Since I live near Lincoln Center and usually go home between shows or rehearsals, I often walk home (when the weather is nice) and stop by the Shops at Columbus. Multitasker that I am, I gather all the #5s and caps we’ve collected at The Majestic Theatre (where PHANTOM has played for over 23 years) along with plastic bags that folks have also deposited and head uptown from our stagedoor on 45th Street. On the way, I stop in a Duane Reade or a similar store and drop off the plastic bags in their bin near the front of the store, keeping them out of landfills and especially from whirling around the city, ending up stuck in trees or (worse) in the rivers endangering wildlife.
I make my way to 59th and Columbus and do a little window shopping (dreaming) in the high-end-store mall. First stop, Whole Foods. I contemplate picking up a few things, but am usually intimidated by the lines! I head straight for the elevator area, take a quick look at the cheese and the soaps and eye the bin for #5 recycling that NYC doesn’t take with our regular recycling. I deposit rinsed yogurt cups, margarine tubs, takeout containers and Brita filters. Then I head up to the third floor to Aveda.
I spot a salesperson and show my little bag of treasure (plastic caps from water bottles, soda, shampoo etc., carefully leaving out metal or spray-pump caps, but including flip-tops). They are always happy to take them and usually offer me a cup of lovely tea and maybe even a mini-treatment. I take the tea, decline the treatment (though occasionally make a purchase), take a look at the art exhibit outside the store. I head up for a short gym visit at 62nd and Columbus, and then home to walk the dog, have dinner and then back to half hour at the Majestic. Miraculously, more caps, bags and #5s have appeared in our collection bins! Ah well, I’m happy it’s caught on; we’ll keep them out of landfills (since again, they do not take them in regular NYC recycling) and I’m assured another trip to the lovely shops at Columbus. So even if you’re not a “Green Captain”, it’s a great short trip just barely out of the theatre district for your dinner break!
Written and Edited by Kimilee Bryant