February 6, 2020•463 words
It's weird, when you try to be a good person and care about stuff, the number things you can do becomes smaller and smaller. The past few years of my life have been characterized by a growing awareness of the concequences of my actions. I stopped eating meat and eventually all animal products because of their environmental and ethical implications. I don't want to be a part of an ultra-polluting, animal-torturing industry, so I decided to stop supporting it. I also try to buy food locally and in-season, although that's not easy for me yet. I try to reduce my energy usage, use laundry liquids that aren't harmful to nature, avoid big chains that fuck over poor people, and a bunch of other small things. These are not really sacrifices. Most of them have become habits, and I enjoy the process of trying to live according to my own values. Yet there always seems to be more stuff to do. I love candles, for example, but they're almost always made of paraffin, a byproduct of petroleum, which means that I'm essentially burning fossil fuels in my home. And a common alternative, candles made from beeswax, happens to not be vegan. Vegan and nature-friendly candles happen to be ridiculously expensive. So here my convinctions clash not only with each other, but also with my comfort and my wallet.
But that's getting down to the nitty-gritty stuff. In the end, we're not going to save the planet by ditching candles. These things are relevant only if you want to make a big a change as possible. Still, there are some simple things that one can do to make a big impact. If you care about plastic pollution, you can stop buying fish, since fishing is the biggest source of oceanic plastic pollution. Also, ditching single-use bags, bottles and other pointless plastic packaging are easy changes. If you care about global warming, skipping beef is a simple fix. Deciding not to take the plane might be even better, depending on your habits. If global poverty is what concerns you, look into the most effective charities (GiveWell.org is a good place to start) and also look into the track records of big companies when it comes to their treatment of people in third-world countries. Re-using and buying second-hand seem to be good strategies for all of the above concerns. Drinking tap water instead of soda from plastic bottles or milk from cartons also solves multiple problems at once (health, plastic pollution and, in the latter case, animal cruelty).
That's it. I'm too lazy/tired to think today, so today's writing is this. A masterclass in being a hippie tree-hugging gutmensch. G'night.