I am going to step away from the performing arts for just one second and talk about climate reality and sustainability and one action item that every single person can take; bring both a reusable water bottle and coffee/tea mug everywhere. Seriously. Don't use to-go cups or plastic bottles.
I live right near a Starbucks. There are also Peets, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and Bluestone cafes within two blocks. The amount of plastic waste that each of these stores generate each day is astronomical. Each and every day. We can change that. All we each need to do is carry a coffee mug, I have one that is good for both hot and cold liquids. It's like magic. The same solution is available for water. Water in the United States (with notable exceptions such as the crisis in Flint, MI) is potable. We do not need to buy bottled water. We can simply fill up a container over and over. Put a filter on your sink. Many people do this, but so many more simply buy water without thinking about where that empty bottle will go. Coffee cups, especially for cold drinks are also just waste. There is no reason to avoid carrying a mug with you. A friend suggested that rather than a 10 cent discount for your own cup, there should actually be a surcharge if you do not bring one. A dollar or more per drink. The cost should reflect the actual damage of that disposable cup.
Here is an article listing the Best Travel Mugs, According to Coffee Snobs. It includes links to buy.
Here is a list of the best water bottles, according to Trip Savvy. It also includes links to buy.
Everything associated with climate change seems overwhelming and incredibly expensive. Going vegan seems impossible to many people. We are addicted to cars, planes and consumption. This is one step, but one that if universally adopted could actually make a difference. Do it. Stop buying water bottles and using disposable cups. Just stop. Starbucks and friends, take things one step further and add a surcharge if people don't bring their own cups. (rather than redesigning lids to avoid straws that actually use more plastic than the original.....)
I was honored to take part in Barbara R. Arwine's weekly radio show Igniting Change on Tuesday morning, August 13. We talked about Too Many Bodies, gun reform, arts activism and making a difference. Craig Shetterly of Vets for Gun Reform was also part of the conversation. You can listen here.
Nancy Dobbs Owen
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