To feel completely and utterly frustrated about trying to live as ethically as possible.(6 Posts)
Over the last 6 months I made changes around our household to make our habits more ethical and sustainable. We were already pretty good already, but this was a definite shift.
I started buying up half price stock at the farm shop, started composting, started cutting out more dairy than we normally do (we're vegetarian anyway), bought compostable toothbrushes, floss, natural bulk soap and shampoo. Reduced single use items significantly and reduced the products we use around the house. Loads and loads of really positive stuff. I also donated a large amount of stuff that was rarely used (we had 7 cheese graters ) to local charities, animal shelters etc. It felt fantastic and made some personal realisations about the things we own and how I would like to live my life. I know it sounds a bit out there, but I really feel like it's been a pivotal year for me.
However, I'm slowly starting to feel like many of the positive changes are for bloody nothing!!
I can't buy everything I want in one place. As much as I would love to buy everything from the farm shop, they don't have everything we need and we simply can't afford it. Im going to sainsburys for bulk peanut butter, waitrose for butter in paper, lidl for loose nuts, tesco for their dried fruit and snacks. When I buy fruit and veg from supermarkets I'm always torn between buying organic (more expensive and in plastic) or buying loose (which is limited in variety and often more expensive than buying multipacks ). Then I get the thermal paper receipts and the stickers.
I recently bought a huge multi back of Eco leaf toilet roll, but when it arrived, the bloody thing was wrapped in a huge amount of plastic in addition to the compostable eco leaf packaging.
I've been trying to only buy clothes from ethical suppliers or second hand, but when it came to buying ds's school uniform there were very limited options and they were all very very expensive. There were no ethical options that I could find for school shoes.
DH is totally unsupportive. He really couldn't give a rats ass and finds all the changes really annoying and resists everything, even though most of the changes (with regards to products etc ) he is happy with. He will go shopping and come back with reams of junk food covered in packaging. He thinks we should buy the cheapest of everything. It is driving me bananas and I feel like I'm driving him bananas too even though this is something I feel passionately about.
I feel like I need to step back and reprioritise, but I don't know where to start.
Please help! Tell me where you draw the line, what you won't compromise on etc etc. Also, kindly tell me to chill the hell out! I'm very aware I sound like a lunatic!
Well done for all you've achieved, must be really frustrating when your dh is not really on board. Have you discussed why you're doing all this? Is he generally into recycling etc but just thinks you're taking it too far or does he just not care at all? Maybe he is craving junk food or some of his old treats as it feels like forbidden fruit? Is he worried about money or just would rather not spend it if he doesn't think it's necessary?
Whilst I really admire what you're doing I think maybe it is worth taking a bit of a step back as it seems to be causing more stress than it's worth both between you and dh and when you feel thwarted by supermarkets putting stuff in plastic etc.
I personally draw the line at trailing round multiple different supermarkets every week for all the different stuff. We don't have a car and I'm not willing to use up that much time. In your case I'd probably try to go to a different supermarket each time I needed to go and stock up on all the things that particular shop has while I'm there anyway but try not to sweat it if you forget or occasionally have to get a less ideal option. It really annoys me when fruit and veg etc come wrapped in plastic and I always try to avoid it but wouldn't go as far as not buying something I needed because there is no plastic free option. In general I'd say I draw the line if something is going to cause me significant hassle.
My dh has similar views to me but we've just been with my mum for the last couple of weeks and she is lovely but wants to treat dd especially all the time but even wanted to buy me more new clothes for my birthday that I just don't need. I try and nudge her away from buying loads of asda clothes that dd does notneed but feel a bit of a snob for preferring 'nice' more ethical brands that obviously cost more, although I would ultimately prefer she bought second hand which is much cheaper. Mostly I smile and say thank you and try to use everything and pass on to charity shop.
Wow, I think it's fantastic that you're trying so hard to reduce resource use and waste. I too wish there weren't so many barriers in the way and that industry would do more given that (as you have demonstrated) it's incredibly hard for one person to make an impact. Tesco send me a free 'baby pack' the other day - large shoebox size carton containing a few products and loads more cardboard to hold products in place. Likewise Halifax sent us a 'moving in pack' a few years ago...came in weird canvas box that has very limited use, so I expect most people bin it rather than re-use.
I found a load of old fountain pen cartridges in a drawer the other day that I'll never use and I thought I wish recycling centres would have a kind of big warehouse where people could bring all things like that and then when others need them they could pop along and have them for free...imagine how many surplus screws, nails, paper clips, staples etc are hiding in garages and offices that could be used and reduce the number of new that need to be made.
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I am not judging - but I would probably be with your DH. Life is hard, no need to make it impossible.
Also - be mindful of the curse of 'orthorexia' whereby people are making themselves ill whilst at the same time feeling they are eating more and more 'cleanly'.
I would go with the 80/20 rule. You can probably gain 80% of the benefits to the world by concentrating on the largest 20% of your purchases by spend.
A few extra till receipts are really not going to matter - honestly.
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