Doing My Part – #1LinerWeds

I’ve mentioned before that I am usually either the first person to arrive in our office, or the second. My coworker and I both tend to stop at Dunkin’ Donuts, we both respect each other’s choice of parking spot, and we both believe that all the light switches should be pointed up (even though two of them are part of respective three-way circuits).

While this routine has been going on for years, we rarely arrive at the same time. A couple of weeks ago, we arrived at almost the same time. What I didn’t know is that we had arrived at Dunkin’ Donuts at the same time. I found out when I got to work when she explained that she was behind me.

“I saw you at Dunkin’ Donuts.”

“You did? I’m sorry, I didn’t notice you.”

“I pulled in right behind you, but I used the drive-through. Apparently, you go inside the store.”

“Yes, I’m trying to lower my carbon footprint.”

We both laughed.

Then I explained:

“I like to go inside to see which donuts are fresh.”

Monday was Earth Day. I don’t go overboard with this stuff, but I do tend to avoid drive-through lanes whenever possible. And, in my capacity of the poor slob who remains responsible for the office admin budget, I asked the person who orders the supplies if we could switch to non-plastic coffee stirrers.

I’m not sure how big a difference that makes, but I can well imagine that the plastic stirrers will survive the next ice-age, the return of the dinosaurs and the meteor that follows. I’m not a fan of cutting down trees to stir coffee, but when you consider the alternatives, I think I made the right choice.

In the absence of any sort of stir-stick, most people would use a plastic spoon or worse, a metal spoon. The metal spoon would be worse because A) they wouldn’t wash them and, B) if they did, they would waste about 5 gallons of water, waiting for it to get hot and then they would dry the spoon with paper towels (and not replace the roll if they used the last one).

This belated Happy Earth Day post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. If you have a one-liner, I’d encourage you to join in on the fun. You can follow this link to participate and to see the one-liners from the other participants.


  1. It’s hard being “green.” Things tend to conspire against you and you have to think things through thoroughly. Well done on doing something – always better than nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha. I agree about the light switches, Dan. I shudder to think of the waste most restaurants produce without batting an eyelash. Every little action helps. My grandson’s birthday was Monday and he is such a little Earth child. Those flowering trees are so beautiful. We have had some beautiful weather lately.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m hoping this small gesture is a subtle daily reminder. It’s hard enough to think about these things at home, where you’re in charge and the effort is relatively minor. In the workplace, it seems much harder.

      I’m glad your grandson is on the right track. Maybe his generation will succeed where ours mostly gave up.


  3. I liked those colorful flowers against that dark background at your office. The darkness makes them show up so well.

    I never thought about those light switches being up or down, but if you have two light switches controlling the same light this could be a problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Frank. The guys who handle the landscaping in this office park are amazing. Spring always looks great around there. Maybe they’re just happy to be done plowing snow.

      As for the light switches, I frequently turn off the lights in the south half of the office. Not on purpose, just a reflex.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t want to stir up a debate, Dan, but I am a firm believe that coffee should always be consumed without additives like cream and sugar (or one of the myriad of sugar substitutes in a rainbow of colored packages).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s clearly a green choice, Mike. I used to drink it black with sugar (in my 20s and 30s) then I drank it black for another 20 or so years. Then one day, they accidentally put milk in my coffee, and I found that I really do like it better. I can drink it black, but I can’t drink it with any sugar at all. And sugar substitutes and I are not on speaking terms – they don’t appeal to the chemist hiding deep in my brain.


  5. As a person who ‘needs’ her coffee and her cream and sugar, I applaud your wooden sticks. Go Dan! I’m also glad you stop each day because you come away with some nice shots. So, if the thought ever crosses your mind that it isn’t healthy to stop at DD every day just forget it and know you are making a sacrifice for all your followers. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I tend to look for trays that have 8-10 donuts, or full trays of donuts I know are popular. I realize they probably all arrived at the same time, in the same truck, but I tell myself this is a good plan. Also, since they reach over the ones in the front of the tray and take donuts from the back, I’m less likely to get a donut that had something dropped on it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Dan – I stopped sugar … because I was a conference – and it was the other end of the long range of trestle tables … took too much time to get there – so no sugar ever since (except when I have a headache and a tea with a 1/4 teaspoon of sugar seems to make the headache go away … chemical imbalance I guess). I can’t stand donuts – good thing I suppose!

    I hope those floods are receding and yes … lovely flowering trees – love this time of year … it just fills out and fills out.

    We need to do all we can re the environment … but the weather is weather and has been that for millennia – and it ‘ain’t’ going to change in the foreseeable long future – variants are always there and we are all moving tectonically.

    Cheers … and every little bit helps … Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m laughing over the light switches. That would be me, except we now have motion lights and no switches. Guess I’ll have to use my OCD with the dissheveled paper in the mail slots. It’s a hard row to hoe, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha – I’m not in a panic over the switches, but when they are all up, and my coworker and I have our cars in our preferred parking spaces, I do feel like we’re off to a good start. I hope you have a well-organized day, Mary – thanks!


