When I was 5, there was a leak in our bathroom faucet. While my parents worked on getting a plumber, or new faucet, I took dixie cups and put them under the faucet until they were full and then placed them on the side of the sink. I spent the afternoon doing this so that when my parents found me I had about 50 dixie cups lined up around all surfaces of the bathroom. “Are you thirsty?” I would ask.
In college, I was weeks away from creating my own major in Sustainable Agriculture and decided it would limit my job pool so I stuck with Environmental Studies. Needless to say, I’ve always cared for the environment. It has always been an issue close to my heart. I struggle with the love for nature and the knowledge that I have obtained about the degradation of it, due to human circumstances. I have also realized the amount of shame and guilt I have put on myself when it comes to environmental choices. I travel with my reusable bags, a reusable mug, collapsible bowl, and reusable chopsticks, but I also crave seeing and experiencing the world.
I often feel paralyzed that I’m not doing enough. How can one see the world, eat food, and live in today’s society as a conscious consumer? This has become evident to us as we are traveling. There are some places without the resources to produce the most eco friendly products. Is going hungry really helping us make a difference either? Reading these two articles this week helped me curb some anxiety. Maybe they will for you too. One is about environmental sins, and the other about sustainability shaming.
“At the moment, being an environmentalist undeniably relies on a level of privilege. Opting for vegan alternatives is more expensive and less accessible than buying cheap meat and dairy products. Shopping in a zero waste shop instead of a supermarket is more expensive, and they simply don’t exist in most towns and cities. Travelling by trains instead of flying is more expensive (even though that literally makes no sense). These things are also costly in terms of time, and having time to spare is a privilege too.”
It is a complex issue and I keep my eyes peeled for opportunities to help however I can. So I’ll just be over here carrying around my reusable bags and chopsticks and making the most informed decisions possible. Baretrax has been our project to be ‘bare’, vulnerable, and open to what life has in store for us. It’s also about leaving ‘trax’; our footprint on the world, and finding ways to go beyond ourselves to positively impact others. I hope that by connecting people to their bodies, each other, and nature that we can all make the small and large scale changes that are needed to keep enjoying the gifts this beautiful world has to offer.