Plastic-Free July: Final Week

Although I’d like to say that this final week of Plastic-Free July went incredibly well after last week, unfortunately, I have to report that I ran into some hiccups. Early in the week, I headed to the grocery store, and I realized that looming finals and the urgency to get home to cook led me to forget my reusable grocery bags. At the end of the week, I went out to eat with a classmate, and although I avoided plastic silverware, I ended up carrying my food out in a Styrofoam container and plastic bag. Now that many other classmates and co-workers inquire about my blog and follow me on social media, I was also asked for my take on bags for small packaged snacks. It seems that in my rush to get everything in place, I found scenarios where I chose plastic. At first, I felt some disappointment, but instead, I decided to take a look at the situation from a different point of view. Was my use of plastic covering up something else?

Looking into my activities this past week, I saw how the stress began to mount. Finals are due in a few days. I’m finishing up work at one graduate school assistantship to switch to a new position next semester. I’m also arranging meetings at my new assistantship to determine my role. And, to top it off, I’ve decided to set up an independent study, which requires me to brainstorm what I want to learn and set up projects to make sure I learn what I want. I’m not complaining, my life could be much more difficult and complex. However, it was an eye-opener to me about why I reach for convenience during stressful times.

Accepting conveniences like plastic? Easy. Rejecting convenience during stress? Incredibly difficult. Selecting something because it is convenient puts us at ease and makes everything simple. Stress definitely motivated me to select a convenient choice. However, we may eventually think about how our actions lead to other circumstances and consequences that make us question if the convenient solution was worth it. I can’t make myself feel guilty for my choices forever, but it did make me think about how we have so many options because of convenient resources like plastic. Is it a good thing? Is having more options better for us or make us more stressed? I’ve written about this topic before, but during my final week of Plastic-Free July, it made me think more about convenience, choices, and a number of options we have before us in today’s world.

Cover Photo Credit: Pixabay

When do you think having more options is better? What do you do to avoid convenience during stressful times?

1 Comment

  1. Kim H. Wu

    While I prefer and try to avoid plastic utensils, etc., I try to reuse and recycle it. Sister Francis wondered why i had plastic utensils in my silverware drawer. I just use them when eating things like yogurt or light snacks, packed lunches, etc. It’s difficult to be perfect about everything. It’s important to not guilt ourselves when we are conscientious about doing good things and fall short. There are many worse things we could fail at doing.

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