Sunday, July 31, 2011

Travelogue: Australia – Environmentalism Gone Awry

I am all for a green life and reducing one's carbon footprint by recycling. But some people can take it a bit far.
The domestic Qantas flight yesterday from Sydney to Canberra was uneventful, it was a pretty full plane, but as it was only a thirty minute flight, it was not too bad. The funny thing was the meal service.

They served "Breakfast" on the plane which was an oatmeal bar of some kind and a bottle of water with the obligatory 3" square paper napkin. But what I hadn’t expected was the rolled-up paper bag. Well, not paper, really, it was plasticized. Actually, I thought at first that it might be what is euphemistically called a "motion discomfort" bag.

"How odd," I thought, could the landing in Canberra be expected to be so rough that they are proactively handing one of these to everyone on the flight? But that made no sense at all. Upon closer inspection of the bag I noticed that there was writing that disappeared into the folds of the bag. I opened it.

"Please help us recycle. Please hand all tins, cans and bottles to the flight attendant and place everything else into this bag before disposing of it." What!? Even the airlines that do recycle in the states just have the flight crew come down with separate collections of the cans and bottles with all the trash going into a separate bag. Do you really gain anything by handing out two hundred individual trash bags per flight? Surely that is more wasteful than not doing any recycling!

A for intent, D for execution!

Wherever you are, I hope that you are doing your part for the environment.

Don Bergquist – 31 July 2011 – Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

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