Two months have flown by and with only two weeks left of my summer internship, I thought I would give you a retrospective glimpse of my time here at Hanky Panky.
The first several weeks were all about discovering the lay of the land and learning the ins and outs of a routine that would later become second nature. As a newbie, I expected to face many challenges, but there were some I had no idea were coming my way.
Can you tell the difference between the colors Lime Green, Limelight, and Key Lime Pie? What’s the difference between an Original Rise Thong and a Low Rise Thong? Boyshort lace and Signature lace? Fabric scissors and paper ones? All good questions. Although the answers are now obvious to me—except the one about the colors, that will forever leave me perplexed—at the time these inquiries left me wide-eyed and confused.
However scary these unknowns were, I knew I would figure it out because, let’s face it, these are typical intern problems. The challenge that I was completely unready for was… sustainability.
Go ahead, laugh. Being sustainable is really not that difficult, you say, but for me, it was. Sure, I recycle, take short showers and walk to work when I can, but I could never justify any further inconveniences because my actions lacked immediate, visible results. I still believe that as an individual, my impact, however well-intentioned is minimal. However, as part of a group, I now can see that these same actions have a much more significant effect.
Sustainability is all about a mindset. A mindset that is willing to sacrifice little conveniences for the greater benefit of the Earth; a mindset that I always wished I had but never really embraced. However, when you are introduced into an environment like Hanky Panky’s, which values and promotes sustainability with sincere fervor, it is much easier to acquire a like-minded attitude.
In an effort to promote the eco-responsibility of their company, Hanky Panky has posted signs, which give reason to some of their more bizarre acts of sustainability:
“We do not purchase paper towels, thereby saving trees and the 168,000 paper towels’ worth of methane-producing paper trash per year that would otherwise be generated by this office. We suggest bringing a small re-usable hand towel for your own [use]…”
The first day I got home from work I called my mom on the phone to give her a detailed account of the paper-towel-less-ness of the Hanky Panky Headquarters. I also continued on to explain another strange phenomenon—I wanted to invest in a reusable water bottle. Dead silence met me on the other end of the line, followed by a chuckle and the response, “YOU?!? Want a reusable water bottle?” I had never been a fan of the idea because 1) I always forget to use the water bottle or 2) I was too lazy to clean it out. However, the overwhelming amount of Hanky Panky themed reusable cups present in the office made me feel a tinge of guilt for not participating in this act of sustainability. At the end of this summer, I won’t be leaving without my purple, Hanky Panky themed reusable cup in one hand and a new view of sustainability in the other.