Does it feel like sustainability is a trade-off between going easy on myself or going easy on the planet? Is there a spectrum of choice, with working hard to save resources at one end and demanding the earth give me more than she can offer at the other? Do I have to choose between wearing myself out or wearing the earth out?
I have this beat-up plastic scrubby that is at least 7 years old (I'm certain we bought it after moving to Alameda, but before moving into this house). I've not replaced it because it still did the job, although I do have to work harder with it. And it's pretty ugly. My friend Donna McCaskey mentioned she uses mesh plastic bags from garlic, oranges, or onions for scrubbies, and I realized I could make my scrubby pretty again simply by stuffing it into a couple of layers of a mesh plastic bag.
Voilá! I hate throwing those bags away, and yet even at the organic grocers, the onions come in them. So now I have a new use for them, and my kitchen looks just that little bit nicer.
What sorts of small annoyances are you tolerating, wishing you felt like it was okay to replace them, when perhaps a little creative reuse would make your environment more enjoyable?