Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Small Step Back

Back in June I decided to give up pop, for environmental and health reasons. Since then I've noticed a lot more space in the recycling bins on garbage day, so it looks like it's been effective! Unfortunately, I fell off the wagon this week. For the past two days, I've had a gingerale with my meal. And the can is in the recycling.

I justified this decision since the pop was already in the house, I wasn't adding new waste. Definitely a rationalization. Which made me think that our environmental choices start well before the point of consumption. By creating rules for ourselves we can ensure that our environmental impact stays as low as we want it to go. This past weekend there was a GREAT sale on pop at a local store. I was tempted. I thought I could just pick up a few cases for when we had guests...just in case we needed them. I'm glad now that I remembered I'd given myself a rule about not buying any more pop! Without that rule I probably would have come home with 4-8 cases of pop, and I'm willing to bet that they wouldn't have stayed reserved for guests. Obviously I can't be trusted not to drink it myself if it's in the house. :)

The point here isn't that I'm not buying pop, and I'm not saying that you shouldn't buy pop. The point is that a while back I made a decision about the resources I wanted to consume, and came up with the arbitrary 'no buying pop' rule. And a couple of months later, when the novelty had worn off and there was a great deal to be had, that rule popped into my head at the right moment and made me really think about whether or not this purchase aligned with my values. So, take the effort out of making eco choices, and make up a couple rules that you'll live by (for the most part, unless you're having a party and really need some pop). So long as your rules don't kill your quality of life (like I will never buy anything that uses plastic), you'll be greener without having to think about being green.

PS: That's not to say I'll never ever buy pop again. If I'm having a party and know my guests would like pop, I probably will. But by only buying for a specific purpose, though I may pay more for the pop itself, I'll pay less in the long run, and use less resources since it won't get used up mindlessly.

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