Friday, February 24, 2017
Why I'm Not Lovin' MacDonalds
Three times this week I've cycled to work at Bridge St. church, delighting in the opportunity while dreading the implications. The temperature should not be in the teens in Ontario in February, and records have been broken everywhere. The irony is that by cycling I'm doing my puny best to reduce carbon in the atmosphere, but I'm able to do so at this time of the year is because of climate change.
As many of you know, I've written often through the years about the bigger issues of climate change as an aspect of Creation Care. Those issues are complex and will require the participation of governments around the world implementing initiatives to reduce carbon emissions. Humanity as a whole must redouble efforts to reduce fossil fuel dependency and develop cleaner alternatives in every sphere of life.
Meanwhile, we try to do the little things in our personal lives, in part to make the individual effort as part of the shift, but also to have the daily reminders about making a difference. Both of us cycle to work whenever possible, or walk, or take public transit as I did this morning. We have figured out life with one vehicle, we are careful about our water and electricity consumption. We make a conscious choice to make purchases with as little waste as possible, we recycle, and we have a vegetable garden. We've had earnest conversations about the sustainability of hopping on planes to travel here and there.
All this to say that recently I walked into a MacDonalds restaurant with my travel mug seeking java, waited patiently in line, only to be told that they would not fill it. I was perplexed --why not? After conferring with two other staffers I was told again that they couldn't fill the mug, and would I like a coffee in a paper cup? No, was my annoyed answer.
Later I phoned MacDonalds Canada and was informed that this was a national policy because of the additional work for staff to go to the kitchen. This was a nonsensical answer given that the server filled two jumbo paper cups for guys standing in line in front of me that were taller than my mug. There would have been no inconvenience whatsoever. Downtown Belleville coffee shops don't blink when I show up with my travel mug, nor does Tim Horton's, even in the drive-through (I hardly ever drive through because of the idling vehicle.)
MacDonald's Canada, creating waste for no reason is against my religion and you are discriminating against me as someone who is motivated by faith to care for the planet. It's 2017 and I won't be back until you wake up.