The Convenient Myth


In the beginning, I made changes to our lifestyle, purely for health reasons.

And the benefits were so noticeable and remarkable, that I stuck with it.

But over time, I've started to realise the other implications of our new simpler, less materialistic lifestyle. Every time I make something from scratch, instead of buying it pre-made and pre-packaged, I have taken a stand for the health of the Earth.

Think about it this way:

For every unnecessary item I buy, resources have been used up in order to make it, package it and ship it.

 - Chemicals have probably been used in the production. Those chemicals and other waste products have to go somewhere - most likely leaching into the soil or waterways downstream of where they are produced, or simply dumped into the ocean.

 - Energy has been used to produce it, and probably from coal-fired power plants, which happen to be the world's largest emitters of mercury air emissions. Mercury is the second most toxic substance known to man, and a human carcinogen, not to mention all it's other effects on the brain and vital organs.

Coal-fired power stations also emit arsenic and other toxic metals, acid gases and dioxin.

 - Transport has been used to get the product from the place of manufacture to the place of sale. In today's global marketplace, and with our obsession for cheap, foreign products, this often means the item is made in China, then shipped to Australia - a distance of roughly 8500 kilometres.

 - And then when I get tired of the product/use it up/break it/no longer need it, it ends it's life in landfill. One estimate is that every Australian produces an average of 3kgs of waste every day. I am not overly good at mathematics, but by my calculations, with a population of around 22 million, this equates to 66,000 tonnes - or 66 million kilos - of waste EVERY SINGLE DAY. 

Apparently we are the second most wasteful nation on earth, coming in behind the United States. Hardly an achievement to be proud of...

The figures are just mind-boggling. And so obviously unsustainable. How long can we keep this up???

And when did humans start being referred to as "consumers", anyway?

The more I think about it, the more I believe that without a healthy planet, it is impossible to have healthy humans. It's all inter-connected. WE are all inter-connected.

And so...although I am only one amongst billions, and my contribution may seem small...I will continue to live as simply as I can, and not purchase things based on that notion we call "convenience".

After all, polluted water and soil and air are anything but "convenient"....

"Only when the last tree has been cut down, and the last river poisoned, and the last fish been caught, will we realise that we cannot eat money" (Cree Indian Proverb)


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