I've been trying to shop more ethically lately and to also stop wasting as much because the world is on fire and I can feel better about myself and my choices when I see that my face wash is "cruelty free" (which means that it doesn't test on animals, not that it doesn't perpetuate the idea that if I don't wash my face every goshdarn second of every goshdarn day, I might break out with a pimple OR GOD FORBID HAVE A WRINKLE) or that my clothing is made by single mothers in some far off country who are now empowered by their jobs (or so I'm told) and when whatever it is that I'm buying is also ALL ORGANIC then I am A FLIPPIN' HERO SHOPPER.
Of course, it's hard when you're on a budget, so I end up doing a lot of this type of shopping at Walmart, which sort of neutralizes the mission a bit maybe? It's the lesser of two evils (lookin' at you, Amazon) in my mind. I mean, I support local and independent businesses in my community as much as possible, but this girl's got rent to pay.
Which is why I found myself rapidly pacing the beauty aisle at Walmart, furiously googling on my phone to find the most ethical beauty brands for sale that weren't owned by companies that are pure evil, and I quickly started to have the same levels of anxiety that I have at grocery stores. In fact, the anxiety got so bad that I started to have to pee really bad, but I didn't want to go to the bathroom at Walmart because it's Walmart, so instead I just danced around a bunch in the beauty aisle and waited for the moment to pass while I held my phone in one hand and four different facial cleansers in the other. ALL I WANT IS A CLEAN FACE AND A CLEAN CONSCIENCE. WHY IS THAT SO HARD?
Finally, I settled on one that had bees on it and prepared to leave when I remembered that I needed yarn for a new crocheting project, so we headed over to the craft section, where I entered yet another dilemma because while I found the perfect looking and feeling yarn for less than three dollars a skein, I was confronted by all of the following thoughts:
-IS IT ORGANIC?
-IS IT ETHICALLY SOURCED?
-HOW WERE THE SHEEP RAISED WHO MADE THIS YARN?
-WHO IS EMPLOYED BY THIS COMPANY?
-IS IT MADE IN AMERICA? DO I CARE IF IT'S MADE IN AMERICA? WHY DOES THAT MATTER?
And all of this is good, but also exhausting because at the end of it all I end up feeling like nothing that I can buy is ever going to be good enough. In fact, it's gotten to such extremes that I'm starting to maybe go overboard? For example, this conversation that I had last night with The Mr:
Me: So. I had an idea.
The Mr: ...uh oh.
Me: No, it's a good one!
The Mr: ...okay.
Me: So you know how the dog chewed a hole in this piece of clothing? *holds up clothing*
The Mr: ...yeah...
Me: WELL -- one might think that this piece of clothing is now ruined and should just be thrown away, but WHY ADD TO THE LANDFILLS when I also have EXHIBIT B!
I held up a pair of cotton leggings whose elastic had busted that were also in a to-be-tossed-or-donated pile.
The Mr: ...
Me: I'm going to cut up the leggings and patch up the hole that the dog made!
The Mr: ...those fabrics don't match.
Me: I CAN'T BE SO VAIN. THE PLANET IS AT STAKE HERE.
Side note: while I was writing this, I found this episode of The Guilty Feminist podcast and it was ALL THE RELATABLE
What about you? Do you try and shop ethically? How do you manage it?
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