We were raised to say “Please” and “No, thank you”. Lately, however, we’ve found ourself in a few situations where saying “No, thank you” not only seems dismissive or inappropriate but also like a missed opportunity. On a recent business trip, we were once again reminded of just how wasteful the airlines are with, among other things, their napkins. It doesn’t really matter if you’re going to order a drink, accept the free peanuts or not. Flight attendants are programmed to automatically hand everyone a napkin. The next time they come down the aisle, we’re supposed to hand back that perfectly good napkin and plastic cup so they can throw it away and hand us all fresh ones. Most people don’t think twice about this senseless act of waste while others refuse by politely saying “No, thank you”. But why are we thanking them? Is there a a quick, polite response to let flight attendants and other passengers know why were refusing the napkins? We came up with “No, that’s unnecessary.” Granted, it may not be perfect but it’s been getting our point of view across while not coming across like a complete ecodick. Try it sometime.