9:03 AM Living in a city that respects the environment and gives us citizens plenty of alternatives to live plastic-less or free, I felt pretty comfortable about my behavior.
Heading to NYC two weeks ago, I was more than ready to practice this behavior in NYC — a thing I struggled with in the past so bad.

Fact is 
1. one needs to be prepared
2. one needs to have the right equipment 
3. and yes, to refuse all waste we sometimes need to invest a little more money 

— so be aware, when living waste and plastic free. 

I knew about it... but travelling to NYC I don't feel 100% good about it. I want to feast, I want to indulge and enjoy — not saying no or having regrets because of this and that.

Oh lord.
I knew it would be hard. But so hard? 

Day 1. I spent some days in NJ first, then I travelled to NYC — it wasn't a full day in the Big Apple which made the transition a bit easier for me. 
In NJ, I was filling my glass water bottle, so I wouldn't be tempted getting a coke or such. ✔️ Coming to NYC, the thing I was most interested about was seeing if there's any styrofoam around — remember it's banned since January 2019 - thank you Mayor Bill de Blasio. Indeed, I saw no styrofoam...still I saw dirty streets full with plastic and waste. ✖️
I entered my hotel and checked in my room, two things — the room gifts you a plastic water bottle and they also offer coffee and tea 24/7 at their coffee bar ✖️✔️ I refused to use both things first, but after not finding my favorite drinks in my bodega in glass bottles ✖️ I was beyond thirsty and used it. Once I use a plastic bottle during vacation, I make sure to reuse them as often as I can. With the hotel's coffee and tea bar, I decided to take a cup without a plastic lid ✔️ and either way just drink hot water or drink tea — their coffee was in plastic pods ✖️. Since my day was almost over, I decided to quick shop at Bed, Bath, Beyond (secret gift shop — believe me!!) and get some things for at home. I asked the cashier friendly if he minds my two tote bags I brought along. He smiled and let me put my things in my own bags. 2-3 plastic bags less — I won. ✔️

Day 2. For day 2 I had to start with my research about the best food places in NYC for #treatingmyself. That's why I headed to Café Integral to grab a cup of their popular coffee. Yes, it came with plastic and I had no tumbler with me, I'm sorry! But at least one good thing was that their straws were bio-degradable! ✖️✔️
I continued testing also some more Chinese bakeries, since I believe they got the best pastry in the city! 1/4 bakeries gave me a plastic bag for my pastry. I told her xie xie, but no — she didn't understand! So I left one bakery with a plastic bag ✖️ this feeling is so frustrating, let me tell you. My frustration just got bigger when I visited Target to go work off my eat as much as you can list. I bought a lot. Again, I packed my own bags, showing this dude that it can be done so simple. And as I was about to leave, he puts plastic bags in my bag "just in case". I stopped and told him that I'm good like that. He only replied that I would need those. Nooooo! ✖️✖️
It was another day of thirst. I walked a lot, but refused to drink, because everything was sold via plastic bottles. I knew I could brew myself a tea as soon as I'm home. Duh. ✔️

Day 3. I was mad. I want to enjoy an iced tea, or a coke... there were cookies which I wanted to try so bad, but no... plastic.
I said it in the beginning... I don't want regrets. I want to enjoy — but right now I just felt bad no matter what I did. I spent my morning at the MET — hiked there all the way from Orchard St in the Lower East Side, I needed some extra energy or such. After the museum, I went to Central Park and this is where I needed to rebel and break my current codex. I got myself a hot dog and an icy coke, in a plastic bottle. ✖️ I didn't feel bad. I felt happy for a second, because I was able to enjoy my vacation at the moment. Later on, I also treated myself with a fresh fruit juice from Joe & The Juice, because my body was really craving it. Yes, it also came in a plastic cup. ✖️ I want to call this day the day I gave up. Ugh again. I don't want to give up, but I feel like I can't enjoy my vacation right. Plus, I am super dehydrated — and no, NYC's tap water doesn't taste healthy. My body was definitely not feeling those vibes. I am still fighting for my oceans, I just need to figure out how plus I want to feel good, too. 

Day 4. I missed my daily caffeine habit, so I fixed this by heading to Matchaful — one of the best hot beverages I ever had in NYC! ✖️ I spent another morning at the museum and shopped some more. At Trader Joe's, I covered myself with some fruits which shall serve as my travel snack when I fly back home the next day. All the fruits were naked, so yes, a little win ✔️ I also toured one more time through China Town where I got some more fruits for my trip. The passionfruit was beyond huge, it was naked, too, and I could practice my Chinese - so yes, why not? ✔️ I love that so many supernarkets offer products without packaging - this is really big for America! In the evening, I had a little chai tea and ice-cream get together. I drank the chai tea not to go so we could save some cups and during the ice cream fun, I took my scoop within a cone, so there's no need to get extra waste like the cup and the plastic spoon. ✔️ Yaaas, I'm winning again. Little success must be celebrated as well. 

Day 5. I knew I was in control of my little time window. I only needed to get to the airport, get myself a donut, and check in. I would spend all morning at the airport to finally leave at 1pm — it was 5:00am. I am hungry and thirsty. Heck. I took my 700 times reused coffee cup and went down to get my first freshly brewed coffee. No milk... yikes, ok, so I'll add more sugar. I refilled my glass bottle with some tea and checked out. ✖️✔️ 
I got to Newark, ate my donut, and waited for my flight.
I made it. There was no more possibility to grab plastic or to re-think my actions. My brain was floating on air for the first time. My god, this constantly thinking really messed me up and still I am not satisfied. 
I didn't reach anything. 
I felt like I lost or I am not loyal to the things I preach about the oceans here on OFF COLOR. 

A couple of hours later, I refilled my bottle, drank that disgusting tap water, and found myself inside the plane. The stewardess gave me a plastic cup and I said no, thank you, and gave it back to her. She hated me. Next time I ordered something, she gave me another cup and ignored my wishes. Am I German now and act the fool or do I swallow this down and just chill? 
I couldn't really decide. 
I fell asleep. 
Before we were landing, they served breakfast. I ordered some coffee - I drank it fully black and this time even without sugar, since it was all wrapped in those trashbags with things that don't live longer than 3 minutes when we use them...but at the end, they are here forever. No, no, no. I drink this shit black. I regret it, but I knew my heart was still fighting for my dearest blue love. 
I just cannot give up. 

I struggle. 
But I continue no matter what. 

And I am here to learn. 
Also, I want these words to spread throughout world. I want airlines, hotels, the city itself, and all the people reading and understanding this. There are so many people like me out there and oh god, how many other big cities exist that have to deal with a high plastic consumption? 
You get my point. 

Please help making the daily life a bit easier and don't put us in a corner so that life isn't fun for us, just because we take care of Mother Nature. 
We all care, some more, some less. 
Again - this is a "we" thing. 
Let's start working! 
Re-think some things. Make life for everyone enjoyable and stop judging. Please don't ask silly questions. Respect our thoughts and wishes. 

x K 

*One thing I might change next time travelling would definitely be bringing my heavy metal tumbler along. I hate carrying it with me sometimes, because it's super big and heavy, or I need to get a baby version for vacations, I don't know... that would be at least a good beginning for my caffeine fix, etc.. 
I used to travel with my whole sustainable uniform, but this is sometimes really challenging. 
That's why this time, I brought metal cutlery with me to be a little prepared, so that I can eat whatever I want to plus I'm being waste-free  - guess what happened? The airport security threw it away - it was too dangerous. For what? My bagel?