It has been a good couple days of meetings. My presentation was this morning and it went well, and will have follow-up connections to make once back in Minnesota. I got to see many of my former national colleagues that I used to work with regularly in my former job, which made me miss the good old days before my work world got so out of whack. I had a quick "get out of bed" rousing when the emergency service announcement buzzer went off followed by directions to exit the building while a reported emergency was verified. It was quickly remedied. I saw a couple men that appeared to be gas company employees, so they must have checked out what was drawing attention, and gave the all clear very quickly.
I am staying at a suite style hotel. Not only do I have a king size bed, I also have a lounging room. More space per capital than in my own home! This I don't mind. When you re by nearly 1,000 people all day, retreating to a little space of your own is welcome. What annoys me is the waste within the hotel itself. There are signs and cardboard tents in the room that say that they are a green and conservation chain. A towel left hung up means the guest is happy to reuse. I hung mine up-knowing in this heat an humidity I was going to take another shower later before meeting up for dinner. When I came back, all were changed out. Maybe it is actually easier on staff cleaning the rooms to just replace all, but seems so wasteful.
There is complimentary breakfast buffet and cooked to order omelets. Now I love a good breakfast, as I'm an early riser, I can be up for a couple hours hen fully enjoy. I'm seeing people order omelets, then go through the buffet filling plates. Few humans can eat that much, and as I suspected, while sipping my coffee, I noticed several plates with food barely touched, left on their table. I heard parents tell their kids-"just leave it if you don't like it and get another plate." To which, another plate, with another bunch of items that would merely be nibbled on, was filled.
Even at the cocktail reception last night, of which I meandered for conversation, but didn't partake in, my colleagues were filling plates with cheese and shrimp, then setting aside half eaten items with abandon. More food waste. More dirty plates to fill dishwashers, to run again, and spend more money and natural resources on power and water.
Wandering the streets of the French Quarter for a bit on a sultry hot morning, shops kept their doors open to lure in the tourists. Hot and sticky met a blast of refreshing cold air. I was grateful for each blast of refreshment I received, but the waste had to be incredible. At home, I use my air sparingly, and then set it as high as I can to run to get the humidity out. Here, all the indoors are so heavily air conditioned I need a sweater with me at all times. Can you see the picture? 90 degree temps with 70-80% humidity, and indoor air temps at below 68, women sporting extra sweaters.
I can't get to my pictures, not many, but will post a couple once home. These are just some lingering thoughts I have. I'm all for enjoying myself, with decadent food and luxury accommodations. For instance, last night at dinner. Colleagues and I ate delicious food, with cocktails (on our own dimes) starters, and small plates for mains. I was already too full and opted for just coffee, but six of eight had tantalizing deserts. The chef was a two times James Beard award winner, and every bite was heaven. Yes, the bill was outrageous and I could have fed my whole family for the month with the bill, but every bit was eaten and enjoyed. Indulgent, yes, gluttonous, no. I hope I come off more observant than preachy, but it does make me resolve to do more on my own to not just conserve my family budget, but also look for ways to avoid waste even when away from home.