In these challenging times, I have found it hard to find a balance between worrying about the waste I am creating and working with what is still available and trying to be okay with that. It has been particularly difficult to know which option is the best option when neither is what I would usually choose. Here are 3 things I try to keep in mind when navigating a low waste lifestyle in a changing world.
- Always make the decision that is best for your health – whether its choosing to purchase foods in packaging because you need that item but packaged is the only option, or taking a new medication that protects you from a health condition if it is better for your health to do something, then do it, regardless of the packaging or waste it may create. If you aren’t in the best of health, you will not be in a position to make low impact decisions, which will inevitably create more waste in the long run, so protect your health.
- Use what you have – this is both true for food items, and the other things you might need when you are spending more time at home. I still to this day find that my impulse is to purchase something new (new to me) to replace that item. Last week, our fry pan broke, and my immediate reaction was to jump on Facebook Marketplace and look for another one. However, I stopped myself and realized that another pan we had in our cupboard would work just fine for the time being, and we are now using that instead. During these times, it is so easy to purchase something in boredom or because I am frustrated, but I just try to keep in mind the resources (and the money) that I am saving by not having to make a purchase.
- Forgive yourself – no matter what, every decision is a new chance to make the best choice. Sometimes, my less than eco-friendly purchases have made me feel like giving up on this journey, and there is no good in that. We can’t all be perfect, and sometimes, we are going to create waste, even when we have the best intentions. So now, I reflect, but I mostly focus on the future, rather than the past.
These are the three ways I balance my eco-anxiety during times that are difficult, and I don’t make the best decisions. What helps you on your eco-friendly journey? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.