Last week I spent a few fun and hectic days in New York City. With friends and colleagues I shared train rides, had some meetings and attended parties. Along the way, I connected with many wonderful and interesting people – like my Care2 editors – Robyn and Melissa, and fellow contributor, Terri Hall.
Most of the conversations were truly inspirational. A wonderful publisher of a magazine that I am being profiled in introduced me to a woman who I was quite excited to meet. She is the editor of a well-known national magazine. We started chatting about the lovely event that we were experiencing together. Then she asked me the requisite question, “What do you do?” I love answering this question because people generally respond so positively to what I do. Enthusiastically, I said I wrote eco-articles for websites and magazines, and I’m also writing a book about the subject. Then she tilted her head to one side and looked up and down at me hard (kind of like I was a Martian from another planet). At this point, I remembered that I was dressed quite appropriately – even chicly spiffy. It was not my attire she was checking out. I couldn’t figure out what got her so cock-eyed until we continued the conversation:
Editor: Well, who do you write for?
E: “Mmm, I don’t recycle. Do you?” (She said this loudly enough for people to turn around and take notice.)
I took a step back and now I looked at her sideways thinking that this well-coifed, obviously smart woman was so unapologetic about not recycling that she must be living under a rock. Sadly she wasn’t. Naively, I answered the question like I was defending a religious cult:
M: “Of course I do. It’s what I write about and what I believe in. Each individual act makes a difference and we all have a responsibility to make a difference. We need to be respectful and careful how we tread on our planet…”
I ranted for a few minutes about the merits of going green.
E: “Well, good for you.”
End of conversation. She handed me her business card and said to get in touch with her if I was interested in writing for her magazine. Then she dismissed me and walked over to a person in a plastic apron who was handing out bottled water, wine in plastic cups and bacon-covered cheese puffs. I couldn’t help but think that I had already ditched that club. I proceeded to throw the business card in the clearly labeled paper recycling bin and leave.
For those of you who follow my posts on Care2 and econesting, you know I possess respectfully strong feelings about the subject of going green, and I try to be more witty than snarky about it. It’s also not my style to militantly cram my eco-ideas down anyone’s throat. But, the conversation came out of left field, and I found myself totally caught off-balance and searching for a clever retort.
How do you deal with people who don’t recycle or have no use for going green?