United Airlines, Please Read this Open Letter


(Letter penned by Peachie Dioquino-Valera from her IG account: peachiekeen_and_green. Peachie is an environment activist, futurist, writer, host, vegan, and speaker.)

On the way to Honolulu, and presently at a layover in Guam (as of press time). This is my open letter to United Airlines. I was reading your Hemispheres and wanted to see if my “social distinction” call will be heard. Here goes:

Dear United,

It was my first time to try your carrier service, and I have never been so famished. It turns out, there were only two options for my first (dinner) meal — beef/fish — and I was truly brokenhearted. It was my first encounter with an airline that did not have a plant-based option.

I would say at least thank you to your sympathetic staff, who gave me two units of salad. They said sorry, and I just said, “It’s OK. There’s nothing we can do.” However, I wish this letter would be my “something that can be done.”

Then I saw this article and thought, “Hey might give it a try.” Secondly, also to offer my advice (consultation fee free) on how you, guys, can reach that sustainable mark you are gunning for: first off, cut meat. Or at least reduce it. You are going for biofuel, etc. hooray for that. But just to inform you, that animal agriculture is the number one carbon polluter and GHG (greenhouse gas) emitter. A plant-based diet can cut your emissions by an astounding 50%! Look at Virgin, Jetstar, or Emirates; they did listen to the vegan options clamor. Plus, with all the Amazon and various burning around the world brought about by our greed for meat, it’s time for the world to really listen to the core causes.

Secondly, the plastic dilemma. Even if you mention recycling, plastic can only be downcycled, then it’s forever out there choking the planet. The last airline I have ridden serving plastic utensils was back in 2014! And that’s because there was no spotlight on the plastic crisis yet. It would be good advice to slowly reduce your plastic/styro usage. Plastics are also petroleum-based. In short, made from dirty fossil fuels. You address plastic use and aim to go for zero waste if you can. Then you can minus some carbon footprints in your sustainability accounting. Check out what some have done; for example Qantas or Alaska Airlines.

That’s all, United. I hope my letter goes a long way.

Persistently pushing for good change,