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21 June 2010 @ 06:47 pm
I give up  
I've tried, I really have, to buy local, organic products whenever possible. Not just because it's only fair to support the farmers who produced the stuff, but also because I don't want to pump my body full with hormones, antibiotics or weedkillers, thank you very much. But you know what? I give up. I now shop at the local discount supermarket because the stuff is half to TWO THIRDS less expensive than at regular supermarkets. There's no discernible difference in quality and, come on, I'm a starving student living on my own and I need to make ends meet each moth.

It's not that I don't know under what terrible, inhumane circumstances the tomatoes I buy were farmed. Just look at the south of Spain and the related problems. The problem is, what do I do about it? I don't have money, I don't have influence, so what can I do? No, seriously, this is not a rhetorical question. I'm all out of ideas.

And even if I were to only buy local, organic produce, recycled my trash, used energy-saving light bulbs and, idk, keep a sheep on the balcony to knit my own clothes out of its wool, would it matter? In the big picture? If everyone did it, yes. And I know, if everyone says that, nothing gets done - but that's a silly argument. Even if everybody in the developed world behaved like a good, green citizen, that doesn't mean that most people in Asia, South America of Africa have the luxury to do the same.

Also, this whole "take one fewer napkin at Starbucks and alleviate your guilt for the day" mentality seems to be very prevalent right now. "Yes, I got this cup holder at a fair trade store; it was handmade by Ethiopian widows. Now if you'll excuse me I need to get right back in my humvee." It seems that right now, being "green" is just... a lifestyle accessory type of thing you do because it's fashionable at the moment. Somehow, this bothers me more than people just being ignorant; it's like a mix between ignorance and condescending do-goodery that just drives me nuts. But then again, am I really that much better? All I've ever done that can vaguely be categorized as "planet-saving/not-exploiting-people" related activities have come down to buying stuff with a shiny "not tested on animals" or "all proceeds go to dyslexic orangutans" label.

I'm sorry for this rambling piece of eco-guilt I've just sprayed all over your nice internet. If anyone has any thoughts on how to deal with it in a better way, or just wants to call me a leftist envirocunt, please go ahead.
 
 
Current Mood: depresseddepressed
 
 
 
mellifluous_ink on June 22nd, 2010 12:00 am (UTC)
You do what you can. I've had to accept that I can't afford to be as eco-friendly as I want to be right now, and that more importantly that doesn't make me a bad person. It isn't that I can and don't--it's that I can't, fullstop. That makes a difference. What I can do is what I am doing--I try not to worry about things I am not able to do.

So, in short: don't feel guilty--you are doing what you can afford to do right now.
Well, I mean to say, what?seilf_emit on June 27th, 2010 02:07 pm (UTC)
*sigh* Yeah, you're right. It's just... hard to accept. I hate feeling powerless, especially if it's something I care about. But you're right, I just have to try to do what I can do and not worry about the rest too much.
mellifluous_ink on June 27th, 2010 08:21 pm (UTC)
If you can, try and find a farmer's market in the area. That's a good place for cheap produce that is also from better sources than grocery stores. It's tastier too. This is just my experience with them in southern California, though. And I don't live in environmentalist land.

I know it's hard to feel powerless--my god, the fury and furstration and depression that get triggered when I'm looking for a job (because there's NOTHING you can do to get hired. It's the will of strangers)--but that's life, really. Even if we weren't stuck in a bad system, we'd be at the mercy of the weather or any number of other things.