The Sustainable Journey #4: Odd Circumstances

It’s easy to get into the routine of daily life and think to myself, I’m doing a good job, just gotta keep this going day to day. Sometimes, circumstances do arise that are non-routine. And this is where I start to break from the safety zone.

I previously spoke on a party I threw at my house and how I tried to make it as zero waste and eco-friendly as possible. But what happens when you go to another party hosted by someone else.

Well, I will obviously flush their toilet. And I hate this- because I’m all about “it’s about the principle” and “who cares what other people think of me” and “manners are stupid unless you actually mean it”…but here I am, wasting water because of societal conventions that I adhere to.

There is also heavy waste…by pretty much everyone. And I can minimize as much waste as possible. And I can bring my own utensils and to-go container and handkerchief. Yet I found myself, at these parties in the last couple of weeks, wanting to conform and not be “that person”. BUT I need to be that person. It opens people’s eyes to these issues, even if a lot of them judge me. The cost is perhaps minimal embarrassment. EVEN THOUGH I ASK MYSELF WHY. Why would I even be embarrassed? It goes back to the whole “how do you spot a vegan at a party?” thing. And it’s hard when you don’t get a lot of support from friends and family, who kind of just laugh it off and say, “Oh, Brian’s just doing one of his Brian things again”. It’s disheartening. I even conform to eating animal-based products out of simplicity and convenience. I know I just need to make that leap.

And going to a restaurant just plain sucks. I’ve stopped asking for water and bringing my own water, but I still get water and a straw! And it makes me sad. I just need to now literally tell them “I DON’T WANT ANY WATER, DON’T BRING ME ANY”.

So I’ve been taking a summer class that has been eating up my entire schedule. It’s been hard to keep up with nutrition, though I’m glad meal prep has come in handy and I’m already good at it. Stress has increased. I find doing a lot of this “save the world” stuff difficult while also trying to make everything as convenient for me as possible while I have to focus on my studies.

Another temporary situation I worry about is travel. I want to travel and I plan to do a lot of traveling for the rest of my life. But I can just picture how difficult it would be doing all this in strange, unknown lands. This will surely require a lot of pre-planning and commitment on my part. I’m hoping in my future when I’m able to travel more that I’ll be deeply entrenched and a pro at doing all of this stuff.

On a final note, I’ve been thinking about the idea of Minimalism vs. Sentimentality, which I actually touched on in my previous post. I’m like a partial hoarder, but a lot of it is sentimental things. And I have them all hidden away, so there’s a semblance of minimalism and neatness in my room. And only I know it’s there (and now, you do too). I’ve been trying to let go of these things because I really don’t need them. Like, if I threw them away right now, I believe I wouldn’t even bat an eye in the future. But another part of me thinks…it’s not hurting anyone in any way. I don’t believe it to be causing me any sort of additional anxiety or unhappiness, which clutter can do. It’s just there and I look at it every now and then when I clean or feel nostalgic. And then it goes away again.

I don’t know what I wanted to say or what my thesis or conclusion are. I do know that it’s a continuous, lifelong journey to make the world a better place, one step at a time.

~ by Btab on 8 June 2017.

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