The other day Dan and I went to our local Wellness Warehouse to pick up some natural, organic toiletries. The lovely shop assistant was chatting to me ever so enthusiastically while I was paying for the goods that I only noticed afterwards that she had packed all of them in a new plastic bag. Upon my realisation, I sort of instinctively started unpacking the goods, telling her that she could keep the packet. She went on to tell me that she had already charged me for it, and the frugal side of me reluctantly kept the packet and walked over to the car where I confessed my sin to Dan. As per usual, he gave an intelligent remark that suggested I should have still returned the plastic packet because the environmental cost of that plastic packet is far greater than the 60 cents I paid for it.
I sat back in my car seat and mentally reprimanded myself for the entire duration of our journey up to Rosebank mall. I was so upset with myself, replaying the incident over and over inside my head. I thought about the bag I had intentionally brought to put the goods in but forgot in the car. I thought about the fact that I should have just returned the packet, regardless of the fact that I had paid for it, and carried everything in my arms like I have done before. I thought about how I read somewhere that plastic packets do not get recycled in South Africa because of an additive/filler used in it’s production that makes it difficult to recycle. I kept thinking about how I just contributed to the death of an innocent oceanic animal. As I got out of the car I looked back at the demon packet and became even more upset at the fact that the entire contents of said plastic bag was filled with goods packaged in plastic! Looking up at Dan, feeling absolutely defeated, I broke down and told him how disappointed I was with myself.
Dan put his arm around me, which always makes me feel better no matter how hopeless and pathetic I feel at the time. He admitted that he too was feeling overwhelmed by all the bad things in this world, and how he has been putting himself under such pressure to be perfect and live a waste-free life. He said that no matter what, we do try and at the end of the day that is all that counts. We’re not perfect, we do make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes are unavoidable in that circumstance and all we can do is try to do better the next time. He also reminded me that there are amazing people out there who are working on combating the plastic crisis and one day we will have a solution. But right now, buying shampoo in a plastic bottle is sometimes the only option.
Once my internal conflict subsided, I took some photos.
Jacket-Guard The Vintage