Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tree-Huggers Delight

This is a guest post from your favorite hippie & mine, B-Stew. She asked me well before the holidays if she could write a post on my blog about her eco-friendly travel experience, & even though being one with nature doesn't exactly sparky my fire, it sure does for her! Little did I know I'd get to google search photo after photo of shirtless Brad Pitt... SOLD. So without further adieu...

No, I'm not going to use my guest blogging opportunity talk about Fight Club (and my recent obsession with Edward Norton...yes, I realize I'm 12 years behind). As Norton's character points out, flights are filled with single servings, from the single serving friend sitting beside you to the single serving bag of 16 pretzels. Every six hours, in the US alone, 1 million disposable, one-time use, single-serving cups are distributed.

Every 6 hours.

For a bit of a backstory, I moved from Pittsburgh to Washington (the state, not D.C.) to get a masters in environmental education. For one of my classes, we had to conduct a behavior change project--on ourselves. I decided that, for one week, I would not purchase or use single-serving packaging--no paper Starbucks coffee cup, no granola bar, no single-serving bottle beverage, no take-out or fast food, etc. etc. I made my own granola bars; I carried my coffee mug everywhere; I made sure I had enough snacks in reusable containers that I wouldn't have to buy the pre-wrapped goodies at the deli. I made it through the challenge, which brought to light how much packaging we consume daily. Especially the single-serving kind. After the project, I still tried to reduce the amount of single-serving packaging I consumed. And, I try to vote with my dollar as much as possible, and buy things with the least amount of packaging or the most packaging that can be reused/recycled/composted.

My next challenge: I would fly from Seattle to Pittsburgh without using single servings. The added challenges: carry-on restrictions, 11 hours of travel time, and not eating in the airports due to packaging/costs of sit-down restaurants/being a vegetarian.

So what did I end up taking?

  • 6 bananas
  • graham crackers
  • pretzels
  • trail mix
  • raisins
  • carob chips
  • carrots

A few things I was worried about not making it through security: almond butter and celery, a container of almond butter, and an avocado. But, luckily, everything went through splendidly. And, yes, most of my backpack was food, crowded around my laptop...

The single serving friends that were sitting beside me during the flights might have thought t it was strange that I politely declined the teensy bag of pretzels and beverage from the flight attendant, while attempting to cut an avocado with a spork and drinking from a water bottle. But maybe, even though I didn't discuss single servings with anyone, it sparked a thought on the one-time-use nature of travel and the little things an individual can do to reduce their consumption and their impact on this world that we love to travel, see, and experience.


  1. I love it Brandi! Way to spark some green into your travels!

  2. So inspiring!
    -Allison Kaye

  3. I can't stop looking at all the single servings around me now! What an encouraging challenge - I'll give it a try myself (although I wonder if I could be nearly as creative on a plane!)


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