As we near the end of another year of complicated worldwide dynamics and conflicts, it is nice to be able to solve two issues. One has had a great impact on my health and the other is a slam dunk for the health of the planet. For my health, it was something that had to come from within. For the planet, the push had to come from Big Brother, that much-maligned government regulatory apparatus.
I drink about two cups of coffee a day and used to always add one or two spoonfuls of sugar. This past year was the first time that unhealthy habit was curtailed. It took some getting used to but the reward for health finally tipped the scale. Recently I spooned out a couple of weeks’ sugar into a bowl and it was a significant amount. It was tough to resist the urge to spoon out a months’ worth … but I knew that would lead to the next challenge … to see how a year’s quantity would look.
As for the planet, I always wanted to reduce my plastic bag usage but just couldn’t lock in the appropriate behavior for a sustained amount of time. Cue Big Brother and a government directive: non-plastic grocery bags. It has been a long learning curve, but lately those replacement bags outnumber the plastic in my car. The next hurdle was remembering to find them and skip the step of loading a cart, coming out to the parking lot, and then loading a bag. Finally, the training has kicked in.
Unlike the people who eschew regulations, I wholeheartedly appreciate the new directive. The exercise of counting out a month’s worth of plastic bags and feeling good about saving the environment is beyond reach. Let’s look for other rewards.
It is time to stop the plastic water bottle scourge. Are you listening, Big Brother?