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Jan
02

Pointing Fingers

We are sitting in a fast food joint that makes a decent burger.  We are hungry, we have been out all day and we chose this restaurant because the four of us can eat for twenty bucks, its quick, and its yummy.

So here I am mowing down and I am looking around the restaurant at the other patrons.  There seems to be a lot of people eating salads. They must be good here. I’ve never tried them.  Those people certainly made a better food choice than I did.

But then I am looking at the packaging.  The salad comes in a plastic container and its being pierced and shovelled into mouths with plastic forks.  The salad dressing comes in its own plastic package, convenient for adding just the right amount.

And I am judging.  The oil from that plastic was probably drilled in the Middle East.  It was shipped to China and processed into plastic pellets.  It was melted down into these lovely, convenient shapes put into boxes and shipped half way across the world.  It was loaded onto trucks and driven to the restaurant.

And here it is, ready for a bit of lettuce.  A container that the consumer uses for ten minutes, a fork that touches your lips a few dozen times.  And then it is discarded. Sent to a landfill to sit amongst a billion other pieces of single use plastic.

I’m feeling disgusted.  What is it with our society that we don’t even think twice about our destructive consumption habits?  We throw things in the trash without a second thought.  We want our salads.  We want them fast and we want them cheap.

I’m thinking about how many people are in this restaurant right now and how much garbage they are creating.  I’m thinking of how many people will eat in this restaurant chain today across the country and how many people will eat at similar restaurants producing similar amounts of garbage.  Kriky! Just think of all the straws that were slurped on today and then thrown out!

And then I look down at my own table.  I’ve brought in my re-usable mug for my coffee but Mike is drinking an ice tea out of a plastic coated cup complete with plastic lid and straw. The kids are drinking juice from tetra packs.  Recyclable yes, but recycling is a bandaid over stab wound.  I’m eating my burger that came wrapped in a wax paper like substance, my fries are cradled in cardboard.  Our lunch is creating a whole pile of garbage.

Here I am pointing fingers while I am contributing to the problem.  I want it fast and cheap too.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Mahatma Gandhi

I needed this reminder.

 

 

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8 comments

  1. Rebeca says:

    Ah… the problems that come along with being conscious! I find that the more I know, the easier it is to judge others or to feel that I’m not doing enough. I guess we all have to find the balance between living consciously and still being able to enjoy life!

    1. worldschooled says:

      True Rebeca, it is important to find balance but still live by your principles.

  2. Justin says:

    Well said Rebeca! And it’s good to see you back in the swing of things again Amy.

    It’s really tough to have strict principals when you live in the world. What ARE we going to do? No one knows I guess. But if you’re part of it, then you’re part of it. It doesn’t really matter if you do it once in a while or everyday. I’m part of it. I try to balance and not abuse. I think the only other choice for me is to find a nice, quiet spot in Northern Alaska where I can learn to fish and leave everything behind. No more golden arches. But that’s not going to happen, so we do our best.

    It will be interesting to see how this pulls at you in SEA.

    1. worldschooled says:

      I think it will pull on me wherever we are. I am very conscious of our environmental impact and is a part of me that I will take wherever we go.

  3. Renee says:

    Amy, I love this post and share your feelings. You know, Thai street food doesn’t have wrappers….;-)

    1. worldschooled says:

      Bring on the street food!!!!!

  4. A King's Life says:

    We have this same dilemma all the time! Sitting on the beaches of Belize I sent my husband to go find us some food while the children played on the beach. They were having so much fun and didn’t want to drag them away so we could go to a restaurant. My husband came back with a bag of food in Styrofoam packaging. The packaging was bulkier than the actual food inside and I couldn’t believe the amount of trash we had just made.
    And I sit looking on this beach, scowling at the plastic that gets washed up, thinking “these people just don’t care”…but I am part of the problem…I’m just conscious of it.

    1. worldschooled says:

      Its hard isn’t it? When we are hungry and want a quick fix and then we finish eating and look at all the garbage we created. I think for me the answer is planning in advance more. One of the hard things for me is that with winter we can’t exactly go have a picnic at the park so if we are out and about we are pretty much stuck with eating out or eating in the car.

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