“What can we do?”
This was matter-of-factly stated to me by a conscious human, at a health-foods store (Lower Mainland, BC) in regards to the scourge of plastic plaguing the aisles of our grocery stores, the coffee cups we sip from, and the bottles we house our water, juice, and sodas in.
In the moment, I was so flabbergasted that a fully aware person would adopt such a defeatist attitude, that I could find nothing to respond with except a sarcastic, “Ha! Yeah…what can we do?” 🙄
Of course, after mulling this over for the next 45 minutes in the car, I thought of a number of smarter, more edgy retorts and it made me realize something: I need to get better at speaking my mind, in the moment, as it happens. Regardless of what the other party will think of me, regardless of what I’ll sound like and regardless of how it comes out of my mouth. What I wanted to and should have said, to this person toting a single-use coffee cup and a plastic bottle of cold-pressed juice:
- What can we do? Well for starters, we can bring our own coffee mugs?!
- What can we do? Hm!! Maybe since you’re sitting here anyway, just hanging out, why not ask for your juice to stay in and make them use a reusable cup, just like I did! See?!”
- What can we do? Ask the manager why there are no bulk food options and advocate for more of that!
- What can we do? Well…we can stop shopping at this place and start DIYing the sh*t out of our kitchen.
But what can we do if all we really want is convenience and to sort of care but not really, because we’d rather have the thing than not? Well…then there’s really nothing we can do with that mindset.
Ask, and you shall receive: it took a few questions and maybe a minute more of my time, but by asking and questioning and generally not going with the flow, I had my juice, single-use-plastic-free…and it was delicious. We have to stop being so complacent, people!! Stir the pot!!
And PS – Nature’s Fare, will you please give your customers options for sit-in dining?! Don’t assume we all want it to-go. Ask us (your customers) questions! 😑