Sunday, February 5, 2017

I was recently at a shopping establishment, trying to shop and get my life in order, when I broke out my reusable grocery bag. To spare you the details, the cashier began -what felt like- attacking me for my choices. Well, here's a letter to him since my brain blocks any logical and helpful information while in an argument.

Dear Will,

I do not believe you should be reprimanded for your political beliefs, but I do believe you should be more conducive to creating a better world for your political beliefs. You recently attacked my choices in a very public way and I shut down. I did not effectively share my viewpoints with you.

Firstly, I do not want or need the plastic bags. I do not want to create waste for myself and I do not own a dog.

Secondly, I could not figure out what exactly your political views are from the straight facts you were telling me. Do you support oil consumption or don't you? So, don't want to harm animals? Before you converse with anyone about your beliefs, I think you should make your arguments cohesive. They are more convincing that way.

Lastly, I want you to know that sustainability (which is what I think we were talking about) is such a complex topic, that the everyday person can only decide on their priorities and follow-through on them. There is no way to be perfect. We have to live our lives as best we can, and sustainability will look and be different for everyone.

In Greta Eagan's Wear No Evil, she outlines different aspects of consuming clothing that are harmful to the environment. She essentially tells you that it is nearly impossible to find a 100% sustainable garment, and that you must find clothing which aligns with the values you have concerning eco-friendliness. I have taken this to make sustainability less complex for me. Read it if you haven't. And if you have, realize that you can apply this concept of triage to every part of your life.

Right now, I am trying to minimize my plastic consumable consumption. I am trying to fully incorporate less usage of plastic that will be thrown away from toiletries. As for the plastic (oil) that was in my reusable bag, my philosophy still stands: I am reusing the oil that was used to make the plastic bag and I am not creating waste in a landfill until my bag is no longer usable. (And for the record, I had one flimsier bag last me 4 years!) For any plastic bags I do receive, I bring them to my grocery store for recycling, but for my convenience, I do not want them.

If I were to share my steps toward sustainability, I would have to say my overarching goal right now is to reduce waste in landfill -especially waste that does not biodegrade. Therefore, I will be inclined to buy animal products, such as leather and wool which will eventually break down. I am trying to avoid disposable plastic.

I understand that your job (or second or third) is not the most fulfilling, however, if you continue to have these interactions, you may try to build others up instead of tearing them down. Little changes over time become lifestyle changes, and it may have begun from one simple interaction. Be that guy.

Signing off,
That Dumb Chick Who Thinks She's Making a Difference

FULL DISCLOSURE AND ACCOUNTABILITY: I bought a purse at this retailer that isn't necessarily the best quality (and may be made of essentially plastic), but my purse literally broke the night before (my purses hate concerts apparently). I intend to wear out this purse, and buy a better quality purse when I am in a better financial position. However, I am very happy with this purchase. I have effectively downsized my EDC and purse design really works for my lifestyle. In the future, I will know exactly what kind of purse design I want to invest in.

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