I'm getting a bit of a reputation for myself around the office as a green geek. Equipped with my (now fairly battered) SIGG bottle, my Williams Sonoma reusable coffee cup (which keeps the coffee far too hot for too long but you have to suffer for your planet), a bag to stuff all my paper in to take home for recycling (the building doesn't do it - it's cheaper for them to pay the $2000/year fine than to recycle) and a ceramic plate which I dutifully cart to the cafeteria to collect my lunch, I'm doing fairly well in the no-garbage stakes.
A few weeks ago I caught my partner in greening the agency drinking coffee from a styrofoam cup. He claimed it was greener than paper or somesuch nonsense. He now keeps trying to catch me out by offering me coffee. I get all excited until I remember I haven't got my cup on me so I tell him I can't have one but not to let me stop him. This makes me seem like a total green matyr and definitely boosts my credibility as the go-to person for matters green. I also turn down bottled water in meetings, preferring to go thirsty if I've forgotten my SIGG than have a plastic bottle on my conscience.
The plate thing is the gesture which draws the most attention. As I take my sandwich back upstairs in the elevator it's almost as if people have forgotten that lunch doesn't just manifest wrapped or boxed in plastic. But I like it. Somehow lunch at your desk feels a bit more like proper food when eaten off china with a cloth napkin. My next-door neighbour at work has adopted the plate too and reports she's finding it a great awareness raiser for the good fight.
With all the spoddy gestures, people have to taken to saying to other people of me, 'oh Freya, she's hardcore'. This in turn is helping keep me on the straight and narrow - don't want to wreck my credibility by getting caught with my green trousers down (or a styrofoam cup in my hand).
But I must be careful not to let it all go to my head. After all, hardcore by New York ad agency standards is...well I can't think of a good analogy but compare me to, say, No Impact Man, and I can assure you I am really pretty useless.