Hello fellow earthlings.
Have you, like me, ever bought the most eco-friendly version of an item at the store and been super excited about your good choice, only to come home, try it, and realize that this.did.not.work.at.all.?
Let me give you an example. Soap nuts. These are plastic free, all natural nuts, used for laundry. They work ok, I guess. About as well as me hand-washing something in my sink with some regular soap. However, can they handle a sweaty t-shirt: hell no.*
Maybe I didn’t do my laundry “the right way”. Someone might say “Oh you have to first soak the clothes in baking soda and vinegar and then wash with the nuts”.
That’s all fine, but when I say I want an eco-friendly choice, what I mean is I want to go about my day in exactly the same way I was, adding no extra work in order to make a product work. If I have to, it isn’t working.
Am I crazy?
This goes for lots of cleaning products. We just switched back to big-brand-duo-something pods for our dishwasher after using an eco-friendly pod for years. I just got tired of our glassware never looking 100% clean.
When we were expecting our first kid, I also bought an ethically, locally made stroller that ended up having lots of issues. It drove horribly, was heavy, baby grew out of it super fast. It was expensive so I thought it was super well made. I was excited – only to soon be very not-excited to take baby for walks. Now we have a China-made one that works. AAGH. It’s not fun to admit these things, but they happen.
There are of course lots of items that work just as well as their chemical peers. Like lip balm – who’d ever buy something shady again when there are so many organic ones?
And there are eco-friendly things that work better than the not-so-sustainable option – like electric cars. EV’s are so much better (and not filling gas is essentially streaming vs going to the store to rent).
I would never want to encourage anyone to not go eco, but sometimes I think it leads to more waste. If you buy something that doesn’t work, you end up tossing it, or it sits in your cabinet only to create space-noise, which is not cool.
We make the most impact when we change BIG things; infrastructure, energy, food systems. So vote and get involved… and focus your efforts.
Now, I want to hear the honest truth: which eco-friendly choices have you made that made you miss the easier days of unawareness? You can leave an anonymous comment – just in case you run a green blog too ;)
*Notice how I wrote this review before we had kids (2016) and said it works for “normal loads”. LOL. All normal loads now have clothes with major stains. Thank u, next.