Friday, August 12, 2011

Making tough choices? Figure out your priorities.

I met my friend Donna today because I'm helping her organize a community garbage pick-up event this coming Sunday and we had some running around to do. One of the spots we ran through was Tampere's central square, which is host to a variety of festivals and different vendors throughout the summer. This is one big reason that the center has tons of garbage flying around it but there are also nice things available there. This week, the theme is French Cuisine and products!

The bakery has a line running through the square (it's run out of a truck) and other vendors are selling candy, fresh nuts or even soaps! I noticed a huge stand of French natural soaps from Marseilles and couldn't resist. I promised myself that I'd stop buying liquid soaps, in an effort to reduce waste. In addition, I've been buying only soaps without any waste at all (no packaging, no bags, etc.) They usually tend to run about 5-8euros/bar but I get such joy out of using them that I don't mind paying a few euros extra, and they last long too.

Today in the square, the soaps cost 5 euros each or 5 for 20 euros. I got so excited but there were a few things to consider:
+ no waste
+ natural soaps
+ great price
- driven in a truck from France
- production impact unknown
= how do you calculate that?

In the end, I came home with 5 bars of them and had a photo shoot! It's sometimes hard to make decisions like that but those decisions are part of every day life. I'm trying to make lots of choices at the same time, and all my intentions are good: I don't want to have a negative impact on my surroundings. But this takes some getting used to and should be done step-by-step (especially since this is in the sub-title of this blog.)

So the moral of this story, and the lesson for this post is: Figure out your priorities.

If energy and water are more important for you, focus on those. If emissions are on your mind, reduce those first. If waste is your most pressing concern, start with that. I could keep going but you get the point. So long as you're aware and you start somewhere, you're heading in the right direction.

And now for the photo shoot... (these should last me about a year!)


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Thanks Lauren! I'm really glad you had that aha moment and are finding it, overall, easy to relate to. That was my goal and will continue to be! So if I've already inspired one person, then why not aim to reach more? (Or perhaps that same one a few more times? ;) )