I am however, one of those people who has broken promises to the world. The problem is that doing something–actually being a friend of the earth or whatever–is sometimes easier said than done.
On January 1st of this year, I had one New Year’s resolution: to stop buying water in plastic bottles. I live in New York, a city that’s proud of its clean tap water: there is no reason for me to buy water in a bottle which I will drink in an hour and then disgard to go sit in a landfill somewhere. I figured soda was ok to buy in a bottle, but bought an aluminum reusable bottle for water.
January went well. February I mostly stuck to the no water bottle plan. But by March, I started to make exception. I’d forget to bring my fillable bottle to the gym, so I’d buy one there. I’d get thirsty while out at night, and buy a bottle. Before I knew it, I had a huge plastic bag filled with Fiji, Volvic, and Poland Spring bottles. If I have one when I’m out and about, I’ll just throw the empty bottle into the trash. My aluminum refillable bottle has been sitting, unused, in the cabinet.When I stop and take stock, the sheer amount of plastic that I throw away every day makes me queasy. An empty shampoo bottle, an old food container, an old ziplock bag. I try and imagine my own mini-landfill, full of the plastic that I alone use throughout the course of the year. Maybe it wouldn’t be so mini. And maybe (definitely) it would be gross.
But at the same time, I’m a modern girl in a modern world. I’m just not the type to buy all-organic biodegradable products, to wash my plastic wrap and use it again, to make my own shampoo. I like Pantene Pro-V and that comes in a bottle.
I’m admitting that I’m not always environmentally friendly, but I don’t want to be excused. It’s ok to slip up every now and then, and to not be environmentally perfect. But it’s not okay to not do your best at being eco-friendly. It’s not okay to think that your small contributions won’t make a difference.
So where do you start, in the face of of an environmentally un-friendly world?
You start in April, picking up a resolution you made in January: no plastic water bottles. Something you can commit to, something that really isn’t too much to ask. If you fall off the wagon, it’s okay: just make sure to keep getting back on.
Do you have a reusable water bottle? Do you forget to be eco-friendly sometimes? Tell us everything in the comments!