One of my most faithful readers, who I know only as Hellcat (I always picture some sort of crazed feline demon when I see that screen name, but then her comments are always so sweet and funny!), wrote me the other day with this interesting question:
“Have you ever had to cheat on your changes? Or, perhaps a better phrasing would be, do you find yourself having to make any concessions for different situations?”
She then mentioned that when she had a cold recently, she went through a pile of disposable tissues with blatant disregard for the trees that may have been cut down to make them because, frankly, she felt like crapola.
So to answer the question, yes, I’ve had to cheat — but it’s very seldom. As I think I mentioned before, I broke my no-bottled-water pledge while travelling because the water in my Sigg bottle would often run out, or I’d forget it at the hotel one day and be stranded for the entire afternoon and evening with no other option for staying hydrated.
Also, if I have a cold and I’m going to be using a piece of recycled toilet paper or recycled paper towel for some reason anyway, I’ll occasionally blow my nose in it first.
But the other weekend, I had my first entire DAY of green sinning. It came out of nowhere: I was at the opposite end of the city (far, far away from my apartment), and my friend and I decided to have some lunch by Riverdale Farm, a cute little bit of the pastoral within an otherwise urban landscape. But we hadn’t planned a picnic or anything, so I was without my water bottle and didn’t have any Tupperware containers for takeout. My friend was bent on getting Thai food, so we went to this restaurant and ordered some vegetarian fare, then sat down and waited.
Well, it of course came packaged in way more styrofoam than necessary (it was like one gigantic container per spring roll), plastic knives and forks, plastic bag, etc. I tried to give some of it back, but it wasn’t even worth it. I just sighed, bought a stupid bottle of corporate spring water and accepted that I’d broken my green streak. Later, when we went up the CN Tower, we had a snack at the café and I ordered a butter tart à la mode, forgetting that the ice cream wouldn’t be organic. And later that night, I went and checked my email and Facebook account, totally neglecting my resolution to stop messing about on the computer after dinner.
So to answer your question, Hellcat: Hell yes, I totally slip up every now and then. But for the most part, I’ve been pretty good. And often, I’ll try to find a way to atone, like by keeping the lights off in the bathroom when I brush my teeth and wash my face at night.