My 7 Earth-Selfish Acts
Earth Day is coming up on April 22nd and I wanted to give a break to anyone who feels that they may not be up to society’s earth-friendly standards. There is so much pressure for everyone to take good care of the Earth and to be more cautious about leaving behind carbon footprints. This year, my post is totally different from my past Earth Day posts: “Is Earth Day a Holiday?”, “Earthly Trifecta”, “Sticks and Stones”, “Bacon, Honey and Earth” and “Dirt”. Even though I go thru great lengths to take care of the earth, I want to tell you about the times when I do things that are NOT good for the earth. These are my 7 earth-selfish acts:
First and foremost, I am not going to give up using my prescription contact lenses! These days, I only have to wear one contact in my left eye to see far. It’s an age thing; not a cool thing. Anyway, that one contact is a daily contact, which means at the end of every day, I throw it away and start the next day with a fresh contact lens. The packaging for one contact lens consists of a tiny plastic container that holds enough contact solution to keep it from drying up. Yes, the plastic part is recyclable (I hope), however, 365 times a year, I have to throw away the synthetic foil type cover because it is not recyclable (not pure aluminum). If I separate the cover from the plastic container - one part goes into the trash can and the other in the recycling bin. Sorry, there are many times that I chuck the entire packaging into the trash.
I have always been on the go but I try to eat pretty healthy. I spend extra money to buy the pre- cut veggies, fruit and lettuce (salad) to spare some prepping time. Everything comes in plastic containers which are affectionately called “single-use “ plastic containers. Yes, plastic is recyclable and yes, I always toss them in the recycle bin when I ‘m done. However, single-use plastic boxes and containers are meant for times when you are truly “on the go”. I’m sure it isn’t meant for people like me, who just don’t want to take the time to chop up a pineapple. Sure, I have the right to pay higher prices for this convenience but I feel super guilty recycling these containers after I dump the salad into a bowl. I constantly abuse the “single-use” plastic containers every week.
I’m also a tea lover. I love all kinds of tea but I mostly drink non-caffeine herbal tea. Yes, I will use loose tea as much as possible. I love how I can control the amount of tea leaves that I put in my cup. But after I have my cup of tea, I have to deal with the “grounds” and then rinse out the tea diffuser. It may only take 3 minutes to do this but sometimes, it’s the deal breaker and I reach for the conveniently prepared tea bags. That’s not a problem because usually the tea in their bags, even with string, are compostable. The problem is the packaging for the individual tea bag is not fully compostable if its colored paper or made with foil or has a film/lining to protect the tea from spoiling. Using the prepared tea bags is one thing but throwing away 2-3 of its packaging per day times 365 is not so earth-friendly.
I’ve got many things that I don’t do that is more selfish than friendly. Like I don’t take the time to contact the catalog companies to tell them to take me off their list. I basically take 99% of the catalogs and put them straight into the trash can. I don’t have a dog anymore so I should tell the pet companies that I have no need for their marketing (at the moment). Plus, I should go paperless for all of our bills but because I’m too lazy/busy to switch them over to paperless statements, the mail just keeps on coming.
Thanks to my friend Luna, I recently started working in an office space at ILM, the company developing my Thoughtful Pinch app (available May 2019). I have been using a styrofoam cup every day to drink my tea. Do I have plenty of cups that I can bring from home. Yes. Do I ? No. Because I try to be as invisible as possible while I’m there - I don’t want to require too much attention - and I don’t leave my cups at the office. I just want to come in and go out without leaving a trail behind. I have been using the styrofoam cups because it’s much easier than bringing cups back and forth from home to the office.
Gosh, who doesn’t love a bottle of Fiji water? #productplacementatawardshows. When I worked in craft services for MTV on a show called Becoming, the producer (one of my besties) couldn’t pay me much because the budget was tight. Instead, I asked for cases of the water we served which was Fiji water. That was almost 20 years ago. Flash forward to 2019 when I need my kids to drink water, I bribe them by buying bottles of Fiji water. Mind you, we have a perfectly good water bottle service that delivers huge bottles to our home every two weeks. My kids drink up Fiji water like it is gold. And I have to admit, I buy them for myself too. It’s ridiculous, but the shape of the bottle fits my car cup holder so much better than the round bottles. Therefore, even though I use the bottle for weeks after the Fiji water is gone, I still have no business constantly buying individual water bottles.
Last but certainly not least. I like giving thoughtful pinches and I like to give them away in cellophane bags. My hope is that the recipients re-use the bags but I know that unless you have a dog and even if you do, the chances of that is highly unlikely. Nevertheless, I still insist on giving pinches away in these bags all the time. I’m so vain - they just make the presentation so much better!
So in case you were in need of a “pick me up”, I’m hoping this post did the trick. Ha! What I mean is, when we find out that other people do things that aren’t very earth-friendly, it makes us feel better. Even though it shouldn’t. However, my point is - awareness is the key to everything. I can not be perfect. I may not always do the best things or make choices that are better for the Earth, but I TRY to do as much good as I can. I also think that because I have openly admitted to being selfish, I am owning it. There is nothing wrong with that. It just means that I’m accountable and I will continue to strive to do other things that ARE very earth-friendly.