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Green relationship status: It’s complicated.

Today I’m feeling guilty.  It’s really hot in the place I’m working and I am tired.  I don’t drink tea or coffee so I’ve taken myself to the shops and bought a drink for a refreshing caffeine boost.  But it’s in a plastic bottle, and I barely even thought about it as I picked it up and paid for it.  Better still, it was on offer, so I got 2.  So now I’ve added 2 more items to at best be recycled, or at worst clog the planet up for decades to come ☹

This perfectly  sums up my journey to more sustainable living.  Although I’ve made loads of changes and there are now things I won’t buy or do, some other habits are really hard to break, and to be honest, as an entitled westerner in the 21st century, there are things I just want to do or to have.    It’s complicated and I feel guilty. 

I guess that’s the way life goes (green or otherwise): that no matter how hard you are trying or how well you are doing, there’s always someone else doing ‘better’ and something else you haven’t done (see doing more reps at the gym, achieving promotion or generally living the perfect Instagrammable life for details!)  Quite frankly, at times it feels a bit exhausting and overwhelming.  My inner critic is very good at focussing on the things I’m failing to do, and while we all need to be accountable and to address the things we need to in order to make life better, I’m not sure that dwelling on these and beating myself up is actually productive.  

The Och creative team have talked before about making small changes and that’s what I need to come back to today.  Since I’ve bought it now, I’m going to enjoy my drink (and obviously recycle it afterwards), but I’m going to have a better plan for the next time this happens (perhaps talking myself out of ‘needing’ the caffeine and reaching for my water instead).

All relationships have their ups and downs, and my green relationship is always likely to be a bit complicated.  But I’m hoping that (as with any other relationship) if I keep being honest about the things that don’t go to plan and keep working on the areas that need it, the relationship will survive and flourish for years to come.

Picture of Cairi Bates

Cairi Bates

Cairistiona Bates lives in the beautiful Scottish Borders with her very patient husband, her two grown up boys, and an adequately trained Dalmatian. She is currently juggling her day job and family life with launching her career as a world famous freelance writer. She’s often to be found snuggled up under a blanket reading or playing Animal Crossing on her Nintendo Switch.

Fun Fact: Her hair hasn’t been the same colour for more than a few weeks at a time for years.

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