Why you shouldn’t buy all things eco-friendly
I am going to be totally honest with you. I was doing some research on the metal straw and was about to tell you why you SHOULDN’T buy it… But when I read more and more, I found out that SOME people actually SHOULD buy one. Let me explain, it might be a bit long, but I think it is one of the most under communicated message ever, since no one will make money on it…
OK, the reason I am very much AGAINST metal straws, is that I personaly really NEVER drink with a straw. I honestly can’t remember the last time I drank with one. When you actually never use one, I wouldn’t consider buying a metal straw as a sustainable action, would you? But then I read more and more to write this blogpost and realised that
- there are a lot of cultures where eating- out and take-out is much more common than in Norway. Which also leads to more consumption of straws in drinks.
- A lot of (grown-up) people sincerly seem to enjoy drinking with a straw.
- As I found it actually is used more as a symbol for the sustainability community more than anything else.
Now for these people, who otherwise would consume straws everyday, it DOES make sense to buy a metal/bamboo one. Even though I still think that you should consider drinking without any kind of straw…
You see, every product comes with an environmental footprint. Not just the not-eco-friendly ones, but also eco-friendly products. Like for example, reusable grocery bags. I’m all for it BUT please keep in mind that also reusable cotton tote bags have to be made and they come with an environmental cost! The cotton needs to be planted, grow (using pesticides), get harvested, get dried, get cleaned and processed. While the material is more sustainable then plastic, it also inevitably leaving it’s footprints. You have to re-use them over a longer period of time in order for them to really be the sustainable choice. Also, when you already have some plastic bags (I can’t imagine you don’t) why not re-use them first? The same goes for many other items too. I think you for example could re-use the glas-jars you purchase with food (like peanutbutter) instead of buying glass jars.
I think a lot of companies are hopping on the eco-friendly train and use this as a new marketing strategy. There is a lot of money to make here while we all are getting more and more conscious about the state of the earth. And as I DO think you should prefer to buy sustainable products over non-sustainable, I also think our society should consider consuming LESS before anything else.
Obviously no one is going to be perfect in this case. Neither am I. And I also think that we shouldn’t let perfect get in the way of good. I am happy for anyone who is considering to purchase in a more eco-friendly way. But be aware of these facts, and be INTENTIONAL about your purchases. Look if the object you’re about to buy will add value to your life. I am by no means a minimalist, but I think there is something in their message about new purchases. The things I buy do have a direct purpose or are something I really really love. Other considerations might be: how often will you use the item? Do you already own something similar? Do you have a place to put it/store it. And finally, you are of course in no way restricted to buy something. You can still buy stuff for fun, or as a treat, just be intentional about it and be aware of the function your purchase will have in your life. After all, it isn’t the amount of eco-friendly products we own that makes us sustainable, rather our mindset and how we use our products.