Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Not so very zero waste

On our trip, I was very proud of myself because I remembered our reusable mugs. Among other things, our first flight, to Anchorage, left at 7:30 and I knew we'd be tired and wanting coffee/tea. After we made it through security we went over to the coffee shop and when we placed our orders I had the mugs out. The woman at the counter started pulling out cups anyway and I said, "No, in here please." She looked at the mugs, then at the cup in her hand and said, "Well, we'll just do it this way and you can pour the coffee in those after." After an incredulous moment Shane and I chorused, "That really defeats the purpose." She looked at us all confused and said, "Huh?" We gave up. I'm not sure if it was stupidity or if she was just too set in her ways to accept reusable mugs in her world, but that was a battle we weren't going to win. I'm still in awe, though, that she somehow thought that using a cup and then having us pour our drinks into our reusable mugs just to throw away those cups anyway was a good idea. *Facepalm*
The mugs came in less handy than I thought they would, because we only stopped for coffee/tea once in Hawaii, and then once more in the Anchorage airport on the way home. For many of our drinks, they came in plastic cups anyway and of course there was no public recycling. The bar next to the beach which we favored (the one outside the hotel the wedding party was staying at) served everything in disposable plastic cups, which was annoying. I supposed I could have boycotted them, but there were several times when I really needed some water, and a few times when a pina colada was just irresistible. For the most part, though, we did resist any impulse to buy heavily packaged stuff. Or really anything, for that matter. We bought a couple of toiletries we forgot (btw, never sleep with your contacts in after traveling all day--your eyes will get red and slightly infected and all your friends will make jokes about what a stoner you appear to be) and food, but that was about it. We figured that we'd go shopping if we had time, and I had planned to find somewhere to get a bunch of bulk dried fruit like papaya and mango, because it's hard to find here and very expensive. Macadamia nuts would have been nice too, and a few chocolate covered ones. But we never bothered even trying to find someplace like that. We were having too much fun to go shopping.
So what did we do? Lots of beach time. Lots of bar time with friends. Dinners out, wedding stuff, and on the last day we hiked Diamond Head. Then went to the beach again to cool off. :) So really, it was a fairly inexpensive trip because so many of our activities were free. And I'm not as disappointed by the lack of shopping as I thought I would be. When we were thinking about what we wanted to do I thought it would be fun to go to the International Market, or to try finding a thrift store/consignment shop to see what a big city has. (Many of my shirts are getting old and have some holes in them, so it's about time to turn them into rags. It wouldn't have been shopping just for the sake of shopping.) The fact that I came home empty-handed doesn't disappoint because I wouldn't have traded any of the activities we did get around to.
I am upset that we didn't bring home a magnet for L, though. She loves magnets from far away places and asked for one, but we didn't think of it until it was too late. :(

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