Blog 5-Burks

I was traveling during this week of classes, but during my flights and times traveling between states through airports and cruise port terminals I actively observed some sustainable practices that different companies I encountered were practicing or not practicing. I flew American Airlines for both of my flights to take me from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Dallas Fort Worth Airport and then from there to Seattle, Washington. One sustainable practice that most airlines enforce is no smoking on the flights, this is beneficial to the people on the plane as well as the air in the cabin, to make sure it is the most clean and pure air that is best for everyone’s safety during their time in the air. Another thing I noticed on their drinks and beverages paper menu that was in the seatbacks was it stated that all aluminum cans or paper products used on the aircraft were going to be recycled in select U.S. cities. It said that American Airlines values protecting the environment and working toward a greener tomorrow. Another sustainable practice and life principle they value is shopping locally. Between certain cities they offer a select few premium wines from that area that are picked up while in the terminal gates. They pick up a Chardonnay from Oregon and a Pinot Noir for Monterey when flying between John F. Kennedy Airport, San Francisco Airport, and multiple Los Angeles airports. After doing my own looking in the information that was provided through the written forms of communication, I asked a flight attendant about their sustainability practices and what they were trained or taught about this subject while being trained to be a flight attendant. The flight attendant told me that all of the paper that is left on the flights after passengers get off of the plane such as newspapers, napkins, etc. are all recycled which I saw by the plastic bag with the green recycle logo on it in the back of the plane where they get the drinks ready. I asked what they did with the aluminum cans, and she said that they collect all of them and then sell them to a company (that she did not know), then the money that they get from the cans goes into something called the Wings Program that helps pay for flight attendants expenses if they are sick or unable to come to work because of injury. I also asked what all the flight attendants where taught or trained regarding sustainability during their training. She said that they really do not learn much other than about the Wings Program and then the paper that is recycled; she also said that she knows they got new planes a few years ago that are more resource efficient. She said the new planes use less fuel and are quieter which reduces noise pollution. She also mentioned that they stopped giving out blankets on their flights, because at some point those blankets would have to be washed, so by them not providing the blankets they are saving water. She said they didn’t give out blankets, but on my first flight through American Airlines this morning, I was passing through to exit the plane and I saw the blankets they give people left on some of the chairs. She made an interesting statement, saying she does not really want to see the end result of all of the waste from the company because it would probably be very disheartening. I found that really interesting that she was thinking that and her mind went to that place, just because I was asking about their sustainability practices. I feel like when people actually take one minute to really think about the excess amount of waste that is created, they will 80% of the time think about the amount of waste and what that is doing to the ecosystem (my assumed percentage that I made up). It shows that people probably are not as uneducated as we would like to think as a way to blame that, but more in the direction of they know it is probably having really bad consequences yet they actively CHOOSE not to think about it, just like this flight attendant I met. We then got on the topic of the plastic waste in our oceans; she said when she saw in the media the giant whale that was beached and cut open with all kinds of plastic waste in it, it really broke her heart. I just think it is interesting that associating animals with getting the blunt of the trauma from our human waste is a little ridiculous. The amount of waste that is producing pollution and negative ecosystem results are affecting a lot more than the cute fish and birds that navigate the ocean waters, they are affecting humans too. I don’t understand the mindset of the people of today, if something hurt an animal more than it hurt a human they would flip out, but if they understood the implications that these things have on our everyday human life they are very mellow about it. I think this topic just needs to be talked about a ton more, so that humans can truly have a grasp and an actual understanding of what we are doing to the world around us and how exactly that it is effecting us. During my time on the cruise ship I was very observant to the recycling and sustainable practices that were going on around me. There were many different recycle bins around the entire ship that one side was just for food waste, and the other was for plastic waste. There were more of these than actual trashcans so that was good to see. I tried to meet with the sustainability officer multiple days, but each time the information desk workers said he was too busy and had meetings.

In the readings I found the temperature regulation of garments was a really good idea, especially coming back from somewhere with climates like Ketchikan, Alaska where it rains 2 out of every 3 days. I think having garments that were receptive and responsive to the bodily changes of temperature would be really beneficial for the residents living in those type of climates, especially since they do not require an outside electric source because they do not have a mass amount of resources to be able to use. Since many of the places I visited where islands the people of those cities have to have all of their goods imported and they have to produce their own electricity. Many islands use the rainwater to create power by using hydroelectric power. I found the article about the greenery used in stores that effected shopper’s behavior was quite interesting. I definitely enjoy stores that use natural looking resources as decorations. The article also mentioned that nature has “restorative” potential that reduces the amount of stress we feel. I know in the massage industry they use a lot of natural things, so it would make sense for a retail space to have those things to so that the shopper is feeling the most comfortable and least amount of stress as possible.


-Lauren Burks

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