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Does sustainability go hand in hand with convenience?

/ The other day I was watching one of my favourite Danish TV shows (and alltime guilty pleasures), which evolves around two lifestyle experts, who have to guess which Danish Celeb they are visiting, based on what they have in their homes. One of the experts got a question from the host, which was if she believed that the Danes are conscious consumers. And to that she said yes, many of us are, but only as long as it’s convenient to us. And I really think she’s right! I think, that as soon as sustainable products becomes a challenge for us not only to find, but also when it comes to the price and durability, we would much rather buy the conventional product. That goes for food, beauty products, clothes or whatever it may be.

Forleden dag sad jeg og så “kender du typen” (kæmpe guilty pleasure!), og da var de to livsstilseksperter på besøg hos Dan Rachlind. Den kvindelige livsstilsekspert Anne blev af værten spurgt, om vi danskere er miljø-bevidste. Til det svarede hun, at ja – det er størstedelen af os faktisk, men kun så længe det ikke går på kompromis med bekvemmelighed. Og det giver jeg hende faktisk helt ret i! Jeg tror, at så snart bæredygtighed og økologi bliver en udfordring for os både at opstøve, men også når det kommer til pris og holdbarhed, så vil vi hellere købe konventionelle produkter. Det gælder både mad, skønhed, tøj og hvad det nu måtte dreje sig om.

/ I think this leads to a rather interesting debate. Because have we as consumers been raised to always go after the most convenient choices the past many years, even hough it may harm our environment (and ourselves) in the long run? Do we actually have an urge to be more sustainable as consumers, but the way our shopping possibilities are right now, it’s just not always possible? I think it’s a very individual matter. I know people who think of sustainability as nonsense, but I also know people who find themselves somewhere in between and then there are those who go all the way to make the best possible choices. Personally I don’t get how I couldn’t be of importance, to look out for our planet in some way or the other. Especially not if you choose to put children into our world (and please don’t take this as an offend, because that’s not what I’m trying to do). But I do understand that you may choose the conventional good over the eco-friendly ones if it economically is hard for you to put up with, or because it simply isn’t always very convenient. I really want you to understand, that I know this feeling myself very well! 

Det synes jeg leder op til en interessant debat. For er vi som forbrugere blevet opdraget til, at gå efter det mest bekvemmelige valg de sidste mange år uanset om vores forbrug skader vores miljø (og os selv) på sigt? Vil vi egentlig gerne gøre mere for vores miljø, men vores indkøbsmuligheder tillader det måske bare ikke helt så meget som vi måske ønsker? Jeg tror det er meget forskelligt fra person til person. Jeg kender mennesker, som ikke giver en klap for økologi og synes det er noget fis, men jeg kender også mennesker der ligger mere midtimellem og dem der går all the way. Personligt kan jeg ikke forstå, at man ikke synes det er vigtigt, at passe på vores planet. Især ikke hvis man også sætter børn i verden (med fare for at træde nogle over tæerne – det er altså ikke hensigten, så se objektivt på det!). Men jeg kan sagtens forstå, at man vælger det fra, fordi det økonomisk måske er umuligt at leve 100% økologisk, eller ganske enkelt fordi det bare ikke altid er bekvemmeligt. Det skal jeg gerne melde mig enig i.

/ You know that I’m trying to set an example in purchasing products that doesn’t come in plastic, and I really try to quit excess disposable products too. There are several reasons for that, but I also do it because I hope that there are politicians in the world who has the power to do more and that understands the importance, of quitting a lot of the plastic wrap we see in our grocery shops. To this I would like to bring out my classic example with the organic bananas, that come in a plastic bag. Who even bothers to read wat it says on that bag? And why would you wrap a fruit that has it’s own natural wrap in something that is toxic for our environment and not bio-degradable?? And lastly, why put organic goods in plastic anyway – isn’t that a bit of a paradox? When all that is said I understand (and agree), that it is NOT always convenient to take the drive to the local market to purchase your groceries package free. It is NOT always convenient to purchase your toiletries, home supplies and so on online, because that it’s the only opportunity you have to buy these plastic-free and biodegradable. I agree, that it makes much more sense to throw these into the cart when we are out shopping for groceries anyway! So I think what I’m trying to say is, hat I really hope that it will become convenient for all of us to make better choices in the near future. Maybe many of us will be willing to compromise more with this convenience in the long run. But I think we can’t neglect the fact, that convenience is important for many of us in a hectic everyday life, and it can be crucial in order to maintain this lifestyle in the long run too. What du you guys think?

Nu vil jeg fx gerne sætte et eksempel i, at købe så plastik- og emballagefrit som muligt, og jeg forsøger også at droppe engangsprodukter der i bund og grund ikke er nødvendige. Det gør jeg af flere grunde men også fordi jeg håber, at der sidder nogle politikere derude der kan se fidusen i, at droppe noget af alt den plastemballage der er at finde i vores supermarkeder. Her nævner jeg gerne det klassiske eksempel med, at pakke økobananer ind i plastfolie. Hvem læser overhovedet alt dét, der står på den pose? Og hvorfor skal en frugt der har sin egen indpakning overhovedet pakkes ind i noget, der er giftigt for vores miljø og ikke kan nedbrydes?? Tilmed et produkt der er økologisk produceret – er det ikke en smule paradoksalt? Når det så er sagt, så er det bare IKKE bekvemmeligt for alle, at køre til det ugentlige marked i en nærliggende by og købe sine madvarer uden indpakning. Det er IKKE nødvendigvis bekvemmeligt, at skulle bestille sine toilet- og køkkenartikler online, fordi det er én af de eneste muligheder man måske har for, at købe enten produkter uden emballage eller produkter der kan nedbrydes naturligt. Jeg kan sagtens forstå det er nemmere, at hive den slags ned i vognen når man alligevel er ude at handle! Så jeg tror det jeg prøver at komme frem til er, at jeg inderligt ønsker, at det bliver mere bekvemmeligt for os allesammen, at tage mere miljørigtige valg når vi handler ind. Måske vil flere af os være villige til, at gå lidt mere på kompromis med bekvemmelighed på sigt. Men faktum er, at bekvemmelighed er vigtigt for os alle i en travl hverdag, og det kan være afgørende for, at holde en bestemt livsstil i længden. Hvad tænker du?

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