Las Vegas, work conference, 3K people.
How many disposable cups are thrown in the trash in one conference like that? Can you guess?
I was recently at a 3-day conference joined with another 3,000 people living like me, in high gear. Each day we were in the conference rooms and ballrooms for nine hours.
During the brief breaks, there were groups of people lined up near the water fountains.
I looked around at the tables of the other people and my eyes were able to catch a reusable water bottle only twice. There were hardly any. Single-use plastic cups decorated each table.
If not cups of water, then coffee cups adorned the tables, alongside people standing around them. More often than not, coffee and water cups garnished each table.
So, here we have a small theoretical math exercise:
Suppose that of the 3,000 participants in the conference, only 1,000 chose to drink water from the disposable glasses. The rest chose nothing to drink, suiting the dry desert atmosphere that we were in, and another 2% had a disposable bottle. 1,000 people using disposable plastic cups multiplied by 5 water breaks? 5,000. Take that number and multiple it for three days? We get a grand finale of 15,000 disposable plastic cups. At a minimum, as this is a conservative hypothetical math equation. 15,000 disposable cups (!) At one work conference event. Only one, out of the tens of thousands of conferences that happen annually across the world. An alarming statistic, given the fact that it takes about 1,000 years for one plastic cup to decompose. This is frightening and unnerving to say the least.
When I fly abroad, whether for work or fun, I come equipped with everything necessary to minimize environmental damage. It’s so easy to be eco-friendly, I repeat this so often, it is well beyond a slogan at this point. What does it cost me to bring a reusable bottle along with me? The specific one in the picture above has been with me for almost nine years. I even remember the day I bought it.
These personal examples we give have a lot of value.The little changes we implement have much significance and benefit too. Someone once told me that there was so much pollution and waste in the world that it didn’t matter what I did at home. That although all my efforts are nice, beautiful, even noble they are virtually unnecessary, ineffective, and essentially nil in the grand scheme of things.
As of 2019, there are 8 billion people in the world. We are so many people.
If each of us commits to making the changes he or she is capable of (and they are EASY to make) together, these acts would be extraordinary and make a positive impact!
If those 1,000 people each came with a reusable bottle, we would have saved 15,000 plastic cups just at this one conference. If only one third of them would have come with a bottle, we would have saved 5,000 cups. These reusable cups become literal mountains of trash. So then, does it really have no effect? Clearly it does.
If I use a reusable bottle, and you use it and explain to others about its importance, the impact is significant, and the knowledge spreads and grows. In general, I do not understand the principle or thought of , “If everyone does bad then I might as well do bad also, my good deeds do not matter”.
Dear friends, please, DO GOOD! Start from your inner world, your daily activities. Easy. Simple. Doable.
*Disclaimer* If you wandered around and forgot your reusable bottle at home, then next time buy some water outside. Your well being is more important than anything else.
Just try to remember, next time 🙂
EDITOR’S NOTE: Lee Snir is one of the founding partners of Legendary Life and is the original author of these blog posts. Lee is an active environmental advocate and in-demand speaker, writer and influencer in her native Israel. These blog posts were originally published in her native Hebrew in her personal blog titled, “Elita Yeruka” (“Green Elite” in English.)
When we translated Lee’s blogs for Legendary Life our goal was to only edit for grammar and clarity but to retain “Lee’s voice”. Thus the editorial choices were to err on the side of not “Americanizing” the language and thus leaving the translated blog as close as possible to the original. Therefore, native English speakers may occasionally find the word choices and phrasing a little different than they are used to.
For those of you who are Hebrew speakers and wish to read the blogs in their original form and follow Lee’s Personal blog you can do so here:
DISCLAIMER: Any statements, opinions or conclusions contained herein are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the statements, opinions or conclusions of Legendary Life (a Legendary Products, LLC brand), its owners, employees, contractors, affiliates, partners or advertisers.