I use disposable plates and utensils because doing that means I can handle myself, not end up with piles of accumulated dishes, and not live in filth. I use disposable plastic bags because getting myself to acquire groceries at appropriate intervals is hard enough as it is.
I can’t handle all of these green logistical complications. They make things that are already diificult for me *much* harder.
Following these rules doesn’t actually help anyone or make the world a better place. Shaming people for not following them hurts people and makes the world worse.
(As it does when people photocopy things too small for me to read in order to be green and save paper).
Let me just take down some of these tips.
- I have plastic cups that I reuse. I rarely purchase disposable plastic cups. Plastic cups are not bad at all. Even disposable ones I usually wash and reuse until they aren’t reusable anymore.
- We buy bottled water - refilling 4L plastic jugs at the grocery store - because we live on an acreage with no well, and the water we haul from the nearest town is, well, town water which means a lot of chlorine and fluoride, which we seriously can’t stand the taste of, even with a filter on the pump.
- I give my husband plastic cutlery in his lunch every day because I have met him before, and he is prone to losing things. I’d rather not have to worry about losing metal cutlery. I also wash and reuse plastic cutlery until it is broken, at which point it goes in the trash. (Also, you said to keep the metal stuff in a baggy, which is plastic. Good job there.)
- I love wooden toys when they’re well-made. However, Lego and Duplo are plastic and they need to be plastic, and I am not going to deny my future children the joy of creating amazing things because of some weird ban on all plastic in my house. That’s not practical, and it’s not happening.
- Again, you can wash plastic plates. Not so much the paper ones, but paper plates are usually biodegradable. There are occasions on which plastic is simply more practical, whether you are using plastic disposable or plastic reusable items. You aren’t going to tell me that Tupperware (as in, the actual brand) is all horrible, are you? That stuff lasts when you look after it properly (like, avoid putting it on the stove; it melts).
- Glass is heavy. Glass breaks. I give my husband plastic right now because I don’t have stainless steel and because stainless steel doesn’t go in the microwave. Also because I don’t want to have to wash out his lunch box if he breaks a jar of something all over the inside of it. Just… no. I do save my glass jars, though; they’re great for storing dry goods in the kitchen cupboard, for sorting buttons into, and for keeping craft supplies organized.
- I own a lot of cloth shopping bags. They mostly live in the corner of my kitchen. They also make great bags for carrying in-progress knitting projects around. I usually forget to bring them to the store with me, or I don’t think I’m going to the store when I leave the house. And I live half an hour from the nearest grocery store, so there’s no way I’m going home to get my bags first.
- Not all waste is compostable. That’s just the way it is. We have plans to set up a compost heap. Maybe next year we’ll get that going. In the meantime, I have kitchen waste to deal with, I have guinea pig waste to deal with, and I have cat waste to deal with. A fair amount of that will not be going into the compost once we have it, either.
- Sometimes the thing you need doesn’t come in glass. Sometimes the thing that comes in glass is more expensive than the thing that doesn’t come in glass. The expense has to be justified.
Being green requires a lot more effort and brain power than some people are able to give. I think it’s important that people realize that giving tips is great, but shaming people “because it’s so easy” isn’t. Sometimes it isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s never easy. Sometimes it’s expensive, in effort, or in money, and you have to make choices based on these costs.
And also — a lot of this stuff doesn’t have any real value except as a marker of identity with a particular group.
I used to have actual fucking panic attacks about this stuff. I would sob if my mother threw away a newspaper, I would rip out individual pages of old notebooks I didn’t want to stack and recycle, I had a huge mound of this stuff behind my door in my dorm room all three years I lived there. I couldn’t keep up and it only compunded my anxiety, my panic disorder, and my depression. I got to be afraid of turning on the tap (I had little to zero money and was terrified of bills) or turning on a light or using a microwave. I lose my shit when shamed over this stuff. It took until living with my partner that I realized we could have a cleaner, sanitary, and generally better kitchen/home life if we used disposable items. I still reuse them as much as possible and rinse the, out. I take issue with the shaming the recycling and conservation movements because while I absolutely agree with them and love knowing I am doing my own little part for the environment, shaming me when I don’t sends me off the fucking deep end. Maybe it is because I am Autistic (self-dx, yes), maybe it is only a dyspraxia thing, maybe I am just a lazy sod, but keeping up with dishwashing and recycling and cleaning is … it just doesn’t happen. And usually it doesn’t occur to me that it needs taken care of.
I tried for a long time to “do the right thing” toward the environment, etc. with recycling and stuff… but yes, it just stressed me out and caused me to panic because I “wasnt doing it right” and stuff was building up because I didn’t have the spoons to take it to the recycling center, etc. It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I can only do what I can do, and my own individual sanity is worth more than fitting in with a bunch of neurotypical, mentally healthy hippies that can handle doing all of this stuff without panic attacks and shit piling up. I had three bags of recycling to take to the recycling center in my trunk ALL WINTER. I kind of panicked at the thought of going there, and couldn’t bring myself to do it (I have no idea why… I guess it’s like the ice cream truck thing) and it’s nice to have that space back, y’know? I finally just put them out for the trash. it’s wasteful, I know. But I have this tenuous hold on routine and getting things done.
that is definitely me. Hell, I have problems getting the trash out, and living in a place that doesn’t make recycling easy or convenient doesn’t help at all. Physically, I have the spoons. Mentally, I usually don’t. I am tempted to post a picture of my living room as proof of my inability to do basic shit like “put things where they are supposed to go” and “don’t just leave your trash sitting in a pile, put it in the trash can.”
preeeety much. And I know eating at home is cheaper and healthier. And sometimes Taco Bell is the only thing I have spoons for. I’m looking at my cluttered desk right now and I have absolutely no idea where to start. My first priority is meeting writing deadlines. My second priority is not dying in filth or starving to death. I’m glad for people with more spoons who are able to do this stuff. Just dont be a judgy-ass because I don’t have the money/spoons to do so.
Yeah, I learned a while back to be okay with letting some shit slide. I think it came with having a kid, because I literally learned it in the first week. I was having zero luck breastfeeding, and it was causing an INSANE amount of stress for me, my baby, and my husband. Finally my shrink pointed out that breastfeeding being better than formula doesn’t mean formula is *bad,* and furthermore, since I already have an uphill battle with depression, it would be better in the long run if I took the feeding stressor off my plate.
Am I sad I didn’t get to breastfeed? A little. Do I regret it? Not for a second. It was a HUGE FUCKING RELIEF to just accept that my boobs were slacking off and feed my kid formula.
I actually don’t have a huge issue doing most of the things on this particular list, simply because they don’t happen to be triggers for me. But I can tell you I have added up stress versus spoons for a variety of issues and I am perfectly happy to keep my spoons thanks.
Could I have a garage sale and make some money? Sure. But fuck that work and stress, I’ll just send it to Goodwill. Could I spend a ton of money and time making my kid perfectly balanced optimal lunches, or should I drop $23.50 in an online account for two weeks of hot lunch and NEVER WORRY ABOUT making it, buying stuff for it, and making sure it gets to school with her? I can tell you I’ve been a lot less stressed out since I started doing the latter.
tl;dr Do what gets you through the day. Find your balance between what you wish you could do and what you actually can do. And don’t let people give you shit for things you do to preserve your sanity.
(via deducecanoe)Source: powerecoads
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