditions and beliefs before comforts and social norms, but realize sometimes it just doesn’t make sense.
With my pledge to live without the convenience of plastic containers, wraps and bags for the next year, I am still formulating my rules. All the while I am following a mantra that stays true. The mantra will guide me in my decisions. If the plastic I am considering using is not intended to last and be useful to me for a long period of time, then I should not consume it. However, obviously if I’m in a situation where there are extreme risks, I’ll bend these rules. Maybe even light risks. I’ll figure it out when I get there. A potential example could be: buying a fresh bottle of water in Peru vs filling up my canteen in a sink. I really hate South American stomach sickness aka Montezuma’s Revenge.
During a flight about a month ago to Norway, before taking the year without plastic pledge, I chose to decline all in-flight goods due to the ridiculousness of the products and trash they generate. However, on the return flight from Norway, I couldn’t resist the Biscoff cookies, and then went for a drink as well. In fact, I had coffee and tea. And pretzels. And an inflight meal. Why not? I’m flying, am mildly discomforted, and I need to have small moments of sweet and salty happiness. I found myself using about 6 different plastic and styrofoam cups throughout the trip. And then the stewardess comes around and dumps everything into trash bags. Out of sight, out of mind. Just like the rest of our lives in modern society, someone else comes along and cleans up our mess, and we never see it again. People pay good money to never have to worry about any of their actions.
This past weekend, I took my first flight after embarking on the Year Without Plastic. On my recent flight from Boston to Atlanta, I successfully resisted all the temptations. No ginger ale, pretzels, peanuts, coffee, tea or Biscoff cookies (I’ll miss you dearly!)
Can you spend 10-20 minutes to eat a meal before your flight or prepare some in flight food in a container that will not be immediately thrown into a landfill? Can you handle the feeling of slight hunger as you forego the plane food? I’ll admit, we are not used to such constraints in the US. If we are even the slightest bit hungry, we eat. If there’s no food, we complain. We get angry. As a remedy to all these problems that we think we have, all it takes is a little planning.