Convenience v Conservation


"Would you like a water?" a friend offered. I was really thirsty, I'd been working outside all day and had forgotten to bring water. The thirst could so easily be quenched with a bottle of water...seems a pretty obvious solution. However the bottle I was offered was made of plastic. Before this journey to be the change I want to see began I wouldn't have thought twice about simply connecting the dots, I'm thirsty, here is some water, problem solved. But now I seem to have acquired an environmentally conscious little voice in my head "for someone who is trying to reduce your plastic consumption you're not very good at it". I am facing more and more decisions like this since starting down this path of trying to be more sustainable. I could easily drink the water, ignore the voice, and choose convenience over conservation, or I could make a minuscule step in the right direction towards the change I want to see.

The problem is it's not just water bottles that creates this internal debate, it is with everything. We as a society seem to have started a war, convenience v conservation, and convenience is winning. We are presented with so many choices as a consumer and each time we have an option, choose the convenient option or sacrifice that for the sustainable option. Buy a takeaway coffee, forget your reusable bag at the store, whatever it is very rarely it seems is the convenient choice the most sustainable.

The convenience option is to take the water bottle which creates waste from the single use plastic . The conservation option is to go thirsty, I'm sure I'll survive, after all, it was my fault I didn't bring a refillable bottle. I realise this might seem a silly debate to have and am well aware that drinking water is important. However I can't help but feel a bit arrogant in deciding that my need for water that day far outweighs the damage of leaving that piece of plastic around for future generations.

"No thanks" I replied.

I went to a nearby washroom and drank the warm water from the tap, it tasted horrible, but I looked in the mirror and grinned.