Why the fixation on toothbrushes and toilet paper?

July 28, 2019 by Joshua
in Nature

When I talk about reducing waste, people consistently ask me what I do about a few things more than anything else.

Toothbrushes and toilet paper top the list.

Why the fixation on them?

I’m sure these people order tons of takeout, with its overuse of single-use packaging and containers, drive unnecessarily, eat more meat than nearly anyone in history, and pollute in plenty of other unnecessary ways that even they know they’d prefer.

They know they’re polluting tons, but they ask about comparative trivialities. Why don’t they ask how to take the subway, bike, or take public transportation more? Why don’t they ask about taking a stay-cation instead of a vacation?

More importantly, they’re holding themselves back from meaningful progress to live more harmoniously with their world and others by shying away from more meaningful places they could make a difference, like their diets, biking, walking, hiking, camping, and so on.

Like Meetings

There’s an old adage that the time and attention an issue gets at company meetings varies inversely with its importance. People review big, strategic issues quickly, with little debate, but when someone proposes moving the water cooler, everyone has an opinion.

Don’t let that pattern dictate how you adjust your environment impact, knowing your pollution hurts people and wildlife, if you want craft your environmental legacy with intent.


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