Travel Log: Portland

I love this city as fiercely as I’m learning to hate plastic straws! I refuse to admit that my sin bin is filled with straws because I simply drink too much gin and get so caught up in the bliss that I forget about everything else. By everything I really mean everything.. like the planet. My love affair is so deep that when I do health cleanses I somehow justify drinking gin throughout… it’s clean! There’s no sugar! It’s just juniper berries! Are you with me?!

My favourite Gin in the entire world. Distilled by Victoria’s very own NDP MLA, Lana Popham. More proof that Gin = progressive values?


As an aside, did you know that there’s a notable correlation between drinking gin and having a left of centre political leaning? *This study was done in the U.S. so the data may not be equivalent in Canada*

Back to Portland, I went out to distilleries, brew pubs and other Portlandian watering holes. One night in particularly I was treated to a plethora of tasty gin mojitos. They arrived double strawed. Imagine my distress! Until I tasted it and promptly zoomed into gin-town reverie!

The silver lining here was that I spent the weekend getting to know a compelling human named Ben Schiendelman from Seattle. Upon returning home to Seattle this status popped up on his facebook feed:

“In the wake of Camp Wellstone, I find myself energized by all the awesome people fighting for issues I care about across a dozen categories. One thing in particular sticks out, because it’s something I’ve been ignoring lately: disposables and plastic crap. I try to buy only durable, reusable goods made of wood, metal, and glass, and these make up most of my possessions, but I’ll stop for tea or coffee nearly every day in a disposable paper cup with a plastic lid. So, first, that stops – there is no reason to create demand for oil any more than I have to. Second, if I do use plastic, I’m keeping it (for a year?), so it’s a pain in the ass and it reminds me. Third, when I fuck up, or when I see something for which there is or could be a better solution, you all get to hear about it. I put way too much effort into big environmental causes to ignore poor day to day choices, and we have better, more sustainable solutions for nearly everything in our day to day lives. Now that you’ve read this – who will join me in trying to eliminate plastic and disposable crap from our lives?”

A convert! Perhaps in the long run these six straws are a sacrifice to the gods of plastic free. Maybe we’ll hear from Ben in the future to see how his experiment is going across the pond in Seatown.


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