Small Changes Can Help Make a Big Difference

I travel quite a bit for work. It can get pretty tiring, but most of the time I really enjoy it. Drinking a lot of tea is one of the ways I try to keep from getting too worn down.

I learned fairly quickly that there’s no guarantee that the airport, hotel and convention center coffee bars will have decent tea (if they have it at all), so I started bringing my own tea when I travel. Usually I go for oolong and green teas, but I also try to have various herbal blends so I don’t get too wired later in the day. Another thing I started bringing with me was a nice travel mug. I had wanted one of my own for quite some time (the rest of the travel mugs in my house taste like coffee). What really sealed the deal for me was when someone tried to serve me a nice chamomile tea in a big ol’ styrofoam cup. Yep, there are places out there that still use styrofoam. I’d rather have no tea at all than drink it out of styrofoam, so it was shortly after that I found a nice stainless steel travel mug that seals and won’t spill when I close it.

A few months later I started getting pretty fed up with all the bottled water I was consuming while traveling. First of all, it’s way overpriced. Three dollars for a pint of water?! Also, I kept hearing more and more negative things about bottled water. In most cases, it’s not any cleaner or safer for you than regular tap water. In some cases, it is just regular tap water. Plus, there is quite a bit of evidence out there that drinking from a plastic container is not good for your health. Harmful chemicals like phthalates can leach out of the plastic and into liquids. And to top everything off, plastic bottles are not as recyclable as people may think. Many of them still end up in landfills. When you think of all the energy that went into making that bottle only to see it used once and discarded, it’s pretty disheartening. An alternative I found is the Kleen Kanteen. It’s a stainless steel reusable water bottle that won’t leach harmful chemicals. I got mine from PurrfectPlay.com, a great website featuring organic and all natural pet toys, treats and accessories.

Now when I travel, I keep single-use cups and bottles to an absolute minimum. I fill my water bottle at drinking fountains (bubblers if you’re from Wisconsin), and I make sure to use my own mug for tea whenever possible. It may seem like a small thing in the scary world of global warming and big polluters, but imagine if everyone stopped using single-use items like paper cups, plastic bottles and other plastic foodware. Imagine all the energy that would be saved and all the landfill space that would be spared.

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