A couple weeks ago we met Linda, and discovered her love story as a form of a magic moment. Though we all have our own defining moments of magic, sometimes they aren't always a fairytale, but a gross... shameful reality. Lately, the Tea Drops team has become a victim of Freya's (our Head of Operations) newest realization, as she became the paper and plastic police here at our HQ. With Earth Day around the corner, there's no better time to share her newest discovery... which has affected us all: protecting the environment. Safe to say, you will not catch us with a plastic fork around her, or even when she's not around... BECAUSE SHE'S ALWAYS WATCHING. We present, Freya's magic moment...
ECO-CONSCIOUSNESS IS MAGIC by Freya Estreller
I'm not usually one to make New Years resolutions. But this year, I had a change of heart, and all due to a little show called Naked and Afraid. Stay with me here. My sister-in-law introduced me to this fine piece of reality TV over the holidays and I was immediately hooked - this was reality TV gold, like a cross between Bear Grylls and The Bachelorette. A man and a woman meet for the first time, naked, in the wild, each with one survival tool and have to survive the wild and each other for 21 days. Let the gender dynamic fireworks begin!
Then came episode 3 set on a remote island in the Maldives. There was trash everywhere. Plastic, glass, underwear, you name it, it was washed up on this island. Something clicked for me that moment. I have always been environmentally conscious - I've driven a hybrid or electric car the last 8 years, we recycle at home and work, we've attempted to compost (but without success), and our son practically lives in hand me downs! But for some reason, it finally hit me - why do I use so much single use paper and plastic?
It became crystal clear when I went back to work after the holiday to our co-working space, Industrious, in Downtown LA. I noticed the abundance of plastic utensils, paper plates and paper cups and the way in which everyone used and disposed of them without a second thought. It made me cringe. Here we are in our hip co-working space working at our hip start-ups, supposedly in one of the most environmentally conscious cities in the world, single handedly destroying the planet. And doing it solely out of habit and convenience.
The next day, I brought an old set of flatware, plates and bowls to share with the Tea Drops team. I thought hard about how to disseminate my new found evangelism without turning people off, or shaming them, as I had increasingly started to do with my co-workers and close friends. I had to stop myself from throwing shade at everyone in the communal kitchen who reached for a plastic fork! I nudged Industrious about when they were offering washable flatware. We do have two dishwashers after all!
After a few weeks, I'm proud to say the tide is turning. If just half of the people here at our space stop using single use plastic utensils, that's 26,000 less plastic forks, spoons and knives thrown away. And that's just one co-working space out of thousands that exist all across the US. I'm thinking of getting in touch with the CEOs and COOs of these other co-working spaces. Now I just need to figure out a way an un-abrasive way to say it.
There are ways you can take matters in to your own hands and make an impact on those around around you. After convincing my co-workers and the Industrious team to switch to reusable, I do feel a sense of accomplishment in the fact that my actions have made a difference.