Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Don't be like me: letting frugality fuel eco-anxiety

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It started small. I felt really good when I scissored my empty body lotion container and got another two weeks' use. I felt like I was singlehandedly saving the planet. I felt great repainting that free curb dresser. I am proud to be the family garbage disposal, never wasting food.

But the good times are offset by the awful times. Like when I got t-boned; I spent months fretting over my purchase of an older vehicle, singlehandedly ruining our planet. Like when I fed the kids tuna our neighbor gave us and chastised myself because meat consumption is partly why we face environmental disaster. Like when I fed the kids organic vegetables that are in season, and chastised myself because top soil is supposed to run out in 40 years.

Here are some ridiculous things the eco-anxiety ( I feel has made me do (that I at the time praised as being frugal): eat mold, re-use old medications, avoid showering, fill up cupboards with empty yoghurt containers, baby food jars, spagetti sauce jars, you name it...

It was a slow descent and it took me a good year to realize that my frugality was fueling the eco-anxiety I feel; and vice versa. I'm climbing back out of the hole now, determined to remain frugal without allowing it to remain an obsession. If you've found yourself becoming obsessive, or feeling increasingly anxious, or a friend or family member has expressed concern, maybe it's time to take a step back. (Not medical advice).

tl;dr: Like any obsession that fuels any anxiety, it is possible to take frugality too far. Don't be like me. Remember Aristotle: moderation in all things is what leads to a fully realized existence.

Submitted May 29, 2019 at 08:41AM by BearQ

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