Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Climbing atop my soap-box for a moment (because I feel guilty discarding it when I know it can be used for something)

So, lately I've been really convicted about waste. Waste... and environmental health... and starving people in America, and Africa, and China...
Maybe "convicted" isn't the right word, necessarily, but these are things that have really been on my mind lately --so much so that I utilized a paper grocery bag I discovered in the pantry to begin collecting all the plastic bottles and such around the house for recycling.
On that note, though, I'm thinking we really need to stop buying bottled water in the first place. I feel guilty every time I pop one open -especially when it's just a matter of convenience. I mean, recycling is good, but why not just try to eliminate unnecessary plastic waste altogether? By purchasing these 25 (or whatever) bottle palettes of water we're still contributing to that plastic-bottle-circle from that Brita commercial that stretched around the earth 190 times! (Great marketing, by the way. That one really stuck with me.)

It all boils down to this (for me, anyway) :
I am a consumer.
I don't produce, I consume. I go to the store and buy my apples and oranges and water and oatmeal and chicken and yeah, all of that stuff.
And I rarely consider where it's coming from.
Questions like What kind of pesticides do these farmers use and how is it going to affect the land for future crops? or How are these hormones and antibiotics in this chicken going to affect my body? or Could this cause genetic mutation? or Is my future sweet baby girl going to have a third eye? (okay, I'm exaggerating) never really cross my mind.

And when I buy that super cute shirt, or those really comfy jeans, or those astonishingly sweet flats, rarely do I consider where the cotton came from, or where the fiber was woven, or where the stitching was done and who did all of the labor and how they are treated or what kind of super cute, really comfy, astonishingly sweet clothes they may or may not (most likely not) have.

Heck, most of the time, I don't even consider the corporation running the store where I'm buying all of this morally compromised product! How do they treat their employees? How do they view philanthropy? What do they do to reduce waste? How does their CEO spend his/her billions? What are their trading policies?

And, honestly, these are all really important questions (except for maybe the one about my hypothetical tri-clops baby). And they're questions that I, as a consumer, can answer with my money by making informed, responsible choices. Where I shop, what I buy, what I reuse, what I recycle, what I stop using -all of that can make a difference. I may just be one person, and the difference may be small, but hey! At least Chaco will think I'm a hero.

1 comment:

  1. yes every little bit makes a difference. good for you.