There are a ton of smug people on the internet. They like to say things like “I would NEVER” and then follow it up with some piece of wisdom that makes average people feel bad. It’s not that what they say is wrong or inherently bad; often there’s a kernel of useful information if you’re willing to crawl through the cloud of smug. But good information often goes to waste if it’s brought to the public by someone unlikable–someone full of The Smug. Being a humorless pill about lifestyle choices is generally a bad call when trying to win converts.
In trying to live a more green life and blogging about it, I sometimes worry that I sound like one of The Smug. It’s hard to explain why I do something without coming off as judgmental of those who do things differently. So here’s the scoop: I’m not perfect (clearly). Our house is not a bastion of ecological living, even though we try really hard. But there are a lot of places that we cut corners or fall down, and here they are in handy list form along with the reasons why I do not plan to convert.
1. We use a lot of canned goods. They are sold in bulk at Costco, we are a single income family living on a government wage. We are secure, better off than most by virtue of living free of credit card debt, but we are not rich and we live in Hawaii with its astronomical cost of living. Also, Tom makes a fabulous pasta sauce from the canned stuff at Costco. When we can afford better, we’ll buy better.
2. I wear daily disposable contact lenses. Could I wear glasses every day instead? Not realistically. I was born with a condition called optic nerve hypoplasia, which varies per person but in my case means I can’t see at all out of my left eye. Statistically, I consider myself pretty lucky that I wasn’t born completely blind in both eyes, but I have little peripheral vision and wearing glasses limits my existing peripheral vision to an unsafe degree (couldn’t drive, for example). The one eye means that a) I am not a candidate for LASIK, and b) I shouldn’t wear monthly or weekly disposables because of the intensive cleaning routine. Daily disposables eliminate the chance of bacteria or fungus getting onto the lens or case and into my eye. An infection could cost me my sight. So, I recycle the blister packs that the contacts are packaged in, but I won’t ever use anything else.
3. Body products. We use method and Burt’s Bees Baby Bee products for Maggie. Us? Bulk shampoo and conditioner from Costco, 365 or Target brand body wash, .99 cent a can Barbasol shave cream. Cost is a factor, sure, but…eh. I like bulk, what can I say? I did convert to organic shave cream and it’s pretty much a life changer, but I haven’t encountered any natural shampoos that really work with my hair. And while I have experimented with straight razor shaving, I haven’t given up on my Mach 3 cartridges.
4. I store Maggie’s applesauce in glass jars and heat her food in glass bowls, but I Gladware-it up to store frozen items.
I’ll add more as I think of them, but where do you cut corners? It’s okay, we all do. Everyone’s just trying to do their best, you know? That just means different things for different people.