Buying our World

Occasionally, you read things that resonate.

Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want – Anna Lappé

I feel like I’m at school again, and I’m staring at this quote on a large piece of paper with only one word after it.

Discuss.

Okay, so I’m crap at essays. I’ll skip that, but really, how does this make you feel? How are you buying into the world?  Is it a healthy choice?

The first thing I feel is denial. Denial and guilt. Guilt and denial. Denial and guilt.

Shut up.

Not you.

Never mind.

Denial is a form of optimism. I’ve discussed this self-preservation mechanism before but at times we’re in denial to save ourselves from our choices. Like how catching a plane is bad for the environment,  but it’s okay because when you booked your ticket you clicked a button to plant a tree. Or you convince yourself you don’t travel much because Soandso travels much more. Or soon there will be fusion energy so what you do now is irrelevant.

I exaggerate somewhat. I have ‘planted a tree’ to counter my air-travel and while that is better than nothing, I have no way of verifying that said planting took place. It’s a guilt button for travellers to make us feel better about our choices.

I buy sushi for lunch sometimes and it comes in a crinkly plastic container. I look at this packaging and feel guilty everytime. I’d bring my own container but I’m told that in the unlikely event of food poisoning, the business could argue it was my container and not their food that made me sick.

So really, I should take my own lunch to work to avoid all this. I DO sometimes but otherwise I have no excuse – I’m just lazy.

Take away coffee cups are another poor choice I make. I believe I don’t have the time to wash a KeepCup but I really should try harder. Make time.

What world do you buy?

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8 thoughts on “Buying our World

  1. Making changes all the time. We do have water bottles that we carry around. We have a to go kit that we carry in our trunk for left overs when we eat out. I stopped using plastic straws a couple years ago now. I use glass ones. Yes I have to wash them but that’s 400 less straws a year that I personally put in the landfill. Baby steps, this stuff is hard for everyone, and some don’t even care. The fact that you’re thinking about it is awesome. 🙂 I wrote about our plan here.. https://aheartonthematter.com/2016/05/02/the-great-plastic-takeover-and-what-you-can-do-to-stop-it/

  2. This stuff is very much on my mind, but while my awareness is good, I’m not doing enough to implement change. (Though, maybe I’m already doing more than others?)

    We’ve spoken about drinking straws before and I rarely use them but certainly my next straw purchase would be glass! I must keep working at it! I’m really impressed with your efforts. 😀

  3. Love this. I think I am quite like you in that I want to do more and be a better person for the environment but sometimes it feels so complicated and the decisions or changes seem so big. Then I feel like I’m just not dedicated enough. But I tell myself, keep trying.

  4. Yes, this post could describe me too. Everything I do, I do it with an awareness of the impact it’s having, and nothing ever seems like enough. At least we care. There are others who don’t.

    • Small change is better than no change too. Husband and I went to the trouble of removing all the sticky-tape from the Christmas wrapping paper to ensure it could be recycled. I’m also getting back into composting, though, these things are so much easier to maintain in summer!

      • Yes, the summer makes many things easier. Even the rainy old Irish summer. 🙂 We recycle all our wrapping paper, too, and we compost and recycle as much as we can – and you already know how we feel about washable diapers (which are a godsend). So, we do more than average – but it’s never enough. We have to give ourselves a bit of credit for the effort, though. Keep on fighting the good fight, Kate. xx

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