*/

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Traveling, Ear Problems, and Pics

I'm finally almost caught up. this ear thing has been driving me nuts and while it's still pretty bad I realized i just had to power through to get some things done. I didn't post pics because I am experiencing some computer gremlins and couldn't right now. I've got them and hopefully they'll be up by tomorrow.

So last week I had to drive up north to Oakland to do a day of work on a commercial. Normally I'd fly, but due to my ear problems I couldn't. While it takes a significant amount of time longer to drive, at least it''s cleaner than flying and since my car runs on Waste Vegetable Oil (garbage ironically enough) it's a fair amount cleaner.

I was fairly happy that this time I remembered to bring my soap and shampoo so I didn't have to touch the stuff they have there. That said, it's interesting to me how hard it is to pre-emptively stop people from wasting on your behalf, even though they are only trying to be of service.

Case in point, the hotel that we were staying at. I forget the name of it, but it was sort of like a Marriott Suites kind of place, nice, comfortable, attentive staff who will help in any way they can, etc. So after I checked in I went downstairs to get directions to two places nearby. I asked if she knew where the first place was and the nice woman behind the counter said "Oh sure" and began to type on her computer. I asked her if she could tell me the directions off the computer and gestured (with pen in hand) that I could write it down. As I asked this, she reached under the counter and said "oh no, this is much better" and handed me a fresh piece of computer paper, printed with the directions.

Now don't get me wrong, I know she's just trying to do the best job she can, so i don't blame her, but it just shows (and what happened next) how ingrained waste is in our society - or at least how trained we all are to not think about it.

I thanked her for the directions and asked if she could read off the other directions to me and I would write it down, explaining that i was trying to minimize my waste and didn't want to add to the paper stream. So she reached down under the desk, pulled out the next printed sheet, and read me those directions. I told her I might as well just keep them anyway, and thanked her. Amazing.

Later in the evening I asked if the morning paper was delivered to each door and they said it was, so i asked to not have my paper delivered. It became a bit of a thing (and they weren't that busy so everyone got into it a bit) as they tried to figure out how to do it. When I realized that this was causing more harm than good, although they did seem interested, I thanked them and headed up to my room. When I got there, I took one of the maps from earlier, wrote "No paper Please, Have a Nice Day" on it and left it on the floor in front of my door. Sure enough, the next morning, mine was the only door without a paper.

I guess sometimes the easiest solutions can be the best, but it sure can be an uphill course can't it.

Dave




5 comments:

christy b. said...

I am so excited!! I am on the verge of converting my car to WVO. I would LOVE some tips, tricks, do's and don'ts if you have the time. If you don't no problem, I'll just hound you until you do!

I have a '99 and am going to get the Plant Drive system. I live in south OC which I think is better since I'm pretty sure there are fewer people collecting but a disadvantage as well because finding a restaurant that isn't a chain is an adventure at best!

My biggest concern is the collection and filtering. I am so concerned that I'll screw it up and ruin my car, spend too much money on crap I won't end up needing, etc...

Anonymous said...

I am so excited!! I am on the verge of converting my car to WVO. I would LOVE some tips, tricks, do's and don'ts if you have the time. If you don't no problem, I'll just hound you until you do!

I have a '99 and am going to get the Plant Drive system. I live in south OC which I think is better since I'm pretty sure there are fewer people collecting but a disadvantage as well because finding a restaurant that isn't a chain is an adventure at best!

My biggest concern is the collection and filtering. I am so concerned that I'll screw it up and ruin my car, spend too much money on crap I won't end up needing, etc...

christyb said...

Not sure how I screwed up above - sorry!

Dave said...

No sweat on the screw up. I'm always surprised i can even post something. Here's a good article on WVO conversion. Happy to answer any questions I can. I highly recommend reasing the book Sliding Home first. It'll demystify everything.

http://www.edmunds.com/advice/alternativefuels/articles/116039/article.html

Village Green said...

I was staying in one of those Marriot hotels last weekend, and was acutely aware of the potential waste within the room. The individual plastic bottles of shampoo, rinse, and body wash. The plastic wrappings on the coffee making tray along with the disposable cups and lids. Small items, to be sure, but multiply that by every hotel room, day after day, year after year.