We are almost a full month into 2020 and I’m fully-immersed into my list of goals for the year. However, I am already noticing that some of my goals conflict with each other, which I thought might happen.
The thing is, I didn’t realize how much it would bother me. Out of all my goals, the ones conflicting with each other are these: 1. Be more eco-friendly, and 2. Find a health routine that works for me.
Those goals probably don’t sound like ones that would conflict, but in order to eat healthier, I have really started relying on meal delivery/subscription services such as Green Chef, Blue Apron and Daily Harvest.
I have used Green Chef and Blue Apron for years, but I used to only order them occasionally. I started ordering them every week (one box per week) toward the end of 2019 because my work schedule ramped up and I have been working between 60-70 hours a week.
The meal delivery allows me to cook healthy-ish meals without having to figure out what to cook and then buy a bunch at the grocery. I was still going to the grocery for fruit and breakfast items.
However, when I order Daily Harvest — oat bowls, chia bowls and smoothies — I go to the grocery even less. I went almost an entire month without going to the store, and I went just for soda water and coconut milk for my delivered smoothies.
But now that I’m trying to be more eco-friendly, I am WELL aware how much packaging all of it requires… and it stresses me out. The smoothies are in individual cups with lids and the meals put every ingredient in a plastic bag.
All of the companies I use encourage recycling the packaging and have instructions for doing so. While I do recycle my boxes and plastic bags, I know that most of the items we try to recycle in the US aren’t actually being recycled. I feel like I’m reminded of this every few days when I take a load of trash or recycling to the bins at my apartment complex — there is so much stuff there.
I feel guilty. Especially when I think about all of the pollution added to the air when I get my weekly food deliveries. But I also wonder if it’s really much of a difference from when I purchase food — especially premade food — from the grocery store. I also know that purchasing from Daily Harvest supports my goal to “Shop small” and buy from local, family-owned or women-founded companies. It’s a complete battle.
So what’s the solution? While I’m not entirely sure just yet, I know that I’m only one person and I can only do so much for the causes I care about. I have been making a bigger effort to recycle for the last year, and I suppose what does not get recycled in the US isn’t necessarily something I can fix on my own.
I also do not commute to work or make excessive errands, and I eat a mostly vegan diet, which helps the environment. I also stopped ordering from Amazon entirely.
For Christmas, I was gifted many items to reduce waste, including reusable paper towels, reusable Ziplock bags, a Coffee Sock and reusable wax wrap. I already had reusable grocery bags and usually just skipped produce bags, but was also gifted reusable mesh bags for my fresh fruits and veggies.
Perhaps I’ll reduce my deliveries a little more in the coming weeks and see how I do, or do some research on how much these delivery services impact the environment — maybe they have their own ways of offsetting the carbon cost. I know a few years back, Green Chef changed their packaging to be recyclable and they no use smaller boxes.
On another set of conflicting goals, I was feeling so good and excited about reading only the books on my shelf… and then I attended a virtual literary lunch last week for a woman-owned bookstore in Georgia.
It got me so excited about some new books, so I bought three. Whoops! I mean there was a discount code and I knew I would be supporting a small business 🙂
I suppose there are many goals that don’t exactly align with one another, and I know I have to do what’s best for me. So, if I get too stressed over the environment, I’ll need to find a better alternative. If I get too much anxiety over meal planning, then back to the meal deliveries, and so forth.
Are there any conflicting goals of yours? How did you resolve them? It’s going to be a journey, that’s for sure.
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I understand your recycling dilemma; I do the best I can to recycle as much as possible, but see LOTS of recyclable items in trashcans everywhere, and feel frustrated about all the excess packaging used for the products we buy.
How effective are those reusable paper towels. I am trying to be more eco-friendly this year too. Haven’t come across any conflicting goals yet, thankfully.