well, it rocked as much as an office party could. some some other green ppl came out of the closet, which was nice. everybody loved the organic strawberries, they were amazing & so much tastier than regular ones! ppl were hesitant about the vegan cupcakes & macaroons & cookies, but most of them came around. the macaroons were awesome. the cd/dvd swap went alright too. one woman was moving and even brought an old digital camera and an apple mouse to give away! the battery collection was small, but there were ppl who had no idea that it’s not ok to throw batteries away. other ppl had been saving their batteries & didn’t know where to take them. (fyi, nyc law says that larger electronic stores have to accept small e-waste, so you can take it to best buy. whole foods also has a bin for them.) we also had a little group quiz & hopefully got ppl talking, maybe about the environment.
i think i’m done with this goal! i’ve done enough for the planet! ;)
i went shopping with a coworker for earth day party supplies (we’re having it on thursday :P). we were buying some eco-books for prizes & i told the cashier that we didn’t need a bag. my co-worker said, ‘I still need a bag’. i shoved the books into my tote bag. my coworker sighed & said, ‘Aren’t they going to get scuffed up? You’re really like this? You’re not doing this just because it’s Earth Day?! How am I going to carry this tissue paper without a bag? You carry that extra tote bag just in case, all the time?’
i told her about the small nylon bags that are easy to carry & the cashier chimed in, ‘That’s what I do too! Those bags are great!’
my coworker sighed again and put the tissue paper into her huge, larger-than-the-bookstore’s-bag purse! hooray!
we did buy a lot of paper plates and napkins and a plastic tablecloth for the party though. i couldn’t convince my coworker that we didn’t need 3 layers of stuff to protect the cupcakes from the ‘gross, dusty’ conference room table. when did all this germ-fear start? i blame lysol & purell. & microscopes ;). the nyt suggests it might be terrorism/general fear of the world...
the president approved the party, as long as we call it ‘A Spring Celebration/Earth Day Party’ so that no one is offended.
& i can’t stand the grocery baggers anymore. i pay fkg $3.69 for a loaf of pre-sliced bread at the fancy supermarket nearby (there are only fancy supermarkets in this neighborhood) when the news says that $1.32 is exorbitant for a loaf of bread & i’m embarrassed to tell you how much a tomato can cost here. if i’m paying more than double for my groceries than the rest of america, the least they could do is not make me feel like a asshole when i pay them and ask that they bag my groceries in the reusable bag that i bought from their fkg store. i know they have a shitty job, i have one too, but i don’t make other ppl feel bad about it. i’ve even worked at a supermarket before! it’s not that difficult to be civil for minimum wage.
um. so i’m emailing the supermarket a much tamer version of the preceding paragraph & threatening to go to Whole Foods where the ppl are nicer even tho their bagging area is so much smaller.
my question about an earth day office party made it onto grist! it was even the first picture on the main page (at least until bush made it onto the news)! this is so exciting! umbra had a lot of great ideas. i’ve talked to a couple of people in the office about the party, which has led to polite support but not many other ideas. i’m going to try to talk to the president tomorrow & hopefully he’ll be willing to spend some money for cupcakes & a prize.
the proposal is:
1. have some vegan cupcakes & treats, also some more healthy organic fruit & vegetables for people to eat
2. have a cd/dvd/book swap
3. collect cell phones & batteries for recycling
4. maybe have a little quiz contest on the environment
the contest would work as follows: each dept nominates a representative. the reps go against each other two at a time, the one who wins the most questions out of 3 goes on to the next round, until there is a winner. the winner’s dept gets to have an extra hour for lunch, so they can go out to the park & enjoy the outdoors. & everyone else gets to learn some eco facts & find out that tasty treats can be made without butter!
i signed up. the 4-color ads that they put in my credit card & phone bills for Earth day (sign up & we’ll donate $5 to panda bears!) finally got me. i hope i can still remember to pay my bills on time w/o the paper cluttering up my desk.
...how will i know if t-mobile really planted a tree for me?
i work for a small publishing company & we throw out reams of paper every day. most of it ends up in the recycling bin, but a lot of it doesn’t. sometimes people even toss regular trash into the recycling bins. some of my coworkers are also pretty germophobic, to the point that they’ll use disposable plastic cups to drink water from instead of the glasses and mugs in the kitchen. i’m not sure if we recycle plastic bottles & cans & glass at all. everybody leaves their lights & computers on.
since earth day is coming up, i would like to do something that would raise environmental awareness in the office. i don’t know how to do it in a ‘fun’ and ‘non-threatening’ way. especially since i am only a permatemp & have absolutely no clout & am afraid.
do you have any ideas?
i think greening the office would be a very effective way to help the environment – we all spend so much time there and use a lot of resources. the effects of small decisions at work are often amplified. e.g., i am an illustrator: if i make an illustration a little smaller to save one extra page of paper, this could lead to saving up to 16 pages of paper per book1, which, multiplies into saving many more pages when thousands of books are printed, which also translates into saving oil when shipping the books around around the country.
work is where it’s at! people keep talking about ‘big business’ & ‘industry’ needing to lead the way to sustainability – lots of us work for & make up big business! we’re not just consumers! some of us still make the things we consume – it’s not all coming from china ;)
um. yes… so an earth day office party? any ideas?
 that’s why some books have those empty/’notes’ pages at the end, certain types of book binding require the total # of pages to be a multiple of 4 (or 8 or 16). saving pages also saves the company money on printing costs!
i gave in & bought one of those reusable plastic bags that are shaped like a paper bag from whole foods. the clerks seem less upset about using them, they stand up better and hold more stuff.
lunchbox & i went to the summit. it was actually very interesting & motivating.
here are some facts about nyc recycling
- exporting nyc garbage to other places was estimated to cost $296 million in 2008 (this does not include the cost of collection)
- manhattan’s garbage is incinerated in newark, nj or driven to landfills in pa, oh, or va.
- 39% of nyc’s waste is organic material that could be composted
for now, i:
- have a worm bin (although lately lunchbox & i have been taking our compostable garbage at union square – there’s a community drop-off m-w-f & sat).
- try to use reuseable bags. sometimes i’m scared to push them on the grocery clerks though. i think if i buy the ones that are sold at store (that stand up on their own), the clerks will be less hostile.
- recycle & donate used things
- try to not to buy things that i don’t need
- replaced some household cleaners & handwash using dr. bronner’s
- had my addressed removed from junkmail lists (& whenever junkmail comes with a form & SASE, i like to be annoying & send the form back, crossed out w/a note saying to take me off their list)
things i’d like to work on:
- be more of an activist – maybe join an organization? at the very least i wish i would speak up at work when people throw recyclables into the garbage or garbage into the recycling bin. there must be a way to do it w/o being preachy
- use up old cleaners/soap/shampoo/etc & replace them with organic, non-toxic versions (& maybe make some of them)
- buy used things
- be less wasteful (a lot of unused produce ends up in the compost bin, sometimes i buy shoes & clothes that i never wear, etc)
- eat less takeout (so many plastic boxes!)
- use cloth napkins & handkerchiefs (they’re much softer than tissues)
- take better care of the worms!
- make reusable produce bags (i have netting & tulle lying around)
- have a better understanding of how all this stuff works together: corporations, consumers, gov’ts…
- stop killing the plants that i bring into my apt