Finding a balance, when everything is bad

As I’ve discovered since starting this blog – every lifestyle choice I make has some kind of negative impact on the environment. My aim is to make a choice that has the least impact, but why does this still make me feel so guilty?

Today I have the afternoon off work so I booked a massage. My shoulders have been crippled by two toddlers and working at a computer. So much so that I felt weirdly proud when my massage therapist said the knots in my right shoulder were ‘horrendous’.

Ha! I knew all my hard work as a working mother of two would result in some kind of award. If this award is most knotted shoulders then I’ll take it!

I’m now sat in a cafe post-massage having a soya chai latte (I know, quite the knobby drink yar?) and an Oreo scrumington. This was the only vegan cake available but I know that Oreos are made with non-sustainable palm oil.

Unlike many other companies, Oreos don’t try to pretend their palm oil is sustainable. I’m not even sure if said scrumington contains actual Oreos. I don’t even know what a scrumington is. Despite the guilt, I bought it anyway as it’s my afternoon off and I want to enjoy tea and cake.

Oreo scrumington
The existential crisis inducing Oreo scrumington

Once again though I’m asking the question – does being a vegan outweigh buying something that I know has unsustainable, orangutan-killing palm oil in it?

I don’t know the answer but these kind of questions come up all the time.

  • Is it better to have locally grown veggies delivered by a van or walk to a supermarket and buy veggies from all over the place?
  • Is it better to buy non-dairy milk in a carton, than cow’s milk in a glass bottle?
  • What about buying organic veggies wrapped in plastic?
  • Or eco-friendly cleaning spray in a plastic bottle?

I suffer from anxiety and having to think more about the choices I’m making has been a real trigger. I have to try hard to not get stuck in a navel-gazing hell deciphering whether a plastic bottle of vegan salad cream is as bad as mayo in a glass bottle. Yep, I’ve actually struggled with that first world problem.

I need to remember that the point of this blog is that I’m doing my best. Doing my best means just that, not getting stressed because I’m not perfect.

Perfectionism and over-responsibility are two of my go-to ‘creative adjustments’ and they can be suffocating. This blog and what I’m trying to do isn’t about being perfect or taking on other people’s responsibility. It’s about making small changes, learning more about what I’m choosing to buy and eat, but most of all, finding out that palm oil and plastic are in bloody everything.

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