You know what drives me so bonkers about New York? The wastefulness. It’s killing me! (Perhaps literally.) When I first got to New York, I was carrying empty containers around in my bag until someone told me it’s OK to put it in the trash because it gets separated later. I hope that’s true.

But mostly I try to minimize the need for plastic containers. I bought a few water bottles that I carry to the gym or soccer field. I even carry them empty to the airport, so I can fill them at the water fountain instead of buying those three-sip-sizes in the gift shop.

In a city where people “order Seamless,” excess is the norm. Dinner comes double bagged in a box with napkins, condiments, plastic silverware and a copy of the menu. Your trash is filled before you even get to the food part of the bag!

Once again, I’ve run out of lunch foods, so today I grabbed a sandwich at the eatery on street-level at my office. Before I could get the words “no bag” out, she put my wrapped sandwich in a paper bag with a handful of napkins. When I bought a tube of toothpaste at Duane Reade last week, the cashier double bagged it. Two bags? For toothpaste?! I would’ve just tossed it in my bag. It’s big enough to carry small purchases like that home.

This is so different from Seattle, where most cashiers automatically ask if you need a bag. Plastic silverware would likely be on a counter by the door, where you can take it if you really need it, but if you don’t, no need to toss it in a landfill. Seattleites take it a step beyond recycling and compost as well. Our East Coast brethren thinks it’s gross, but it really isn’t so bad.

Think how green New Yorkers could be with a few little changes. We already skip the big one – commuting solo in giant SUVs.

I just took the My Footprint quiz. If everyone lived like me, it would take 4.22 Earths to support it. Yikes! I saved points for my commute and housing, but my diet was on the high-use side of things. Changes to be made!

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