I’m crammed into the middle seat of an oversold United flight, sandwiched between a close-talker and a person that is half in my seat in addition to his. Along comes the flight attendant, and even though I want to sleep this nightmare away, my coffee addiction is calling. I contort sideways to reach my bag at my feet, glad that I’m only 5’3” tall, or this maneuver would be physically impossible even with years of yoga. I’m just barely able to loop a pinky and remove my Klean Kanteen insulated thermos and present it to the aisle. The stewardess looks annoyed at my offering, then pours the coffee instead into a Styrofoam cup transfers it to my vessel, and then throws the cup away.
I can barely contain myself , but decide that today I won’t give her my rant: that we could power one million cars if we gave up our addiction to petroleum-based plastics; that Americans throw away half a billion plastic bottles a week, enough to circle the globe twice; or that most plastic ends up in landfills, oceans and fish bellies, and is never ever recycled.
In the end, change comes through effort, even the simplest of changes, such as avoiding throwaway plastic. While at the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City this summer, I was lucky enough to be asked to MC one of these amazing movements, not only to “Ditch Single-Use Plastics”, but to raise money for a great cause – The Buffalo Field Campaign. As I’ve found in my own efforts, sometimes just having a great new vessel to imbibe great beer in can make all the difference – one that is practical, lightweight, packable, improves taste all while its great artsy looks inspires others to change their behavior.