Sometimes I have to remind myself that becoming environmentally sustainable is a journey and that we're all at different points on that journey.
Over the last few weeks, I've met women who shared my philosophy of striving for a chemical-free life and world, only to discover that they're representatives for companies that manufacture "green" cosmetics. A quick skim of their catalogs made me realize I would not purchase products from either company. From the first page, I realized they were not for me. First of all, the products are packaged in plastic - plastic tubes, tubs, and jars. The manufacture, use, and disposal of plastic spews all kinds of nasty chemicals into the atmosphere, soil, and even our bodies. Secondly, they have multiple lines of skin care products. Cleansing, toning, moisturizing, anti-ageing, etc. The fact is, we don't need all of those products. And if there was any anti-ageing product that really worked, everyone would buy it and we would never get wrinkles.
But I have to remember we don't all arrive at the destination at the same time, that it takes a while to get to the end. It's a bit like living in a room that has no windows. One day you discover there's a hole in the wall and you can see light coming through it. As you slowly approach, you see there is grass, the sky, a house. When you're finally able to put your eye to the hole, you can see there's an entire world out there. The same with sustainability.
You might start with a health problem and learn that it's linked to food. When you research food, you learn about the chemicals in the food and soil and about animal abuse. You discover how companies make lagoons of animal manure. Then you move on to water issues which leads into all kinds of areas. You find out about how we're depleting our natural resources. You start recycling but then discover that's not the ultimate answer. You're stunned to find out that slavery still exists and that wars are fought over resources. You might end at a point where you realize it's best to live simply, to avoid manufactured items, to grow your own food, and to take charge of your own healthcare.
As it can be overwhelming at times, I don't want to discourage anyone who has taken the first steps in this long journey. But I do want to find ways to help them move further down the road, to not stop at the first rest stop and believe that is the destination.