  8. Paper towels and toilet paper–the new roll is right there within your reach!! Whatta ya mean you didn’t see it?? I guess this is universal in office kitchens. And don’t even get me started with light switches….! I need a donut, Dan. No more coffee….

    Liked by 2 people

  9. We all should do our part, Dan. Thanks for doing yours. I had to laugh at the “light switches” line. That’s my hubby’s hang up. All of the light switches have to be pointing in the “right” direction! :)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. We have had some localized flooding here in the low-lying areas. I used to love DD, nut I really only like the white coconut donut which is harder and harder to find. Good for you trying to go green. It is an uphill battle for sure. Are you seeing any bees on the flowers?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I only started seeing bees the last few days. I hope that’s a good sign. Those donuts are a favorite around the office. When I used to bring donuts for our training, I stopped at a mom & pop donut shop that had the best coconut donusts. Sadly, they went out of business.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. paper towels ! the last 3 years i worked we shared the office space with the office with the finance dept. and another group. you would think somebody would know how to make a fresh pot of coffee. nope. someone there thought flipping on the warming switch was enough. Even on Mondays. And when someone made decaff well let’s use it till its gone, even if it takes two weeks. It makes a body wonder. On the bright side lets all be glad that those geniuses don’t work at DD.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Haha… that’s so true and so funny about the metal spoons, Dan.
    Now that I’m back in the desert, I have such guilt about how much water I use. I try to save all the dish rinsing water I can and use it for the roses I inherited when I bought the cottage. (Odd… there are a lot of roses around here.) And I won’t even start about how my itty-bitty bladder causes me to flush the toilet way too often! LOL.
    Have a wonderful Wednesday. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Saving the water for the roses is a very nice thing to do. I think that would take me some time to remember that, Teagan. Flushing happens, there’ no getting around that, The photos you’ve shared of the things in bloom there have been very pretty.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I’d like to invest in one of those hot water on demand gizmos for the kitchen sink. The water wasted waiting for hot is ridiculous. Gorgeous photos, as always. What a treat, to come eye-to-eye with those blossoms!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks John. Spring is such a beautiful time here. Fall and winter drag on slowly, but spring starts out slow and then bursts into high gear. The funny thing is that I beat my coworker. She pulled in line ahead of me but was still second in line as I was leaving.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Great post Dan. First let me say, if I walked from work to DD under those gorgeous trees and around those beautiful flowers, it would take the Army to get me back to work! 🤗

    I can relate to the light switch….same here. I think wooden stirrers are the way to go and I applaud you for taking that step. Here, we’re somewhat green. Never let water run if I’m not specifically using it. This time of year, with plants to water, I collect the cold water (whilst waiting for the hot) and use it on the plants. Our grocery totes are reusable. I make my own “SoftScrub”, “MiracleGro” and weed killer…..all chemical free. It’s not a lot, but every effort counts.

    Even flooded Maddie’s park looks pretty! Those “weeds” are really pretty…so delicate. I have Johnny Jump-Ups that my grandma always said were weeds. They look rather like violets. I just love them.

    Hope your week is going well….or at least as well as can be expected!
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ginger – collecting the cold water while waiting for the hot to arrive is a great idea. In this place, we could water those plants I walk past (it takes so long).

      The week is going well, I hope yours is, too. We’re on the down hill side of a work week, and that’s always a good thing.


  15. The pictures are lovely — especially when the storm cleared out. Nice girly sunset!
    I take my own spoon to work, I keep it there. I don’t properly wash it, either. It’s my germs and yogurt, how bad can it be for me? lol I run it under water, wash it with my thumb, and polish it with a paper towel. Then I use the paper towel to wipe the counter and the sink, because when office assistant isn’t in, no one else seems to notice the mess…
    We still have the K machine at work, which is still ridiculous waste. But dang it, I take my spoon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I take my spoon for the days I have soup, and I clean it the same way. once in a great while, if the water is already hot, I might put a dab of detergent on my thumb. We have the K-cups and the crumbs and the people who incapable of cleaning the crumbs or emptying the K-cup bin. I’m glad you liked my “girly” sunset – I’m OK with that.


  16. It’s so nice to see the flowering trees at this time of year. My only complaint is that it doesn’t last nearly long enough!

    Your view on metal spoons was an interesting one. You provided a logic I hadn’t considered.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joanne. Earth-friendly isn’t always a straight-forward decision. I read an article that examined the total cost of things like regular dishes vs. paper plates, and the results were not what you might expect.

      The spring colors will slide into green pretty quickly. That’s why I’m doubling-down on these pictures – they will be gone soon.


  17. Did you know that when you pour milk (cold) into coffee (hot) the heat differential promotes a current, as in movement, that automatically blends the milk with the coffee? No stirrer ever needed. That’s science telling us to go green.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the science tip, Jennie. I usually put the mile in first, so the pouring of the coffee takes care of everything. But, we’re talking about the kitchen at work. If you want to give lessons here, start with “you can wipe up the crumbs you put on the counter, the milk you spill and you can rinse the sink.”

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m backtracking and loved this one. So many of my “every little bit helps” things might be screaming into the wind but the other option is accepting we’re just gonna kill off the planet and that seems like a bad solution. Keep fighting the good fight, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

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