I love a few squares of dark chocolate after dinner (and sometimes lunch, LOL). It takes about 2-3 days to go through a 100 gram chocolate bar. But if I do that all year it means throwing away 121 chocolate wrappers. Gasp. When I have found myself unexpectedly out of chocolate bars, my husband has whipped up his own simple remedy, like chocolate sauce. It is yummy but not as…convenient. It has to stay in the fridge, it can go bad, you can’t just break off a piece since you need a spoon, you can’t take it with you anywhere.
What I think is that when we try to become more environmentally friendly a large piece of what we are giving up is convenience. We are so used to convenience. Advertisers have long preyed on our desire for convenience. The convenience of small portion-controlled packs; convenience of processed so the product does not spoil; the convenience of a micro fiber cloth that is easy to wring out and dry out; the convenience of not having to make your own…anything, even dinner. Non-stick cookware means you don’t have to scrub; bathroom cleaners eat away at soap scum so you just have to wipe it clean; Swiffer dusting cloths mean you just sweep and throw the cloth away, easy and convenient; baggies – take your food out and throw the baggie away, no cleaning necessary. If our phones or computers are slow (not convenient) we buy new faster ones, despite the fact the computer or phone is still in great condition. It is almost like if something is convenient it likely means it is not good for the environment. It is full of chemicals, processed, packaged, energy using or it is a single use product.
Well, not having these convenience items means more work for me – like making my own food, including chocolate, and putting elbow grease into cleaning stainless steal cookware without a non-stick coating and bathtubs, etc.
Of course, like in my previous blog “Like a big ship turning,” my brain feels resentment at times. Why do I have to give up my chocolate bars (or convenience) when so many other people don’t care about the environment, or have less awareness of the impact on the environment, or don’t have the time for giving up convenience, and they get to continue with all these convenient things. Why do I have to give up, make do, spend my time making and scrubbing? Well, I give these things up because most of me feels it is the right thing to do. There is a much bigger purpose here (save our planet) then my self-indulgent wants (chocolate, convenience, etc). But it is very important for me to acknowledge the feelings of resistance, resentment and reluctance so I can really look at where these feelings come from and challenge them. When I challenge my feelings and habits, I bring them into awareness and then consciously decide whether each is something I feel is reasonable to continue or something I feel I need to change. I have a lot of challenging to do! LOL.