Re-usables & Millennials

Adam at lunch today with my bamboo To-Go Ware fork, his titanium REI spork, our yummy Chipotle Sofritas bowls (mine is vegan, his is veggie), and our respective water bottles.  

It's no secret that Adam & I go to Chipotle a LOT or that we spend a lot of time in coffee shops.  And it will come as no surprise to anyone who knows us that we try to avoid single-use plastic and other forms of waste and pollution.  Recently we met a lovely human being named Kora who works at Chipotle and is in her first year of college studying environmental science and sustainability.  She was asking us if she could clear our empty bowls off of our table when she stopped and said, "Are those...  Do you guys bring your own forks?"  And she was so happy to see it that she gave us a coupon for free chips and guac.  We talked about waste and how we like Chipotle compared to some other chains because 1) We love the food and we love that there are vegan options which is a good thing for the environment because plant based foods are produced with so many fewer resources than animal products and 2) We love that they are conscious of the waste involved in fast food and the bowls are compostable, the napkins are from 100% recycled content, the cups are paper, not plastic or styrofoam, and they don't automatically hand everyone a lid and straw.

Kora is hyper aware of the food waste that still is happening in the restaurant industry in general and she is brainstorming ways to mitigate it.  She is really excited to learn ways to live sustainably and joyfully on our shared planet.  It is such a joy to talk to young people like Kora.  Ever since we met her, we make sure, for sure, that we have our re-usable utensils with us when we head for Chipotle.  We don't want to disappoint her if we arrive without them.  The "peer" pressure keeps us honest.  (We can be honorary millennials, right?)  Today we are at Chipotle again, but Kora isn't at work today.  As we were getting ready to pay, a young man who was running the cash register spotted my bamboo fork and said, "That is so cool.  Where did you get that?"  He has decided to go 100% re-usable.  He says that the only drawback is that you end up toting around a lot of stuff.  But bamboo is super light.  So is titanium.  The three of us think that bamboo probably require less human toil and less damage to the environment than titanium to produce, but we don't know for sure.  

Yesterday I was at Trailhead Coffee in Grand Junction, using their wifi, drinking green tea, and filling out a job application.  I ended up talking with the 22 year old barista.  He has two degrees, one in Sociology.  And he has a lot of really great ideas about how to make our world, even just this small community a much more equitable place.  

Lots of days we spend time at Copeka Coffee in Grand Junction.  The 20 somethings who work there are all really interesting people to have a conversation with.  They have great ideas about what our society should be like.  

I wrote this post just to say, I am so inspired and encouraged by all the millennials who are working in coffee shops and at Chipotles and various other jobs around the country.  I wish I could tell each of their stories in greater detail.  And I think we should be listening to them.  And I think we should stop burdening them with student loan debt and worries about the future of our planet.  

What if we made a Kickstarter campaign to pay off the student loan debt of one student at a time, instead of waiting for our government to do something?  While, simultaneously, (yes, of course!) working to create a better system that doesn't put them into debt in the first place.  Who would you nominate to be our first recipient?  

#Millennials #Vegan #WFPB #ReUsables #Chipotle #CopekaCoffee #GrandJunctionColorado #TrailheadCoffee #Kickstarter #TuitionFree #StudentLoanForgiveness